Justice Fernando Tapia


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In this summary holdover proceeding by defendant cooperative, plaintiff tenant moved to consolidate this proceeding with a Civil Court summary holdover proceeding while the co-op cross-moved to dismiss the complaint. Co-op asserted tenant’s subtenant, Smith, caused a bed bug infestation in the unit, violating the lease terms. Tenant served Smith with a termination notice and commenced a holdover proceeding in civil court. Tenant argued consolidation was warranted as this action and the civil court suit were based on common issues of fact and law, and that co-op could not show prejudice if consolidation were granted. Co-op, however, claimed civil court was the preferred forum for landlord-tenant disputes, and tenant may assert his causes of action as defense in the pending holdover proceeding. The court agreed with co-op that civil court was the preferred forum to resolve landlord tenant issues as it had a unique ability to do so, noting in the absence civil court was unable to afford complete relief to plaintiffs, there was no basis for an application to Supreme Court. Also, it stated where trial of an action was imminent, as here for the companion case, consolidation should be denied. Hence, consolidation was denied.