A summary proceeding is the expedited version of a typical lawsuit. The intent of the system is to resolve matters in substantially less time than a typical lawsuit so the parties have limited rights to discovery. Most cases to remove persons and/or businesses from property in New York State require the commencement of a summary proceeding.
In a summary proceeding, the person commencing the proceeding is referred to as the petitioner (as opposed to a plaintiff) and the opposing party is referred to as the respondent (as opposed to a defendant). A notice of petition and petition (as opposed to a summons and complaint) are the documents necessary to commence the summary proceeding.
For landlord-tenant litigation, a summary proceeding will either involve a non-payment proceeding or a holdover proceeding.