A Manhattan housing court judge who handles landlord-tenant disputes was listed “for sale” on Internet auction site eBay last weekend, according to news reports.

The New York Times reported that Janet Schoenberg, a disgruntled litigant who is being evicted from her East Village studio apartment this week, admitted to creating the ad, which eBay removed from the site 90 minutes after learning about it.

The listing received bids as high as $127.50 before eBay removed it, the newspaper reported.

Judge Jerald Klein was unaware of the listing, which was posted last Wednesday, and was outraged that eBay would post such an ad. An eBay spokesman told the New York Times that the company cannot screen advertisements before they are posted because of the high volume of trade the Web site has. There are more than 3.6 million listings added to the site each day.

Schoenberg claims the ad was a joke, and told the newspaper she didn’t expect anyone to place a bid. She created the ad to attract attention to her eviction case, which she felt was not properly handled.

Schoenberg said the judge himself was never for sale. She said she included in fine print an explanation that the posting was merely a work of art and that an audiocassette of Judge Klein’s proceedings are what was really for sale.

Judge Klein would not comment on potential libel issues, but told the Times he would be discussing the next step with court administrators.


Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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