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Addressing the specific and unique needs of today’s niche community of New York's co-op and condo professionals, Case Law Tracker does the heavy lifting—combing through and drawing out the cases most relevant to your needs.

Case Summaries

Focusing only on co-op and condo cases, practicing attorneys in this field prepare case summaries and useful takeaways - helping you understand what the case is about so you can quickly determine if it benefits you.

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Our Quick View feature enables you to instantly determine if the case is relevant to your needs and provides you with a fast click to the full details of the case including judges, case history, as well as an active slip op link to related court documents.

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A pdf Digest of all co-op/condo cases added to the database is emailed monthly to you. Plus, to keep you up to date on what the courts have most recently decided, you'll receive, monthly, an Advance Sheet with case names, decision and docket links, judges, and brief decision excerpts.

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Speeding you to exactly what you need, our robust search offers: a simple quick search; dropdown menus to refine that search; and powerful filtering capability that lets you drill down even further by court, judge, residence, tag, and date.

Advisory Panel

Our experienced advisory committee, comprised of industry-specific experts who truly understand the issues that matter to you, write the case summaries. They know what you need to know and help you get to that information as quickly and easily as possible.

Case Watch

Emailed twice-monthly, Case Watch focus on providing insight on one particularly relevant case—clearly explaining what happened, why it’s important, and what lessons can be learned within. Case Watch reaches two audiences: lawyers who subscribe to the Co-op & Condo Case Law Tracker and Habitat Magazine subscribers (co-op and condo board directors, property managers and other industry professionals).

Case Notes See all

Case Notes provides insight on one particularly relevant co-op or condo case—clearly explaining what happened, why it’s important, and what lessons can be learned within.

First published: Dec 2024
A Win for the Climate

TAKEAWAY Nearly 18 months passed between the filing of the Glen Oaks complaint and the court’s dismissal of it. One of the more interesting things about the Glen Oaks lawsuit is how much the ground had shifted under the plaintiffs’ feet during that period. For example, New York State released its final Scoping Plan under the CLCPA in December 2022, which, among other things, included an entire chapter highlighting the importance of coordinated action with local jurisdictions. “Partnership with local governments,” explained the Scoping Plan, “is a keystone of the State’s clean energy, adaptation and resilience, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mitigation strategies” – a direct (if implicit) rebuke to plaintiffs’ assertion that the CLCPA pre-empted the CMA. As noted above, the Glen Oaks court was convinced that the two laws were not only consistent but should be read together. In addition, the Department of Buildings issued two sets of rules during the interim period that filled in many of the “vague” provisions of the law. For example, under the first set of rules issued in 2022, the DOB incorporated 61 different use-and-occupancy subgroups with different emissions factors for each, hopefully leading to more equitable and realistic emissions targets for covered buildings. With the newly issued “good faith efforts” rules, the DOB spelled out a detailed process by which building owners could seek to reduce or eliminate the annual fines issued for noncompliance during the 2024–2029 period. These rules underscore New York City’s position, contra the Glen Oaks plaintiffs, that building owners should have multiple viable compliance pathways short of just accepting massive annual fines. This decision is by no means the last word on legal challenges to Local Law 97. Not only is it expected that the Glen Oaks plaintiffs will appeal, but there will likely be new legal challenges once the DOB starts issuing fines to non-complying buildings in 2025. Nevertheless, this decision is a landmark in legitimating robust climate policy at the local level.

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First published: Apr 2024
Know When to Fold

TAKEAWAY The most interesting part of this case involves the “seller’s concession” often used in New York to artificially boost the purchase price of co-op apartments. This practice is quite common, and is used so as to create higher comparables for the building. But this court sees through this practice, and seems to indicate that one cannot compare recent sales prices (which include concessions) to a third-party appraisal that reviews actual sales prices. Of course, it may be difficult for a court to ascertain which comparables in the appraisal included prices with concessions and which did not, but as noted by the court, this should be determined by a trial court. Further, this court indicates that it is not reasonable for a board to ever insist on a certain price, if the higher price it demands is established simply by creating the fiction of a “seller’s concession.”

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First published: Apr 2024
Panasia Estate, Inc. V. 29 West 19 Condominium Et Al.

TAKEAWAY: The developer intends to appeal the case to the Court of Appeals, not only to reverse the fees award here but also for a ruling that RPAPL 881 does not empower courts to award reimbursement of professional fees in the first place. Such a ruling would be a significant change in the current law, and so this case should continue to be monitored closely. For practitioners, the Panasia case is a cautionary tale. By starting an 881 proceeding rather than just accepting the terms of the license agreement originally proposed by the neighbors (even though the developer considered those terms to be unfair), the developer only marginally improved the terms of the license fees originally proposed by the respondents, but at the cost of literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and years wasted in litigation. It is not clear whether the current bill to amend Section 881, which has not passed the Assembly or been signed by the Governor, will significantly change the calculus for project owners looking to negotiate the terms of access or whether it would have made any difference in the outcome here.

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