ground that ROCAC's Certificate of Incorporation allegedly does not confer upon it the authority to own or lease property in order to provide housing. Although ROCAC's Certificate of Incorporation originally did not explicitly give ROCAC such authority, ROCAC has since amended that Certificate to make clear its authority to administer the Spring Valley Property. See Exhibit 1 to ROCAC's Notice of Motion. Even if that were not the case, New York law is clear that the Village has no standing to challenge ROCAC's alleged lack of authority under ROCAC's corporate charter. See Pellegrini v. Rockland Community Action Council, Inc., 190 A.D.2d 881, 593 N.Y.S.2d 131, 133 (3d Dep't 1993).
3. Whether the Village may challenge the lease on the ground that the families occupying the Spring Valley Property are not truly homeless
Finally, the Village argues that it may set aside ROCAC's lease because ROCAC is not housing persons who are truly homeless, as the McKinney Act requires. The Village argues that ROCAC's alleged failure to house homeless persons renders the Regulation useless to save ROCAC's lease, because that lease is not being used to further the only purpose for which McKinney Act preemption is permissible -- to aid the homeless.
This argument too must fail, because the Village does not have standing to raise it. The lease itself does comply with the McKinney Act; it requires ROCAC to house only homeless persons on the Spring Valley Property. Thus, the Village's argument really amounts to a claim that ROCAC is violating its lease with the United States -- a lease to which the Village is not a party. A nonparty normally lacks standing to challenge noncompliance with a lawful lease. In this case, the Village's apparent lack of standing is aggravated by the fact that the McKinney Act delegates exclusively to federal agencies -- not to local governments -- authority to enforce and administer leases entered into pursuant to Subchapter V. Despite these problems, the Village has cited no authority that would give it standing to challenge ROCAC's alleged breach. Nor has the Court found any such authority. The Court therefore concludes that the Village lacks standing to challenge ROCAC's alleged noncompliance with the lease.
C. Whether the Village may raise a trespass claim against the residents of the Spring Valley Property
The United States and ROCAC seek a declaration that the Village may not claim, as it attempted to in the state court action, that the tenants of the Spring Valley Property are trespassing. I agree that the Village may not pursue such a claim, because the Village has neither title to nor possession of the Spring Valley Property. See, e.g., Sky Four Realty Co. v. New York, 134 Misc. 2d 810, 512 N.Y.S.2d 987, 989 (Ct. Claims 1987) ("Restating what would appear to be most obvious, an action for trespass may be brought by a person in exclusive legal possession at the time of the trespass").
D. Whether the Village can state a claim for unjust enrichment
Finally, ROCAC seeks summary judgment on the Village's cross-claim against ROCAC for unjust enrichment. The Village claims that ROCAC is in violation of its lease with the Army, because the tenants of the Spring Valley Property are not really homeless as required by the lease. Consequently, the Village reasons, ROCAC is being unjustly enriched at the expense of the United States and the Village. As ROCAC points out, however, a claim for unjust enrichment requires a showing that the defendant was unjustly enriched at the claimant's expense. See Hutton v. Klabal, 726 F. Supp. 67, 72 (S.D.N.Y. 1989). The Village's only basis for asserting that ROCAC's alleged enrichment is at the Village's expense is the Village's claim that, because the United States might otherwise sell the Spring Valley Property to a potential taxpayer, "local taxpayers are being deprived of a real estate tax ratable that could provide substantial revenue." Village's Answer and Counter Claim P 16. I agree with ROCAC that this alleged injury is too speculative and hypothetical to credit, particularly in light of the fact that, even if the United States voided ROCAC's lease for failure to comply with its terms, the McKinney Act would still require the United States to give priority to using the property to provide housing for the homeless, which renders the property's sale and consequent tax revenues for the Village highly speculative.
For the reasons stated above, the United States' motion for summary judgment is hereby granted to the United States on Count I
of the Complaint. ROCAC's motion for partial summary judgment is also granted on the following Counts: (1) On ROCAC's Third Cross-Claim, the Village has no standing to challenge ROCAC's authority under its Certificate of Incorporation; (2) On ROCAC's Fourth Cross-Claim, the cited federal regulation preempts local zoning ordinances and ROCAC consequently may not enforce those zoning ordinances against ROCAC's use of the Spring Valley Property under the lease; (3) on ROCAC's Fifth Cross-Claim, ROCAC has not violated any federal regulation cited to the Court by the Village; (4) on ROCAC's Sixth Cross-Claim, the Village may not assert a trespass claim against the tenants of the Spring Valley property; and (5) on the Village's Cross-Claim against ROCAC, the Village has not stated a claim for unjust enrichment, because the Village has not stated any facts to show that ROCAC was enriched at the Village's expense. The parties are directed to consult with each other and to submit to the Court by September 10, 1993 a proposed scheduling order for resolving any remaining issues in the action.
DATED: New York, New York
August 27, 1993
Kimba M. Wood
United States District Judge