Apr 15, 2019

“Baseball is a game of inches.” Branch Rickey

Land Surveyor

And often so is construction. A recent case illustrates the point: A Romanian Orthodox Christian Church in Elmhurst, Queens is adjacent to a construction site. Defendants were building a substantial residential apartment building next door. For construction to proceed, a retaining wall was built very close to the Church property line. The Church hired a professional… Read more


Mar 21, 2019

Behold the “Litigation Hold”

Litigation Hold

You are an officer, director/manager or agent for a corporation, limited liability company or residential cooperative/condominium. You occasionally receive garden-variety  claims for  personal injuries (e.g. slip-and-falls).  And from time-to-time more threatening claims (e.g. discrimination, breach of fiduciary duty). First thing first: immediately notify your liability insurance carrier in writing.  And second: preserve all hard copy and electronic documents… Read more


Mar 15, 2019

Court-Imposed Access for “Underpinning” Next Door

Underpinning - extension of the foundation of one's property

CUCS Housing Development Fund Corporation  and several related entities sued under RPAPL § 881  for Court-imposed  access, for the  purpose of underpinning  a neighboring property on West 12th Street owned by  Clifford S. Aymes.  Underpinning is  the extension of the foundation of one property to below the foundation of a neighboring parcel. CUCS was trying to begin a construction project… Read more


Mar 8, 2019

And on the Third Day…

land disputes

Dry land has been around—well, according to the Bible,  since the third day of the Creation.  So it is not surprising that land disputes relating to ownership of real property often have their “Genesis”  in facts, circumstances, and documents with an ancient pedigree.  A recent case, in which the Town of Southampton and the Freeholder… Read more


Feb 11, 2019

Co-op Boards Are Not Quality-Control Watchdogs

Co-op apartment in need of renovation

Copyright by, and republished with permission of, Habitat Magazine. Wade and Vanessa Johnson thought they were getting a “triple mint” luxury unit when they bought a gut-renovated apartment from the sponsor of a cooperative conversion at 1150 Fifth Avenue. But after the closing, the Johnsons learned that there were numerous conditions in the apartment that… Read more


Feb 7, 2019

Automatic Stay of Federal Judgments Extended to 30 days

Rule 62: Automatic Stay of Judgement

Rule 62 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure[1] addresses a stay of proceedings to enforce a judgment. Amendments to Rule 62 became effective on December 1, 2018. The amendments reorganize the Rule somewhat, clear up some confusing timing issues, and replace the term “supersedeas bond” with “bond or other security.” As to timing, amended… Read more


Jan 18, 2019

Nuisance on Central Park West

Smoking violated condominium by-laws

A Central Park West condominium sued the owner of a first-floor unit and her son for breach of contract and nuisance. The Board wanted to enjoin them from smoking marijuana and making excessive noise in their unit. At the outset, the Supreme Court issued a preliminary injunction that prohibited defendants from smoking marijuana and permitting marijuana… Read more


Dec 7, 2018

Co-op Board and the Great “Washing Machine” Dispute

Co-op Board vs. Washing Machine

Nancy McCaskill  bought the shares for a cooperative apartment in Mount Vernon, New York in April 1998. At the time she entered into possession a washing machine was installed. In 2014, the Board of Directors enacted the following House Rule 21: The Board of Directors having determined that the plumbing systems of the Buildings are… Read more



Oct 5, 2018

Beware of the “Espinal” Exceptions

Co-op Condominiums

Documents included with offering plans (i.e. declarations, by-laws, rules and regulations, etc.) and other evidence are used to determine whether the board of a residential cooperative (co-op) or condominium or the owner of an apartment is responsible to fix failures in a building system.  Keep in mind, however, that a board or managing agent may… Read more