NLS Case Results in Court Fining Landlord More Than $2,500 For Engaging in Self-Help

A.P. contacted NLS in late January of 2021. She told us she had lost electricity to the house she rented, which also meant she didn’t have heat.  A.P. tried to contact her landlord, Ralph Pescrillo, but without success.   

We reached out to an attorney, who represented a limited liability company owned by Mr. Pescrillo’s, to get the electricity turned on.   He told us that Mr. Pescrillo refused to restore the electricity.  Mr. Pescrillo falsely claimed that A.P.’s tenancy had ended and that that criminal activity was occurring in the home. 

As a result, Matt Finamore, an attorney with NLS, went to court to help A.P.  At the court hearing, Mr. Pescrillo, who represented himself, was hostile and refused to restore Ms. Proctor’s utilities. He acted so poorly that the judge stopped the hearing and ordered that written submissions be submitted. 

On March 22, 2021, the Honorable Danielle M. Restaino issued a decision.  The decision:   

  • ordered Mr. Pescrillo to restore the electricity to A.P.’s home; 
  • fined Mr. Pescrillo $2,500.00  
  • fined Mr. Pescrillo an additional $100 per day, beginning on February 1, 2021, the date that Mr. Pescrillo learned of the outage, and continuing until the utilities were restored.  

On March 30, 2021, Mr. Pescrillo restored A.P.’s electricity. 

This order sends a strong and unequivocal message that the City of Niagara Falls will not stand for landlords engaging in self-help eviction.  To read the opinion, click here.  If you have been the victim of a landlord engaging in self-help, contact NLS at 716-847-0650.