The owner, lessee, person in charge, or occupant of any building, structure, premises, equipment or part thereof, where a violation of this code, the 1968 building code, the zoning resolution or of other laws or rules enforced by the department or any order issued by the commissioner shall exist or the agent, architect, builder, contractor, engineer, or any other person who commits or assists in any such violation or who maintains any building, structure, premises, equipment or part thereof where any such violation shall exist shall be subject to an action or proceeding to restrain, correct or abate such violation, or to compel compliance with such order. Upon request of the commissioner, the corporation counsel may institute judicial actions or proceedings seeking such relief. In addition to any other remedies, in any such action or proceeding the defendant or respondent shall be subject to the payment of civil penalties as provided in this code.
Such actions and proceedings may be instituted by the corporation counsel in the name of the city in any court of competent jurisdiction in the city and shall be given preference over pending causes therein. In such actions or proceedings, the city may apply for restraining orders, preliminary injunctions or other provisional remedies, with or without notice; and no undertakings shall be required as a condition to the granting or issuing of any such order, injunction or remedy, or by reason thereof. No court shall lose jurisdiction of any action or proceeding hereunder by reason of a plea that the title to real estate is involved if the object of the action is to recover a penalty for the violation of any of the provisions of this code.
The corporation counsel shall name as defendants the building, structure, or premises where the violation shall exist by describing it by block, lot number, and street address and at least one of the owners of some part of or interest in the building, structure, or premises.
In rem jurisdiction over the building, structure, or premises where the violation shall exist shall be complete by affixing the summons to the door of the building, structure, or premises and by mailing the summons by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to one of the owners of some part of or interest in the building, structure, or premises. Proof of service shall be filed within two days thereafter with the clerk of the court designated in the summons. Service shall be complete upon such filing.
Defendants, other than the building, structure, or premises where the violation shall exist, shall be served with the summons as provided in the civil practice law and rules.
In any action or proceeding founded upon a claim by the commissioner that any law or rule enforceable by the department has been violated, or that a lawful order issued by such commissioner has not been complied with, the following presumptions shall apply:
A certificate in writing by the commissioner, or his or her authorized representative, shall be presumptive evidence of any matter stated therein.
The person in whose name the real estate affected by the action is recorded in the office of the city register or the county clerk, as applicable, shall be presumed to be the owner thereof.
Whenever there is evidence that a person was the manager, operator, or supervisor or, in any other way, in charge of the premises, at the time the violation occurred, such evidence shall be presumptive that he or she was an agent or employee of the owner and/or lessee of the building, structure, or premises.
In no case shall the department, or any officer or employee thereof, be liable for costs in any such action or proceeding; and officers and employees of the department, acting in good faith and without malice, shall be free from liability for acts done in any such action or proceeding.
Any judgment rendered in any such action or proceeding shall be and become a lien upon the premises named in the complaint in such action or proceeding, if any, the lien to date from the time of filing a notice of pendency in the office of the clerk of the county in which the premises is located, and to have priority before any mortgage or other lien existing prior to such filing, except tax and assessment liens.
The notice of pendency referred to in this section 28-205.1.5 may be filed at the commencement of judicial proceedings; provided the commissioner may deem such action to be necessary. Any notice of pendency filed pursuant to the provisions of this code may be vacated and cancelled of record upon an order of a justice of the court in which such action or proceeding was instituted or is pending, or upon the consent in writing of the corporation counsel. The clerk of the county where the notice is filed is hereby directed and required to mark any such notice of pendency, and any record or docket thereof, as vacated and cancelled of record upon the presentation and filing of a certified copy of such order or consent.