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Buffalo New York Legal Blog

Illegal Lockouts

Landlords will sometimes ask if they can simply change the locks on their deadbeat tenants. I have to very quickly advise the landlord not to do that, or else.

Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law § 711 states that "[a] tenant ... shall not be removed from possession except in a special proceeding." In instances where a landlord (or an agent of the landlord) simply changes the locks, or otherwise bars a tenant from being in possession of the premises, the eviction will be considered illegal, and will subject the landlord to civil damages. Carter v. Andriani, 84 A.D.2d 513, 443 N.Y.S.2d 157 (1st Dept. 1981).


DWI Checkpoints

Making the rounds on the internet recently was a story of a viral video featuring an attorney in Florida rolling through a DUI checkpoint in that state with a sign on his window stating he wished to remain silent, refusing to consent to any searches, and that he wanted to speak to an attorney. It has created something of a stir in the legal community about whether or not this is an instructional on how to assert your rights to the police. 

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