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May v. May

Other Lower Courts

January 10, 2008

Joanne Cornell May, Plaintiff,
v.
Craig May, Defendant.

Editorial Note:

This case is not published in a printed volume and its disposition appears in a table in the reporter.

COUNSEL

ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF Gary S. Josephs, Esq.

ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT Mark S. Moroknek, Esq.

OPINION

Emily Pines, J.

ORDERED, that the motion (motion sequence number 001) by plaintiff for a preliminary injunction is granted to the extent indicated below; and it is further

ORDERED, that plaintiff shall post an undertaking in the amount of $100,000.00.

ORDERED, that a preliminary conference is scheduled for February 7, 2008 at 9:30 a.m. before the undersigned.

This is an action by plaintiff, Joanne Cornell May, commenced by the filing of a Summons and Verified Complaint on or about September 24, 2007, essentially seeking to recover possession and occupancy of certain property located at 357 Old Town Road, Setauket, New York (the "subject premises"). The defendant is the son of plaintiff's husband, John May ("May" or "decedent"), who died on September 6, 2007. The Complaint sets forth nine (9) causes of action: ejectment; recovery of value of use and occupancy of the subject premises; treble damages; conversion; intentional infliction of emotional distress; prima facie tort; fraud; conversion; and unjust enrichment. Plaintiff seeks a permanent injunction, enjoining defendant's use of the subject premises and money damages.

The submissions reflect that plaintiff and decedent were the owners of the subject premises as tenants by the entirety, having acquired same by deed dated October 9, 1997 from John May to John May and Joanne Cornell May. The gravamen of the Complaint is that defendant has seized the subject premises, to her detriment and forcibly prevented plaintiff from entering the property. Plaintiff alleges that defendant changed the locks on the subject premises to prohibit her entry and on or about August 23, 2007, two weeks prior to John May's death, defendant unduly influenced decedent into entering into a lease for the subject premises. The lease to defendant was for a period of 99 years at a rental rate of one dollar per year. Defendant recorded the lease in the office of the Suffolk County Clerk. Plaintiff alleges that defendant has converted the subject premises and the personal belongings of decedent therein, to his own use, without plaintiff's consent. Additionally, plaintiff states there is a tenant in the subject premises at a monthly rental of $1,200.00 and that defendant has been collecting the rent.

The papers further reflect that plaintiff and decedent also owned, as tenants by the entirety, property located at 10 Lower Devon Road, Belle Terre, New York. Such premises was the location of the marital residence. Plaintiff further alleges defendant removed certain automobiles from that residence without her consent.

Plaintiff now moves for a preliminary injunction and seeks the following relief: enjoining, restraining and prohibiting defendant from entering upon, occupying or in any way interfering with plaintiff's quiet enjoyment and ownership of the subject premises; enjoining, restraining and prohibiting defendant from attempting to collect or misappropriate rent from any tenant or occupant of the subject premises; enjoining, restraining and prohibiting defendant from removing or disposing of any person property, owned by plaintiff or decedent, from the subject premises; enjoining, restraining and prohibiting defendant from harassing plaintiff; enjoining, restraining and prohibiting defendant from changing the locks to, or in any way denying or interfering with plaintiff's access to the subject premises; enjoining, restraining and prohibiting defendant from enforcing the 99 year lease or otherwise encumbering the subject premises; and directing the Suffolk County Clerk, nunc pro tunc, to void, invalidate and discharge of record the 99 year lease for the subject premises.

Plaintiff alleges defendant has seized control of the subject premises, twice changed the locks, prevented her from entering, removed personal property and misappropriated the rent due from a tenant. Plaintiff asserts the lease executed by decedent in favor of defendant is invalid because she, as a tenant by the entirety, did not sign the lease. Further, ...


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