Thursday, February 5, 2009

Landlords take next legal step in court

The owners of the 16 buildings in the Highbridge House case (including our building) responded to the court giving them 10 days to file a Motion for Summary Judgment by this week - and filed it on February 5, 2009.

This motion claims that the court should declare invalid the DHCR regulations adopted in November 2007. Those regulations say that just leaving Mitchell-Lama is not a "unique or peculiar circumstance" justifying an increase in the starting rent stabilized rents.

Gluck's lawyer took the opportunity to add the landlords' arguments as to why the judge who now has the case, Justice Alice Schlesinger, should have recused herself (stepped back from the case). The judge had found those arguments unconvincing and denied the landlords' motion for recusal:

The judge's law secretary once worked for the law firm that represents our tenants association, and once wrote a single letter on behalf of one of the other tenant associations involved in this case. That letter concerned when the building would leave Mitchell-Lama, and had nothing to do with "unique or peculiar circumstances." The judge noted that she - and not her law secretary - made the decisions in her courtroom.

The motion is now set to be argued on April 13, 2009.

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