[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Ithaca 4-1-1998 by Ord. No. 98-3. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Common Council finds that:
The Common Council of the City of Ithaca is concerned about the use of rental properties located within the city for the purposes of illegal drug use, possession and sale;
These illegal acts have a deleterious effect upon the neighborhoods in which the properties are located; and
The remedies provided in § 715 of the New York State Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law do not adequately address the problems resulting from the aforementioned illegal acts; and the District Attorney of Tompkins County is willing to proceed with evictions pursuant to the attached Ordinance for Eviction for Illegal Drug Use and Possession.
A special proceeding to evict a tenant from leased premises may be maintained upon the ground that the premises, or any part thereof, have been used or occupied for the purpose of using or possessing illegal drugs. For purposes of this section, the term "tenant," in addition to its ordinary meaning, shall include an occupant of one or more rooms in a rooming house or a resident, not including a transient occupant, of one or more rooms in a hotel who has been in possession for 30 consecutive days or longer.
The procedures applicable to summary proceedings to recover possession of real property under state law shall be applicable to any proceeding brought under this chapter.
The following persons, corporations or agencies, may serve personally upon the owner or landlord, or upon his agent, of demised real property used or occupied in whole or in part for the use or possession of illegal drugs, a written notice requiring the owner or landlord to make an application for the removal of the person(s) so using or occupying the premises:
Any domestic corporation organized for the suppression of vice, subject to or which submits to visitation by the State Department of Social Services and possesses a certificate from such Department of such fact and of conformity with regulations of the Department.
Any duly authorized enforcement agency of the state or of a subdivision thereof, under a duty to enforce the provisions of the Penal Law or of any state or local law, ordinance, code, rule or regulation relating to buildings.
If the owner or landlord or his agent does not make such application within five days thereafter; or, having made it, does not in good faith diligently prosecute it, the person, corporation or enforcement agency giving the notice may bring a proceeding under this chapter for such removal as though the petitioner were the owner or landlord of the premises, and shall have precedence over any similar proceeding thereafter brought by such owner or landlord or to one theretofore brought by him and not prosecuted diligently and in good faith. Proof of the ill repute of the demised premises or of the occupants thereof or of those resorting thereto shall constitute presumptive evidence of the unlawful use of the demised premises required to be stated in the petition for removal. Both the person(s) in possession of the property and the owner or landlord shall be made respondents in the proceeding.
Two or more convictions of any person or persons had, within a period of one year, for any of the offenses defined in Articles 220 or 221 of the Penal Law arising out of conduct engaged in at the same real property consisting of a dwelling as that term is defined in Subdivision 4 of Section 4 of the Multiple Dwelling Law shall be presumptive evidence of conduct constituting use and occupancy of the premises for the purpose of using and possessing illegal drugs, and of the tenant knowledge thereof.
A court granting a petition pursuant to this section may, in addition to any other order provided by law, make an order imposing and requiring the payment by the respondent of a civil penalty not exceeding $5,000 to the municipality in which the subject premises is located and the payment of reasonable attorneys' fees and the costs of the proceeding to the petitioner. In any such case, multiple respondents shall be jointly and severally liable for any payment so ordered, and the amounts of such payments shall constitute a lien upon the subject realty.