Judge Rules That Man Cannot Evict Stepchildren
Feb. 24, 1987
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) _ A judge has blocked a man's attempt to evict his teen-age stepchildren because they allegedly damaged his property.
Saying he had never heard of a case like it, Nassau County District Judge Murray Pudalov ruled Monday that Joseph F. Nagle, 49, of Massapequa, could not evict the children because they are not tenants.
He based his decision on a ruling that found that as long as a marriage stands, the husband has the obligation to support his wife and her children.
Val Cherkoss, attorney for Nagle's wife, Elizabeth, 44, said her husband sought to evict her 17-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter by a previous marriage in order to drive Mrs. Nagle out.
''Mr. Nagle does not have grounds for divorce,'' Cherkoss said. ''He's trying a back door, trying to evict her children, knowing that she would have to leave the house with them.''
The parents and children continue to live together in the home, but Cherkoss said the relationship is ''less than tolerable.''
Nagle's attorney, John Hallissey said, ''It is our contention that Mr. Nagle does not have to live for the rest of his life with two children who despise him and do not respect his property,'' the New York Daily News reported today.
Nagle had sought to evict the children on the grounds that they were living at the home only with his permission. He testified Dec. 10 that he served the children in October with a 10-day notice to leave the home, Pudalov said.
The judge said that if either side files for divorce, any attempts to change living obligations must be decided in Family Court or state Supreme Court.
''From the testimony at trial, the court can only surmise that the genesis of this summary proceeding is the matrimonial discord between petitioner and his wife,'' the judge said.