Judge evicts man from NYC apartment, citing urine stench

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 17, 2014 4:55 PM

By Daniel Wiessner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A 30-year Harlem resident who suffers from incontinence has been evicted from his apartment by a New York City judge who said the stench of his urine jeopardized the safety of other tenants.

Civil Court Judge Sabrina Kraus in Manhattan said on Friday that while she had empathy for Michael Edmonds, the other tenants were entitled to live in a building that did not smell of urine or expose them to bio hazards in the common areas.

According to the court, not only did the smell of urine emanate from Edmonds' apartment, but he also sometimes urinated in public areas of the building, and was also fired from his job because of his incontinence.

Edmonds claimed he had suffered from the condition since 2011 and was seeing new doctors and taking medication, but Kraus said he appeared to be unable to handle the condition on his own. Furthermore, three cleanings by a city agency had been unable to get rid of the stench.

Edmonds did not have an attorney. His court-appointed guardian, Roger Moore, did not return a request for comment. Nor did a lawyer for the landlord.

Kraus based her decision in part on a 2007 ruling in which the Appellate Division, First Department, said that a woman who used a bucket to transport her urine to a communal bathroom 90 feet from her apartment had created a nuisance warranting her eviction.

The case is West 141 Street LP v. Michael Edmonds, New York City Civil Court, No. 80375-13.

For the landlord: Peter Rose of Rose & Rose.

For Edmonds: Pro se.

(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner; Editing by Ted Botha and Richard Chang)