Monthly Archives: June 2020

Legal Fencing After Motorcycle Collides With a Horse on Route 197

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

The number and frequency of contentious disputes and  complicated and protracted proceedings– involving many parties, claims/counterclaims and cross-claims and a plethora of legal issues — is not limited to multi-tranche collateralized debt obligations litigation reported on the front page of the New York Law Journal.

As a recent case illustrates, an accident involving a motorcycle and two horses that occurred on June 12, 2017, at approximately 10:17 PM, on the roadway in front of 229 State Route 197, Fort Edward, Washington County, had almost as many moving parties and  parts as the most complex New York County suit– even though the key issue related to the height of the fencing around a  country field.

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Precariously Pitched Pipe Meets a Failed Flange at the Madison Square Condominium

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

A high-rise residential condominium community is a creature of statute, characterized by many unique features that both govern day-to-day affairs, on the one hand, while leading to disputes and litigation, on the other.  So-called “common elements” are the responsibility of the board of managers to maintain and repair.  But, as a recent case involving an improperly-pitched/leak-causing pipe between to units demonstrates, what constitutes a “common element” is often a controverted question of fact.

Lisa Goldberg sued the Madison Square Condominium and George Higgins for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and trespass as a result of recurring leaks in her apartment. The leaks came from the apartment above, which was owned by board member Higgins and Ali Reza Momtaz. Supreme Court granted a motion to dismiss various claims in the complaint. Goldberg appealed.

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Business Judgment Rule Not a License to Ignore POA Declaration

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Almost every aspect of residential community life and governance may be subject to differences of opinion, second guessing and litigation— the outcome of which may depend on the application of the “business judgment rule”. But, as a recent case demonstrates, that rule is irrelevant where the contested action violates the community’s governing document.

Peter Beckerman is a homeowner and member of the Lattingtown Harbor Property Owners Association, Inc. The POA is governed by the Board of Directors. On behalf of the POA, the Board entered into a license agreement with another member of the POA, Peter Tully. The license granted Tully the exclusive right to affix his private docks to the POA’s community dock in exchange for a yearly license fee and for services provided to the POA by his company.

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Neighbors at 25 CPW: “Nattering Nabobs of Negatavism”*

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Charges and countercharges by apartment neighbors are commonplace in residential buildings. Occasionally, disputes involve facts, circumstances, personalities and conduct that, as a recent case shows, defy the ordinary.

25 CPW City Views, LLC and Hedy Sloan Stempler sought a preliminary enjoining Linda Cohen from:

(1)  contacting Stempler or any occupant of apartment 18H at 25 Central Park West;

(2)  appearing at the front door of 18H;

(3)  ringing the doorbell of 18H;

(4)  placing any material under the door of 18H;(5)  shouting, screaming, yelling, or engaging in physical or verbal threats directed at Stempler or any occupant of 18H;

(6)  engaging in any assault, abuse, harassment, or intimidation of Stempler or any occupant of 18H;

(7)  going onto the 18th floor of the apartment building;

(8)  interfering with comforts or conveniences of 25 CPW or Stempler; and

(9)  creating or permitting any disturbing noises or activities, including the creation of noxious odors, that interfere with 25 CPW or Stempler’s use and enjoyment of 18H.

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Will the Court Intervene? “[When] Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Some “neighborly” legal disputes are like an Agatha Christie “whodunit”. A recent forensic “thriller” involved two East 83rd Street apartment tenants who had lived in the building for 30 years, a nosy tenant next door and a ubiquitous building super—in a jurisprudential search for the “smoking [one]”.

The landlord imposed a smoke-free environmental policy in March, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, which forced many of the building’s tenants to be home 24/7. Signage in the lobby requested that all smoking be done outside and at least 15 feet away from the building.

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