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County of Suffolk v. Givens

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

May 22, 2013

County of Suffolk, respondent,
v.
Jamell Givens, et al., appellants, et al., defendants. Index No. 13978/09

Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo, LLP, Riverhead, N.Y. (Barbara L. Hall of counsel), for appellant

Jamell Givens, and Conforti & Waller, LLP, Southampton, N.Y. (Anthony T. Conforti of counsel), for appellant

Hudson City Bancorp, Inc., doing business as Hudson City Savings Bank (one brief filed). Dennis M. Brown, County Attorney, Hauppauge, N.Y. (Michael A. Amoroso of counsel), for respondent.

MARK C. DILLON, J.P. CHERYL E. CHAMBERS L. PRISCILLA HALL SYLVIA HINDS-RADIX, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

In an action for the determination of claims to real property pursuant to RPAPL article 15, the defendants Jamell Givens and Hudson City Bancorp, Inc., doing business as Hudson City Savings Bank appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Whelan, J.), dated June 23, 2010, which granted the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining them from leasing the subject property.

ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the facts and in the exercise of discretion, with costs, and the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction is denied.

To be entitled to a preliminary injunction, a movant must establish (1) a likelihood of success on the merits, (2) irreparable injury absent granting the preliminary injunction, and (3) a balancing of the equities in the movant's favor (see 306 Rutledge, LLC v City of New York, 90 A.D.3d 1026, 1028). The purpose of a preliminary injunction is to maintain the status quo and prevent the dissipation of property that could render a judgment ineffectual (see Board of Mgrs. of the Britton Condominium v C.H.P.Y. Assoc., 101 A.D.3d 917, 918; Dixon v Malouf, 61 A.D.3d 630). A movant must satisfy each requirement with "clear and convincing evidence" (Apa Sec., Inc. v Apa, 37 A.D.3d 502, 503). "The decision to grant or deny a preliminary injunction lies within the sound discretion of the Supreme Court" (Arcamone-Makinano v Britton Prop., Inc., 83 A.D.3d 623, 625; see Blinds & Carpet Gallery, Inc. v E.E.M. Realty, Inc., 82 A.D.3d 691, 692; Rowland v Dushin, 82 A.D.3d 738, 739).

Here, the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that it would suffer irreparable injury in the absence of a preliminary injunction prohibiting the appellants from leasing the subject premises. Although the plaintiff alleges that it might be subject to liability in the event that a tenant is injured at the premises and brings suit, it failed to show that this potential harm was imminent and not remote or speculative (see Rowland v Dushin, 82 A.D.3d at 739; Trump on the Ocean, LLC v. Ash, 81 A.D.3d 713, 716; Family-Friendly Media, Inc. v Recorder Tel. Network, 74 A.D.3d 738, 739; Golden v Steam Heat, 216 A.D.2d 440, 442). The plaintiff's conclusory assertion that leasing the subject premises would render a future judgment in its favor ineffectual was also insufficient to establish that it would suffer an irreparable injury if a preliminary injunction were not granted. Accordingly, the Supreme Court improvidently exercised its discretion in granting the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction.

DILLON, J.P., CHAMBERS, HALL and HINDS-RADIX, JJ., concur.


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