25 West 68th Street LLCv.Whitman

Appellate Term of the Supreme Court of New York, First DepartmentJul 28, 2008
570030/07 (N.Y. Misc. 2008)
570030/072008 N.Y. Slip Op. 51610


Decided July 28, 2008.

Petitioner appeals from a final judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County (Sheldon J. Halprin, J.), entered August 1, 2006, after a nonjury trial, which dismissed the petition in a holdover summary proceeding.

Final judgment (Sheldon J. Halprin, J.), entered August 1, 2006, affirmed, with $25 costs.


The evidence adduced at trial amply supports the trial court's determination that Respondent Brook Whitman met his affirmative obligation of establishing succession rights to the subject rent controlled apartment as a non-traditional family member of the deceased tenant. The credited evidence, fairly interpreted, permitted the trial court to find that respondent had lived in the apartment with the tenant of record, his grand-uncle, for more than two years prior to the tenant's death in April 1999; that the two had joint bank and brokerage accounts, and credit cards; that they shared household expenses; that they engaged in social and recreational activities and attended family functions together; that respondent accompanied tenant to medical appointments and attended to him during hospitalizations; and that respondent was a beneficiary of half of the tenant's estate ( see Arnie Realty Corp. v Torres, 294 AD2d 193). The decision of the factfinder should not be disturbed upon appeal unless it is obvious that its conclusions could not be reached under any fair interpretation of the evidence. This is especially true where, as here, the findings of fact rest in large measure on considerations relating to the credibility of witnesses ( see RHM Estates v Hampshire, 18 AD3d 326); Claridge Gardens v Menotti, 160 AD2d 544). The totality of the evidence supports the finding of the requisite "emotional and financial commitment and interdependence" entitling respondent to succession ( 9 NYCRR § 2204.6[d]).