Justice Alice Schlesinger

Brown sued New York City’s Housing Authority seeking to annul its determination on his remaining family member grievance. He claimed the agency erred when it denied his request to vacate a default after failing to appear at a hearing to challenge denial of his grievance. The agency cross-moved for dismissal, arguing Brown was barred by the four-month statute of limitations as he waited more than 18 months to file the instant Article 78 action. The agency previously denied Brown’s remaining family member’s petition after his mother, the tenant of record, died, asserting he was ineligible due to a past criminal conviction. Brown’s ineligibility was further extended by other charges and convictions. He was granted a hearing, but failed to appear as he was incarcerated, and the agency found Brown failed to proffer a valid excuse for his default. The court agreed that the proceeding was time-barred as Brown did not file the petition until 14 months after the limitations period expired. It also concluded that even if the petition was considered on the merits, Brown was ineligible for a lease as a remaining family member due to his past criminal convictions, finding the Housing Authority’s denial rational and dismissing the complaint.