From Casetext: Smarter Legal Research

354 E. 66th St. Realty Corp. v. Curry

Supreme Court, Appellate Term, COCFirst Department, New York.
Apr 12, 2013
40 Misc. 3d 20 (N.Y. App. Div. 2013)

Opinion

2013-04-12

354 EAST 66TH STREET REALTY CORP., A Domestic Corporation, Petitioner–Appellant, v. Michael CURRY and Mrs. Michael Curry, Respondents–Cross–Appellants, and “John Doe,” Respondent–Undertenant.

Doreen Fischman, New York City, for appellant-respondent. Ronald S. Languedoc, New York City, for respondent-appellant.



Doreen Fischman, New York City, for appellant-respondent. Ronald S. Languedoc, New York City, for respondent-appellant.
PRESENT: LOWE, III, P.J., SCHOENFELD, HUNTER, JR., JJ.

PER CURIAM.

Order (Arlene H. Hahn, J.), dated December 6, 2010, affirmed, without costs.

Having prevailed on his succession defense in the within October 2008 licensee holdover proceeding, the first-named respondent is entitled to recover attorneys' fees pursuant to the initial stabilized lease agreement and the reciprocal provisions of Real Property Law § 234. The relevant attorneys' fee clause, found in paragraph 7 of the 1972 lease agreement between the predecessor building owner and the record tenant (respondent's mother), was expressly made applicable, together with the remaining lease provisions, to successors-in-interest of the original signatories to the lease. The provisions of paragraph 7 authorize landlord, in the event of a lease default by tenant, to re-enter the demised premises “with or without the means of summary proceedings,” relet the premises, and “pay to itself the expense and cost of retaking [and] repossessing,” including reasonable attorney fees, with tenant agreeing to pay and “remain[ing] liable for any such deficiency.” While judicial interpretation of similarly worded lease provisions has a long and variegated history ( see Casamento v. Juaregui, 88 A.D.3d 345, 356–361, 929 N.Y.S.2d 286 [2011] ), the law now appears settled that the type of lease clause here at issue is sufficiently broad “to trigger the implied covenant in the tenant's favor pursuant to [Real Property Law § ] 234” ( id. at 362, 929 N.Y.S.2d 286;see Katz v. Jagger, 98 A.D.3d 921, 921–922, 951 N.Y.S.2d 497 [2012] ). Applying the valid attorneys' fee provision in favor of respondent, a successor tenant ( see 245 Realty Assocs. v. Sussis, 243 A.D.2d 29, 673 N.Y.S.2d 635 [1998] ), we sustain the grant of his motion for attorneys' fees incurred in the successful defense of the within petition.

Turning to respondent's cross appeal, we find the limited record now before us insufficient to permit an informed determination of that branch of respondent's application which sought counsel fees incurred by him in defending the prior (2004) “summary” eviction proceeding brought by petitioner—a proceeding ultimately dismissed in May 2008 based upon petitioner's “abandonment.” It is notable in this connection that respondent's rights as a successor tenant, including any right to recover attorneys' fees, “logically must relate back to the date creating his statutory rights, the [permanent vacatur] of the tenant of record” ( 245 Realty Assocs. v. Sussis, 243 A.D.2d at 33, 673 N.Y.S.2d 635), a date which is indeterminable on the record at hand. Contrary to the view expressed below, respondent is not presently barred by the splitting doctrine from asserting a claim for counsel fees expended in the prior dispossess proceeding, where the ultimate outcome of the succession issue common to both proceedings was not reached in the earlier case and any attorneys' fee application therein by respondent would have been premature ( see Elkins v. Cinera Realty, 61 A.D.2d 828, 402 N.Y.S.2d 432 [1978];cf. O'Connell v. 1205–15 First Ave. Assocs., LLC, 28 A.D.3d 233, 813 N.Y.S.2d 378 [2006] ). Given the incomplete state of the record, we affirm the denial of respondent's attorneys' fees motion relating to the prior proceeding, albeit without prejudice to renewal on remand.

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE COURT.


Summaries of

354 E. 66th St. Realty Corp. v. Curry

Supreme Court, Appellate Term, COCFirst Department, New York.
Apr 12, 2013
40 Misc. 3d 20 (N.Y. App. Div. 2013)
Case details for

354 E. 66th St. Realty Corp. v. Curry

Case Details

Full title:354 EAST 66TH STREET REALTY CORP., A Domestic Corporation…

Court:Supreme Court, Appellate Term, COCFirst Department, New York.

Date published: Apr 12, 2013

Citations

40 Misc. 3d 20 (N.Y. App. Div. 2013)
969 N.Y.S.2d 713
2013 N.Y. Slip Op. 23164

Citing Cases

Queens Fresh Meadows, LLC v. Newberry

”It is noted that the lease not only contains an attorney's fees provision, it also states that a successor…

Queens Fresh Meadows, LLC v. Newberry

Twenty Sixth ... If Tenant fails to perform any covenant or agreement contained in the lease, and as a result…