Litigation Update

On November 16, 2015, Justice Julia I. Rodriguez, of the Supreme Court of Bronx County issued a Decision and Order in connection with the Matter of 4301 Boston Post Road, LLC v. New Cingular Wireless PCS et al., (Index No. 2433/3013). Plaintiff, owner of a large commercial property (“Property”) in the Bronx, commenced the action to compel defendant tenants (“Defendants’) to pay real estate taxes on the Property. Our office represented defendant, Crown Castle International Corp. (“Crown Castle”), exclusive operator of a portion of the Property leased to carriers, and secured a dismissal of the complaint in its entirety.

After joining issue, Robert Gaudioso and Doug Warden quickly interposed a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to CPLR §§3211(a) (1), (a) (7) and for summary judgment pursuant to CPLR §3212. We successfully argued that liability for property taxes rests with the owner of a property in the absence of a clear lease provision to the contrary. While the Plaintiff argued that there was a provision of the lease requiring payment of any taxes on the monthly rental payments, the Court agreed with our position that this provision could not be used to compel payment of real estate taxes. Justice Rodriguez, in dismissing the complaint, held that no real estate taxes were due because “[c]learly the taxes referred to involve any taxes that the landlord might be obligated to pay with respect to the . . . monthly rental income.”

Upon receiving Justice Rodriguez’s Decision and Order, our office helped leverage that positive result and impending counterclaims into a re-negotiated lease with more favorable provisions for our client.