Category Archives: Uncategorized

Contentious Clamoring at Cipriani Club Condo on Wall Street Did Unit Owner State Claim Against Neighboring/Tenant?

In an action seeking permanent injunctive relief upon claims for breach of contract, nuisance, and trespass, Sabrina Santoro and Antonio Micalizzi, owners of a Manhattan condominium unit, alleged that the tenants of a neighboring unit owned by Luigi Rosabianca had caused excessive noise and odors to emanate from his unit and that the  Board of Managers of Cipriani Club Residences at 55 Wall Condominium and First Service Realty, Inc.  had not sufficiently addressed their complaints. The board and building manager answered the complaint. Santoro/Micalizzi moved for leave to enter a default judgment against Rosabianca and John Does 1-10, the fictitious name afforded his tenants.

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Neighbors Sue Over Adjoining Driveway Easement Dispute

Did Chain Link Fence Cross Shared West 11th St. Property Line?  

Ribao Xiao and Nina Cheung are owners of neighboring real estate in Brooklyn. The two houses are positioned in such a manner that there is a driveway running vertically and parallel to their properties from the street into the backyard.

Xiao, proceeding pro se, filed a verified complaint  against Cheung with  fifteen allegations of fact in support of two causes of action. The first cause of action was for a permanent injunction. The second cause of action was for a declaratory judgment.

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Siblings Dispute Ownership of Corporation Created by Dad:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Was Stock Certificate to Son a Gift or Forgery?

It is not unusual for intra-family exchanges, gifts and transactions to be implemented without the formalities required by law. But, as a recent case illustrates, the Court may have to sort out intentions and consequences where the facts are in dispute, the acts or documents are not clearly dispositive, and conflicting outcomes are suggested.

In 1989, Abraham Lurie incorporated Lurie Management Corp., naming himself as sole owner and shareholder. In 2018, Neil Lurie, Abraham’s son, received a letter from Abraham’s attorney stating that Abraham had transferred his ownership of the stock of LMC to three trusts: 49% to Neil Lurie Trust (which was created by Abraham for the benefit of Neil), 25.5% to Susan Lurie Trust (which was created by Abraham for the benefit of his daughter Susan Lurie) and 25.5% to Leila Lurie Trust (which was created by Abraham for the benefit of his daughter Leila Lurie).

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Residential Tenant Vacates Apartment Before End of Lease Term:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Did Landlord Have/Fulfill Duty to Mitigate Damages by Reletting?

In 2019, the New York State Legislature amended the Real Property Law to mandate that landlords “shall, in good faith and according to the landlord’s resources and abilities, take reasonable and customary actions to rent the premises” vacated by a tenant during the term of a residential lease. Thus, landlords under residential leases now have the same obligations as commercial landlords to attempt to mitigate their damages when a tenant vacates the premises in violation of the lease. Needless to say, as a recent case illustrates, the Court may be called upon to determine if the actions taken by a landlord to re-let a vacated apartment were reasonable and customary.

The 14 East 4th Street Unit 509 LLC moved for partial summary judgment on its first and fourth causes of action, for breach of contract for unpaid rent and attorney’s fees, respectively, as well as to dismiss affirmative defenses and counterclaim of Michael Toporek—who opposed the motion and cross-moved for summary judgment on all East 4th’s causes of action and on his counterclaim.

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Declaration/By-Laws Meet Arbitrary/Unreasonable at Madison Ave Condo:

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

Did Prior Practice Trump Governing Language in Facade Signage Dispute?

New York City abounds in mixed-use condominiums where the rights and obligations of the commercial and residential unit owners are often meticulously defined in the declaration and by-laws. But disputes nevertheless often arise where those living in the building take issue with conduct of those doing business there. And, as a recent case illustrates, the scrupulous detail of the governing documents may not be dispositive where a prior course of conduct arguably suggests otherwise.

The Board of Managers of the 80th at Madison Condominium sued 1055 Madison Avenue Owners LLC for violating the condominium’s Declaration and By-Laws by affixing signage to the granite exterior facade of the building located at 45 East 80th Street without their approval. The Board sought to compel Owners to remove the signage.

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It All Came Out in the Wash: Consignment Dispute Over Persian Rug

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Mundane business transactions involving relatively small amounts may nevertheless raise a variety of factual and legal issues. And, as a recent case illustrates, what started as a garden variety case arising out of the consignment of a Persian rug to a dealer became a far more complicated dispute with the passage of time.

Jahanshah Josh Nazimayal and Rugs and Kilim Corp. are carpet dealers. Peter Lentz owns a Persian Mahal rug. Pursuant to a consignment agreement dated June 21, 2011, Nazimayal and Kilim acknowledged receiving Lentz’s rug and agreed to try to sell it for a 20% commission.

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Yellowstone Proceedings and the Pandemic: Do COVID-19 Mandates Frustrate Performance?

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

The legal press is rife with articles and speculation about the defenses of impossibility and/or frustration of performance to lease defaults triggered by state and local mandates prohibiting or limiting access to businesses. A decision released last week addressed that issue.

Rame, LLC leased space at 200 Park Avenue from Metropolitan Realty Mgt., Inc.

In September 2020, Metropolitan sent Rame a notice of default, alleging that it owed unpaid rent from December 1, 2017 through September 1, 2020 in the amount of $1,863,821.70, and set a deadline of on or before September 14, 2020 to cure the default. Rame sought a Yellowstone injunction tolling the time to cure.

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Court Declines to Stop Illegal Parties During the Pandemic

This was originally posted on the SGR Blog.

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

Most of the litigation triggered by the coronavirus pandemic so far has involved business disputes – over the terms of commercial leases, for instance, or over claims for business-interruption coverage that were denied by insurance carriers. But a recent decision in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn could be the harbinger of a coming wave of COVID-inspired lawsuits in residential properties, including co-ops and condominiums.

In a residential building at 100 S. 4th St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the owner claimed a resident was a “long-term disrupter” who hosted numerous large gatherings in his apartment, endangering the lives of other residents and brazenly flouting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “New York State on Pause” Executive Order that went into effect March 22. That order stated: “Non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time.”

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