Judge Cheryl Gonzales
Landlord sought to recover possession of the rent stabilized apartment serving tenant a notice of intention of non-renewal. It alleged tenant did not occupy the premises as his primary residence, but resided in New Jersey, and he sublet the apartment without prior approval. Tenant denied the allegations and argued his absence from the apartment was temporary and for medical reasons, claiming the petition was retaliation stemming from an overcharge award he received against landlord. Landlord sought an independent medical exam (IME) of tenant, document production and a deposition, while tenant claimed the document demand was overly broad. He also stated an IME was premature and not properly made, and sought surveillance tapes allegedly in landlord’s possession. The court ruled, applying the standard in New York University v. Farkas, that landlord demonstrated ample need for discovery as the information sought was proper, carefully tailored and directly related to the central issue in the action. Also, as tenant put his medical condition at issue, landlord was allowed to conduct an IME. Hence, tenant’s request for discovery was denied without prejudice.