Posted on September 23, 2019

NYC Judge Recommends Landlord Pay $17,000 for Threatening to Call ICE on Undocumented Tenant

Taylor Romine and Mirna Alsharif, CNN, September 21, 2019

A New York judge earlier this month recommended a landlord pay $17,000 in fines for threatening to call immigration authorities on an undocumented tenant.

This is the first case related to housing where threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to harass or intimidate a tenant has been found to be a violation of law, according to a spokesperson for the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Holly Ondaan, the tenant and an undocumented immigrant at the time the case was filed, testified in court that she became “an emotional wreck” when her former landlord, Dianna Lysius, threatened to call ICE and sent demeaning texts because she was unable to pay rent.


Judge John B. Spooner recommended on September 12th that Lysius pay a $5,000 civil penalty, $12,000 in damages for emotional distress and complete 50 hours of community service, according to his written report and recommendation.

Lysius told CNN that she plans to appeal but doesn’t currently have legal representation.