Summons for no permit for window work dismissed

155 – 157 Meserole Street. Image Credit: Google Maps.

Neighbor alleged installation of windows in adjacent property interfered with use and enjoyment of his property. A disgruntled property owner claimed that his property was adversely affected when a neighboring building owner, 155 Meserole, LLC, installed new windows on its building. Leonard Sloninski, who owned the property adjacent to the 155 Meserole, LLC, complained to The Department of Buildings that the new windows lowered the value of his own building and prevented him from enjoying his property. Buildings issued a violation to 155 Meserole, LLC, charging that 155 Meserole, LLC had failed to obtain a permit to install the new windows. The Environmental Control Board dismissed the summons. Buildings appealed the decision, but the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings affirmed the dismissal of the violation.

Sloninski sued the City seeking reconsideration of the OATH decision and damages for nuisance. The City moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that Sloninski lacked standing, should have filed an Article 78 petition, and failed to state a cause of action for negligence or nuisance. The Supreme Court granted the City’s motion to dismiss Sloninski’s complaint and Sloninski appealed.

The Appellate Division agreed with the Supreme Court and affirmed the dismissal of Sloninski’s complaint. The Appellate Division ruled that the action should have been brought as an Article 78 petition, and that Sloninski failed to state a cause of action to recover damages for either negligence or nuisance. In order to claim negligence against a City agency that exercised a government function, one must demonstrate that the City owed him a special duty. The Appellate Division ruled that Sloninski did not prove that the City owed him a special duty.

Sloninski v. City of New York, 104 N.Y.S.3d 634 (2d Dep’t. 2019).

By: Anthony Recchia (Anthony is a New York Law School student, Class of 2021.)



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