The Creston Avenue Bathtub Brouhaha

This was originally published on the SGR blog.

Who has the time and energy to fight about a leaking bathtub? Some people apparently do. In a recent case, a residential apartment tenant (acting without an attorney) prosecuted claims against his landlord for tub-related building code violations relating to the stability of the bathtub and the containing walls in the upstairs apartment.

To resolve the dispute, a Civil Court Judge, his Court Attorney and three Court Officers went to the apartment, a third floor walk-up on Creston Avenue, to conduct an inspection.

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What’s Sauce for the Goose…

This post was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Julianne Allen sued her neighbors Jennifer and John Powers claiming that their two German Shepherds barked incessantly. The dogs’ constant barking at all hours allegedly interfered with Allen’s right to quiet use and enjoyment of her property. The Powers denied the allegations and asserted a counterclaim contending that Allen had repeatedly called municipal authorities with specious complaints in prolonged efforts to make them move or have their landlord, David Bosko, evict them.

Allen asked the Court to dismiss the counterclaim for failing to state a cause of action. Allen argued that the Powers’ allegations sounded like a claim for harassment— and New York does not recognize such a cause of action.

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Terrace Tiff at Worldwide Plaza

This was originally published on the SGR Blog.

Paul M. Lincoln sued Residences at Worldwide Plaza  in Small Claims Court for “loss of use of property.” He sought damages for the loss of use of his condominium unit’s outdoor terrace as a result of renovation of the building’s exterior.

The material facts were not disputed at trial. Lincoln owns Unit 7G at the Residences, a multi-unit condominium building located at 350 West 50th Street, New York, New York. The apartment is 624 square feet, nearly identical in most respects to the other “G line” units above and below the apartment– with the exception of a large terrace adding an additional 1,028 square feet. Given the relative size of the terrace and apartment, Lincoln regularly utilized the terrace for personal use and to host gatherings, particularly during warmer months. For the additional square footage compared to other apartments, Lincoln paid $335 more per month than other “G line” unit owners lacking terraces.

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With This Ring I Do Thee (Sue)

This was recently published on the SGR Blog.

C. Baxter and  Sandra Campos began a romantic relationship in 2006. They divided their time between their respective homes in Connecticut and Manhattan. Possessions were moved between the two houses, including artwork and a Steinway piano, without transfer in title. Campos purchased a 2008 Lexus, which he registered in his name and for which he paid taxes.  Baxter drove the car.

Baxter and Campos got engaged in November 2012. They shopped for a ring and Baxter purchased one for Campos. In January 2014, he presented her with the ring (appraised at $24,000).

In February 2014, Campos sent Baxter a Valentine’s Day card. The card had a picture of her displaying a diamond ring on her left ring finger, with the pre-printed language on the card: “Today Tomorrow Always.”

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New New York Court of Appeals Update (May 2019)

See our latest Court of Appeals update on the SGR Blog.

Neighbor vs. Neighbor at the Newswalk Condominium

Copyright by, and published with permission of, Habitat Magazine

Unit-owners at the Newswalk condominium in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn – a repurposed former Daily News printing plant – are no strangers to strife. When the first unit-owners moved in after the 2002 conversion, they were shocked by construction so slipshod that many of the “luxury” apartments were barely habitable. The condo board sued the developer, Shaya Boymelgreen, for $10 million. A decade later, Boymelgreen agreed to pay an $875,000 settlement and hand over ownership of the building’s retail unit and laundry space. The condominium survived and thrived. 

But strife has returned to the Newswalk. Today, instead of unit-owners vs. developer, it’s neighbor vs. neighbor. Marina Voron and George Argiris, the owners of unit 515, wanted to upgrade their bathroom. They sought an order directing the condo board, its management company, Choice New York, and their downstairs neighbors, Liliana Ariztizabal and Tony Pimienta, to give their plumber and contractor access to common plumbing and other  elements through unit 415. The former printing plant is a concrete structure, and the renovators needed access to plumbing lines in the concrete slab that forms the floor of unit 515 and the ceiling of unit 415.

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Your Tax Dollars at “Work”: State of New York and Town of Oyster Bay Litigate Ownership of Underwater Property

This was originally published on the SGR blog.

Brian Murphy was cited by the Town of Oyster Bay for shellfishing without a permit. Murphy was fishing in waters around the maritime boundary between Oyster Bay and Long Island Sound, ownership of which was claimed by both the Town and the State. Murphy filed suit against the Town, the State, and others. He sought a judgment declaring that the Town-issued citation was invalid because he was shellfishing in Long Island Sound, for which he had an appropriate permit from the State.

The State of New York sued the Town of Oyster Bay for a judgment declaring that the State was the owner of the disputed underwater property. Supreme Court, Nassau County, granted the State’s motion for summary judgment and denied the Town’s motion for summary judgment. And declared that the boundary line between Oyster Bay and Long Island Sound was the line running east from Rocky Point in Oyster Bay to Whitewood Point on Lloyd’s Neck; and that the  State of New York owned all of the underwater lands north of that line.

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Who Let the (Cat) Out?

This post originally appeared on the SGR blog.

David Finn and his wife sued Ashlynn Anderson in Jamestown City Court for ownership/custody of a cat.

The Finns moved to Wescott Street in September of 2018. Around that time, they noticed a white cat frequently wandering onto their property looking for food. The cat was quite thin, and had no identification tags. They assumed that the four year old cat was a stray, named him “Sylvester”, and began feeding the cat in the entry-way of their home. The Finns fed Sylvester frequently for several months before bringing him into their house.

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It’s My Party (Wall) and I’ll (Sue) If I Want To. [It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To. Leslie Gore (1963)]

This was originally published on the SGR blog

Kai and Doris Chang own a townhouse  on East 92nd Street.  A limited liability company (LLC) owns the townhouse next door. The party wall is 40 feet high and was originally one foot thick.

The LLC hired Trident Restoration to do extensive renovations on its property, including relocating the bathrooms and kitchen and altering the building’s plumbing.

The Changs discovered a hole in the third-floor bedroom of the their townhouse; pipework anchored brackets installed on their side of the party wall, running the full height of the building; and another hole on the second floor, directly under the third-floor breach.

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But Only God Can Make a Tree (Joyce Kilmer, 1914)

This was originally posted in the SGR Blog.

Ironically, despite their divine origin, disputes between neighbors over trees often arise and, as a recent case illustrates, become the subject of hard fought litigation.

Shafi Ahmed and Nusrat Ahmed filed a Small Claims proceeding against their Middletown, New York neighbor,. Allen H. Zoghby . Both Parties appeared without attorneys.

The Ahmeds alleged that roots from a tree, purportedly on the property next door  owned by  Zoghby (73 Beattie Avenue), damaged the pavement and driveway located at the front of the house on their property (75 Beattie Avenue).  The Ahmeds also alleged that the tree’s roots were slowly moving under the foundation of their house and that branches from the tree on Zoghby’s property had to be cut and trimmed by them at their cost. The Ahmeds initially sued Zoghby for $3,800.00.

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