One of the more obvious changes in our culture over the last few years is the increasing acceptance of companion animals. That cultural change has proven so pervasive that it has even trickled down to eviction proceedings. New York City has amended the statute governing Marshals who are executing a warrant of eviction to include an additional step aimed at promoting the welfare of animals.
Historically, RPAPL 749 has required Marshals to serve a 72-hour Marshal’s notice before they execute on a warrant or eviction. Recently, on August 23, 2018, Governor Cuomo signed and passed an amendment to RPAPL 749, which adds an additional requirement before executing a Marshal’s warrant of eviction.
Marshal shall check the property for the presence of a companion animal prior to executing such warrant of eviction, and coordinate with such person or persons to be evicted or disposed to provide for the safe and proper care of such companion animal or animals. If such person to be evicted or dispossessed cannot be found after reasonable efforts are made to coordinate with such persons, or such person is found and declines to take possession of such animal or animals, such officer shall promptly coordinate with a duly incorporated humane society, duly incorporated society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or a pound maintained by or under contract or agreement with the municipality in which the animal was found for the safe removal of such companion animal or animals.
Such officer shall make reasonable efforts to provide notice to the person or persons to be evicted regarding the location of such companion animal or animals. Disposition of such companion animal or animals shall be in accordance with the provisions of Section 117 and 374 of the agriculture and markets law, and all other laws, rules, and regulations that govern the humane treatment of animals.
It is important that landlords inform the Marshal or their attorneys of any known companion animals before they commence an eviction proceeding, particularly before they execute on any Marshal’s warrant of eviction.
Jordi Fernandez Law, P.C.
420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 2920
New York, NY 10170