Jeri N Wright Law Office



Jeri N Wright - Experienced Housing Court Lawyer Focusing On Buffalo Housing Court Proceedings For Buffalo, NY & The Surrounding 8 Counties Of Western New York


Buffalo Housing Court & Code Violations

The Housing Part of the Buffalo City Court was created in 1978. Buffalo Housing Court, as it is commonly called, presides over different types of actions and proceedings, including criminal and civil cases alleging Code Violations. A "violation" is the third level offense in New York State, after felony and misdemeanor. Only felonies and misdemeanors are considered crimes, but violations are criminal in nature.

Buffalo Housing Court Penalties

All violations are taken very seriously in Housing Court, and the Penalties that the court imposes can be exceedingly onerous:
- The maximum penalty for a City Violation is 15 days in jail and a $1,500.00 fine per violation, per day that the violation continues (as well as reimbursement for the costs of demolition, board-ups, and/or clean-ups performed by the City of Buffalo).
- The maximum jail sentence in County cases is the same, but the maximum fine is $500.00 per violation, per day.

Your Housing Court Case

If you have been served with a Summons to appear in front of the Buffalo Housing Court, you are likely being charged with violating one or more of:

  • The New York Property Maintenance Code
  • The New York Residential Code
  • The Buffalo City Code
  • The Erie County Sanitary Code
  • or, The New York Public Health Law

Similar to criminal matters, you will first be scheduled for an Arraignment to receive a copy of the charges/accusatory instrument (called an Information), and to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty:
- If you plead "not guilty" the case is scheduled for a trial.
- If you plead "guilty", or are found guilty after trial, the court will adjourn the case to a date in the future for sentencing.

Resolving Your Housing Court Case

The issues to be resolved are whether you were an "owner", and whether the violations existed on the date listed on the charges.

The New York State Property Maintenance Code has a very liberal definition of the "owner" of the property. The legal definition is "any person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property." It includes not only title owners, but also those "otherwise having control of the property."

In Housing Court, this could include property managers, tenants, realtors, mortgage holders, or anyone else having control over the property on a specific date.

Your Buffalo Housing Court Attorney

Jeri can help you navigate your way through the legal process to ensure the remedies chosen by the Court are fair and reasonable.

In order to protect the public interest, the Court may sign:

  • An Order to Vacate, where no one can step foot on the property for a period of time
  • A Receivership, where another party would be appointed to collect all rental income from the property and to arrange for the violations to be corrected
  • An Order for Access, requiring tenants to give you access so that repairs can be completed
  • or, an Order for Demolition of hazardous structures

It is critical that you make sure your voice is heard before the Court imposes a penalty or a remedy in your case. There are many factors that Jeri can help you explain to the Judge as mitigating circumstances.


Buffalo Housing Court Fines


Housing Court Trial Gavel


Housing Court


Jeri will make sure that you understand your rights and options before you step into the Buffalo Housing Courtroom. And, in court, she will fight aggressively to protect your rights and interests!

Do You Have An Issue To Resolve In The Buffalo Housing Court?
For Proceedings Anywhere In The Buffalo, NY Court Or The 8 Counties Of Western New York
Get An Experienced Housing Court Lawyer On Your Side - Contact Jeri N Wright



Jeri N Wright - Real Estate Attorney, Buffalo, NY & WNY

The Law Office of Jeri N Wright

Getzville Office
2350 North Forest Road, Suite 32B
Getzville, NY 14068

Office Hours: 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri
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Lewiston, NY 14092

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The 8th Judicial District Buffalo Housing Court is located within the Buffalo City Court Building:
50 Delaware Avenue,
Buffalo, NY 14202
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