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A multiple dwelling shall be subject to a penalty of one thousand dollars if it or any part of it shall be used as a house of prostitution or assignation with the permission of the owner, and such penalty shall be a lien upon the dwelling and lot upon which it is situated.
If a multiple dwelling, or any part thereof, shall be used as a house of prostitution or assignation with the permission of the lessee or his agent, the lease shall be terminable at the election of the lessor, and the owner shall be entitled to recover possession of said premises by summary proceedings.
A multiple dwelling shall be deemed to have been used for the purposes specified in the last two sections with the permission of the owner, agent or lessee thereof in the following cases:
  1. If summary proceedings for the removal of the tenants of such dwelling or of so much thereof as is unlawfully used, shall not have been commenced within five days after notice of such unlawful use has been served by the department in the manner prescribed by article nine of this chapter for the service of notices and orders; or having been commenced, are not in good faith diligently prosecuted to final determination.
  2. If there be two or more convictions in such dwelling within a period of six months, under sections 230.00, 230.25, or 230.40 of the penal law.
In any action to establish a lien or in any action or proceeding for a fine, penalty or other punishment for a violation of any of the provisions of this, article, proof of the ill-repute or the ill-fame of the premises which are the subject-matter of the action or proceeding or of the inmates thereof, or of those resorting thereto, shall constitute presumptive evidence that such use was with the permission of the owner, agent or lessee. The certificate of the department that the building was intended, arranged or designed to be occupied as a dwelling shall be presumptive evidence of the fact that it is so occupied.
Any action or proceeding referred to in this article shall be brought against the premises as defendant. Such premises may be described in the title of the action or proceeding by their street number or by any other method sufficiently precise to secure identification and shall be described in the complaint. The plaintiff, except as hereinafter provided, shall be the department. In case the department shall not institute any action or proceeding within ten days after receiving a written request to do so from any taxpayer in the city, then such taxpayer may institute and maintain such action or proceeding against the premises in his own name, and the court may, in its discretion, require from him security for costs.
Any action or proceeding referred to in this article shall be brought in the supreme court, county court or other court of competent jurisdiction in the county in which the premises are situated. At or before the commencement of the action or proceeding the complaint shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the county, together with a notice of the pendency of the action or proceeding, containing the names of the parties, the object of the action or proceeding and a brief description of the premises affected thereby. Said notice shall be recorded immediately by the clerk. The owner or lessee, or both, of said premises may appear in such action or proceeding and answer or move with respect to the complaint, and the subsequent procedure shall be the same as in other actions or proceedings brought to establish a lien or encumbrance upon real property. Such action or proceeding shall be entitled to a preference in the trial or hearing thereof.
The judgment in such action or proceeding, if in favor of the plaintiff, shall establish the penalty sued for as a lien upon such premises, subject only to taxes, assessments, water rates, mortgages and mechanics' liens as may exist thereon prior to the filing of the notice of pendency of the action or proceeding.
At any time after the entry of any judgment establishing a lien upon such premises the department, if there be no stay pending appeal, may apply to the court for leave to sell such premises. Upon such application the court may order such premises sold at public auction, subject to taxes, assessments, water rates, mortgages and mechanics' liens. The deed to the purchaser shall be made by the department. The justices of the appellate division of the supreme court of any judicial department may establish rules of practice which shall be followed by the department charged with the enforcement of this chapter in the conduct of such sales in such judicial department.
Whenever the lien or liens established by judgment pursuant to this article shall amount to one thousand dollars or more, and there be no stay pending appeal, the department shall appoint a receiver of the rents and profits of such premises. Such receiver shall give security for the performance of his duties in the manner and form fixed by the department. He shall have the powers and duties of a receiver of rents and profits of real estate appointed by the supreme court; provided, that the corporation counsel shall act as his counsel and the receiver shall not be allowed any expenditure for counsel fees, and his commissions shall be ten per centum of his collections, which sum shall be full compensation for his services and those of any agent or agents whom he may employ. Such receivership shall continue until the amount of such liens with interest thereon at the rate of six per centum, and of the commissions, have been fully paid; provided, that nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any prior lienor from applying to the court in a proper case for a receiver of the premises.
If an action or proceeding to establish a lien upon such premises terminates otherwise than in a judgment establishing such a lien, or if the judgment be fully paid, such notice of pendency of action or proceeding may be cancelled. Prior to the termination of such action or proceeding the notice may be cancelled by giving an undertaking.