Should a Relationship Be Determined In Totality and Not by a Single Factor ?
In Classic Properties L.P. v. Martinez, 168 Misc.2d 514, 646 N.Y.S.2d 755 (App Term, 1st Dept 1996) the Appellate Term, First Department, found that respondent was entitled to summary judgment based on evidence submitted which demonstrated "beyond factual dispute the existence of a long-term (24 years), committed family-type relationship between respondent Martinez and the deceased rent-controlled tenant, entitling respondent to eviction protection" under 9 NYCRR 2204.6(d)(3). Id.
This evidence consisted of photographs, correspondence, wills, insurance policies and affidavits attesting to the couple's relationship.
In reaching this decision, the Appellate Term noted that the Civil Court, while acknowledging that respondent's submission was substantial, was incorrect in denying summary judgment based on lack of proof of a joint bank account between respondent and the tenant.
The Appellate Term emphasized that the regulations state that the "no single factor shall be solely determinative" of the relationship, rather it is the totality of the relationship which must be considered. Id.