Court Denies Residential Board’s Request For Injunction Invalidating Budget And Condominium Board’s Request For Injunction Granting Access
In a recent litigation involving two Condominiums located in the same Manhattan building, each Board of Managers moved for a preliminary injunction against the other. The court denied the relief sought by both sides. OA Manhattan LLC, v. Condominium Board of Managers of Cassa NY Condominium, 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3766, 2015 N.Y. Slip Op. 31930(U) (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. Oct. 16, 2015).
The building is organized in the condominium form of ownership. The Condominium, governed by a Board of Managers (the “Condominium Board”), includes a Residential Unit. The Residential Unit is itself organized as a condominium with its own Board of Managers (the “Residential Board”).
The Residential Board sought a preliminary injunction enjoining the Condominium Board from taking any action against the Residential Unit or its Unit Owners for unpaid common charges assessed under the Condominium’s 2014 budget. The Residential Board contended that notice of the February 2014 board meeting at which the budget was adopted had not been properly given under the By-Laws. The Condominium Board responded that the 2014 budget was actually adopted at a March 2015 meeting, of which proper notice was given. The Residential Board offered no response to this contention and the court held that the documentation established proper notice. The Condominium Board also established that it gave proper notice of liens imposed on units whose owners failed to pay their common charges.
The Residential Board also sought to enjoin the implementation of the 2015 budget because the Condominium Board had allegedly “stonewalled” it by failing to respond to requests for back-up documents and information. The Condominium Board submitted an e-mail in which it had provided a detailed response to the Residential Board’s requests. The court held that in light of this evidence, the Residential Board had not shown a likelihood of success on its claim, as required to obtain a preliminary injunction.
In its cross-motion for a preliminary injunction, the Condominium Board sought access to the floors comprising the Residential Unit. The court noted that another judge had already granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) requiring that access be provided to the mechanical equipment room. The court further observed that under the By-Laws, the Condominium Board was entitled to full access to the entire building. Nonetheless, the Condominium had not pleaded or proved the elements of irreparable harm and balance of the equities as required to obtain a preliminary injunction. Finally, with respect to the Condominium Board’s request for a temporary injunction against the Residential Board’s allowing apartments in the Residential Unit to be used for illegal transient (hotel-style) occupancy, the court found that the requested injunction was unnecessary because the conduct that the Condominium Board sought to enjoin was already prohibited under the Condominium Declaration and By-Laws.