Cite as: 25 West 86th St. Operating Corp. v. Blanchard, 570258/11, NYLJ 1202583307093, at *1 (App. Div., 1st, Decided September 19, 2012)

Before: Schoenfeld, J.P., Shulman, Hunter, Jr., JJ.

Decided: September 19, 2012




Landlord appeals from a final judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County (Timmie Erin Elsner, J.), entered on or about January 28, 2011, after a nonjury trial, in favor of tenant dismissing the petition in a holdover summary proceeding.


Final judgment (Timmie Erin Elsner, J.), entered on or about January 28, 2011, affirmed, with $25 costs.

A fair interpretation of the evidence supports the trial court's express finding that tenant had a "deemed two-year lease renewal" through March 31, 2009 and that the signature on the disputed one-year renewal lease proffered by landlord




was not that of tenant (see generally Thoreson v. Penthouse Intl., 80 NY2d 490, 495 [1992]). This finding, resting in large measure on the trial court's assessment of the credibility of tenant's forensic handwriting expert and the weight to be accorded to his testimony, is entitled to deference on appeal (see Levy v. Braley, 176 AD2d 1030, 1033 [1991]). Thus, this 2008 holdover proceeding was properly dismissed, since the notice of nonrenewal was not served during the "window period" prior to expiration of the two-year renewal lease found by the court to be effective (see Ansonia Assoc. v. Consiglio, 163 AD2d 98 [1990]). In light of the court's finding that tenant did not execute the one-year renewal lease relied on by landlord, and in the absence of any showing that it was signed by a person who had actual or apparent authority to act on tenant's behalf, landlord's claim that the one-year renewal was ratified by tenant was properly rejected (see Leasing Serv. Corp. v. Vita Italian Rest. Inc., 171 AD2d 926 [1991]; 12 Williston on Contracts [4th ed] §35:29). Nor did the court err in denying landlord's mid-trial request for the name of tenant's forensic expert (see CPLR 408; Collins v. Greater New York Sav. Bank, 194 AD2d 514 [1993]).

In view of this determination, we need not and do not




address landlord's remaining arguments.