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Judge tosses NYC squatters lawsuit claiming rights to $930K Queens home

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by two alleged squatters after the owner of a $930,000 home in Queens was evicted by police last month.

“The case is over,” the couple’s attorney Rizpa Morrow told reporters outside Queens Civil Court on Friday, shortly after Judge Vijay Kitson prejudged the case. This means that the case cannot be filed again.

“The landlord, the owner, owns the home and has title to it. The people who said they were locked out have walked away from the situation. still have theirs,” she said.

A judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by two alleged squatters who were escorted out of a $930,000 home in Jamaica’s Queens by police last month. james cavom

The two did not appear at their scheduled court appearances.

Julia Fruman, one of the home’s owners, told reporters that although she won the case, the systemic problems highlighted still remain, making the victory hollow.

“We have a huge problem right now with criminals and squatters. Lawmakers need to pass laws to protect people, to protect our people,” she told the Post outside court.

“These criminals are trying to get people out of New York, and that’s not going to happen,” she continued.

“I still don’t think I was given full justice in this case because there are people who broke into my house. They claimed they had property there. How did they get property there? I want to know if you got it.”

The couple spent more than $500,000 renovating their Jamaican mansion as an investment property. Fruman told the Post last week that it cost her thousands of dollars in legal fees to protect her title to her home.

“I want justice. I want these people to come forward. I want them to tell me how they got into the house, how their belongings got there. Yeah, it’s very good for them to reimburse us for all of our time and legal fees, so I don’t know if we’re here today or not, but we accomplished a lot,” she said. said.

The lawsuit, filed March 14, alleges that the men were illegally removed from the home they had legally rented since January from Fruman and her partner, Dennis Kurlyan.

Julia Fruman, one of the home’s owners, told reporters that although she won the case, the systemic problems highlighted still remain, making the victory hollow. james cavom

The alleged squatters, identified in court records as Lance Hunt and Rondy L. Francis, said in filings they had a signed rental agreement, several pieces of mail addressed to their home, and even a fast-food restaurant. He submitted a variety of evidence, including delivery receipts. This is a date within the period in which the men claimed to have lived there.

The unusual legal standoff began in March, when the couple’s real estate broker, Ejonah Baldi, discovered that two unknown men had occupied their Jamaican home and had exchanged locks.

She called the police, and when they arrived, she claimed that Londi and Hunt had been living in a duplex on Lakewood Avenue for months.

Although he was unable to provide any evidence, the men left without incident.

But the next day they returned with a signed rental agreement to rent the house. Fruman and Kurlyand denied this, saying they had already rented it to another family.

The couple provided police with documents proving they were the rightful owners and time-stamped surveillance footage showing the house had been vacant since January.

Officers escorted the men from the premises and the couple exchanged locks. Once inside, they said they found signs of damage inside, including scuffed floors, scratches on the walls and a strong odor of marijuana throughout the home.

The lawsuit, filed March 14, alleges that the men were illegally removed from the home they had legally rented since January from Fruman and her partner, Dennis Kurlyan. james cavom

Then, on March 15, Fruman and Kurlyand received the shock of a lifetime. They were being sued by the men, along with Mr. Baldi and the real estate company that handles his property, Top Nest Properties.

The alleged squatters were granted an emergency lockout hearing in Queens Civil Court on March 22, during which attorney Morrow asked Judge Kitson for a trial, saying the men had “perpetrated fraud.” insisted.

Mr. Kalyand told the Post last week that Mr. Hunt and Mr. Francis showed up at the first court date with “forged documents” that had been culled from public records and hastily Photoshopped.

“They found everything they could and put everything together. The contract they presented was ridiculous, signed on January 1st, starts on January 1st,” he said. .

Mr Fullman added: “I don’t know how they had the audacity to go to court.”

Among the evidence the men submitted to prove they had legally occupied the home since January was a $25 receipt for a Shake Shack food delivery.

The complaint alleges that the men paid $4,000 to cover the security deposit and first month’s rent under the terms of the lease, both signed and on Jan. 1. It took effect.

The Shake Shack delivery receipt was presented in court by attorneys representing two Queens couples who accused them of being “unlawfully locked out” of their residence.

They further claimed that they had “faithfully” paid their rent on February 1st and March 1st.

“This appears to be a true abuse of the court process when so many tenants require court intervention,” Morrow said after Friday’s ruling.

Lawsuit photos reveal some of the items left in the home.
A mansion in Queens owned by Julia and Dennis. Gregory P. Mango

“The court feels he did the best he could in this process…He didn’t put them back in his possession, so I think this is a victory.”

New York City law requires squatters to occupy a property for only 30 days before they can claim legal protection, which can make it very difficult for owners to leave.

Baldi told the Post that the entire case is an indictment of how squatter rights issues are handled in New York City’s legal system.

“I feel like there’s a system in place where you can get a house for free,” she said.

“We just have a few keywords that we can tell the police.”

David Harris, an attorney for the alleged squatters, did not respond to a Post message seeking comment.

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