Monthly Archives: August 2018

A Housing Cooperative Is a Mini-Democracy

Copyright by, and republished with permission of, Habitat Magazine.

This year, as in years past, the cycle of annual meetings at New York co-ops produced its share of hotly contested elections to boards of directors. And, as in years past, some of those disputed elections led to litigation. A new court ruling has underscored a fact of life that sometimes gets lost in the heat of the battles to gain control of co-op boards: cooperative housing corporations are, at bottom, democracies. The majority usually rules.

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 Condominium – a residential building in Manhattan.

P360 Spaces LLC – the owner of a commercial space in the Condominium (the “Front Unit”)

Patricia and Darren Orlando – the owners of a residential space in the Condominium (the “Back Unit”)

Ronnie Peters – the President and managing member of P360 Spaces LLC

 The Mystery:

The original (2003) Declaration of Condominium stated that the percentage interest of each unit was based upon “floor space and the availability of common elements for exclusive and shared use”.  The Declaration also stated that there were no “limited common elements” appurtenant to the Back Unit.

And the Offering Plan stated that use of the Basement as a limited common element was specifically allotted to the Front Unit.

Who had the right to use the 1,190 square feet of cellar/basement space in the Condominium (the “Basement”)?

Act I: Continue reading


As we enter the last month of summer, bike riding is on many of our “to do” lists.

Accidents and incidents involving bicycle riding are a fertile source of often complicated and protracted litigation – raising a broad panoply of issues relating, among many others, to the duty of care; violation of the Vehicle and Traffic law; the right of way; and the obligation to maintain public highways, streets and roads.  Several recent examples follow:

Gami v. Cornell Univ., 2018 NY Slip Op 04812 (App. Div 3rd Dept. June 28, 2018) Continue reading