By Eileen Hickey
I am a 71-year-old citizen/comedian/artist in an eight-year divorce facing possible eviction from my home of 43 years, which is maintained by my neighbors and myself, not the landlord.
I am arguing pro se—that is, without an attorney—due to having no money and being on food stamps. My “Leave to Appeal and Request for a Stay of Eviction” at the Appellate Division, First Department, Supreme Court (27 Madison Avenue) takes place on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Please come and support me. Also, call 311 and file a complaint with the Mayor’s office. They will give you a complaint number. Send it to me if you can.
I have had no chance to defend myself. I have never had a trial. I am possibly being evicted for allegedly not filing numerous documents which can clearly be seen on eCourts (eCourts.com/Supreme), Index #155593/2014. My appeal is for a fair trial, to not be evicted for a technicality over a discovery dispute.
Judge Nancy Bannon, in the Supreme Court, Civil Branch at 111 Centre Street, could sign the order evicting me at any time. I have woken up in dread every day for four years feeling like the guillotine is hanging over my neck. I feel helpless and terrified. My own attorney wrote to me telling me of her loss in the Appellate Division: “If you do not pay us an additional $20,000…prepare to surrender [the] premises in advance of [the] impending eviction.” I am now bullied for money, homeless, and penniless at age 71.
There is nothing funny about this oppressive, crushing abuse, with two newspapers’ fabricated articles, possibly planted by my landlord’s attorney and allowed in court by Judge Bannon, as substantiated evidence, not the tabloid fodder they are.
Judge Cooper acknowledged Julia Marsh, one of the reporters, from the bench, when I begged her to come to court so I could give my side of the story. She came, and after talking to my husband’s attorney and Judge Cooper, she did a hatchet job on me. I feel callously and contemptuously treated, never allowed to speak, sent to the back of the room, told that “only attorneys can stand” when I was pro se for two years, due to a lack of money.
There is no due process; I have no protection unless I pay, forcing the sale of my only asset. I have not had a civil liberty since my husband filed for divorce seven and a half years ago. I have been, in two chilling incidents, beaten and jailed, a victim of constant shakedowns for money from attorneys and court-ordered “experts.”
I have suffered numerous legal violations. The ‘level playing field’ was never given to me and ‘[maintaining] the same lifestyle as during the marriage’ is a joke because my husband was given 93% while I received 7%.
Judge Nancy Bannon railroaded me into the Appellate Division and denied me due process, striking the documents I filed. Judges/landlords use unclear laws to evict seniors and get their stabilized units out of affordable housing and return them to market rates—an increase as high as 20%.
Mayor de Blasio must provide attorneys for all tenants in housing court. This is why my landlord sued me in the Supreme Court and why I am now in the Appellate Division, First Department. My landlord has now served the only other stabilized tenant in the building, also 70 years old, eviction papers on a baseless charge.
Judge Matthew Cooper is also biased and has allowed my spouse to destroy my business and ruin my career. He has also kept me away from the business that my husband and I built together over 40 years, leaving me with no resources.
The judges and attorneys have engaged in themselves and allowed my husband, as well as my landlord and his attorney, to implement a scorched earth policy of intimate terrorism such as abusive actions, communications, and litigation tactics designed to intimidate, humiliate, and destroy me. They want me suicidal, dead, and/or homeless, with zero resources.
“Without the state changing rent laws allowing big hikes on vacant apartments, laws will never be respected,” said Edward Josephson, Director of Litigation and Housing at Legal Services NYC. As AARP put it, “It is a frightening story that is becoming the norm.”
How can NYC allow a 71-year-old, hardworking, tax-paying citizen to be evicted, made penniless, and possibly homeless, on a technicality? I have been persecuted, battered, and raped in our court system—a place that is portrayed as just and fair. It is not. Justice is not impartial. In reality, it is oppressive and deceptive.
I am terrified. I need help NOW. I need a pro bono attorney to file emergency papers to stay any eviction proceedings IMMEDIATELY and ultimately get this case dismissed.