There are multiple potential issues involved with an eviction. The primary interest here seems to be landlord repossession of the premise; there is also potentially collection of rents owed, and official termination of the tenancy. This identifies three landlord interests, the latter two of which are not addressed by tenant leaving. Tenant may have unlawfully broken the lease. Landlords have limited rights over their property, and cannot "evict or fail to renew a lease, whether it is a written or an
oral lease without good cause" (a matter that the court decides). The landlord's suit can result in "A Judgment for
Possession [which] ends the tenancy and allows the landlord to have the tenant evicted from the rental
premises" – the suit thus accomplishes two things. If a tenant (later) pays the owed rent, the tenancy still exists and tenant can move back in. This is the interpretation that is most favorable to the landlord.
80 West Century LLC v. Drossos Lorenzo
recites in §II numerous prior rulings regarding mootness, that
"Mootness is a threshold justiciability determination rooted in the notion
that judicial power is to be exercised only when a party is immediately
threatened with harm", that "Courts 'normally will not entertain
cases when a controversy no longer exists and the disputed issues have become
moot'", and that
"An issue is 'moot when [the]
decision sought in a matter, when rendered, can have no practical effect on the
"In a summary dispossess action, 'the court's jurisdiction is limited to
determining the issue of the landlord's right to possession of the premises'", citing Daoud v. Mohammad. Specifically,
The landlord's repossession of the premises, either by execution of a
warrant for removal or a voluntary vacation of the premises, renders
moot an appeal from the JOP. Accordingly, we ordinarily dismiss as
moot an appeal challenging an eviction when the tenant was removed
from or otherwise vacated the premises.
In Daoud, the court states that
Because the court's jurisdiction is limited to determining the issue
of the landlord's right to possession of the premises, and, as
previously noted, the tenant vacated the premises and the premises
have been re-rented, the issue can no longer be determined.
In 80 West Century, citing Daoud, the court notes that
An evicted tenant may seek in the Law Division damages arising from a
which identifies what controls mootness: court jurisdiction. Special Civil Court is a more-efficient limited jurisdiction court. As stated in Daoud,
such actions [in the Special Civil Part] are statutory proceedings
designed to accord landlords an expeditious and inexpensive means of
regaining possession of leased premises as authorized by statute.
If the only issue is repossession and plaintiff selects Special Civil Court, then the motion is moot.