NEW YORK -- A New York housing judge said some landlords and their agents are lying to get people in military service evicted from their homes, and he has asked federal and state authorities to investigate.
In a decision made public last week, Judge Richard Braun said he looked at 300 applications for evictions based on unpaid rent and found a high percentage of affidavits in which landlords' investigators falsely stated the tenant was not in military service.
Some people serving in the Persian Gulf may have already been evicted, he said.
Federal and state law require that eviction applications include a sworn statement about the tenant's military status.
Judges can stay eviction proceedings for 90 days for active-duty service personnel. Also, military people may have their cases reopened 90 days after they leave the service.
Braun said it is "particularly reprehensible at this time" that with tens of thousands of New Yorkers serving in the Middle East, landlords' investigators would perjure themselves to get military people evicted.
Braun commented in an earlier decision in which he ruled that the military service affidavit concerning tenant Robin Cherry was deficient.
The judge said he asked Cherry whether she had told the investigator on Dec. 15, 1990, that she was not in the military and she said that conversation never occurred.
"Almost every other respondent-tenant who showed up in court for an inquest hearing also stated on the record that the Affidavit of Investigation in his or her proceeding was untrue," wrote Braun.
Braun said he wrote letters asking the U.S. attorney and the district attorney in Manhattan to investigate the claims about the evictions.