FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals – 10/28/08


ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE, PUBLIC UTILITIES, TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS, WATER LAW

In the Matter of Brooklyn Assembly Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Inc. v. Dep’t of Envtl. Prot. of the City of New York, No. 153
In a petition seeking to force city water agencies to provide a statutorily-authorized exemption allowing petitioner-church free use of city water, denial of petition and dismissal of cause are affirmed where: 1) the agencies were not required to expand the scope of the exemption to cover petitioner’s partially-qualifying property; and 2) the agencies were not required to interpret the exemption in the context of analogous property-tax exemptions for religious organizations.

 

 

CIVIL RIGHTS, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Jones, No. 160
Denial of defendant’s Batson challenge is affirmed where defendant failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination in the peremptory challenge of an African-American juror.

 

 

CIVIL RIGHTS, ETHICS & DISCIPLINARY CODE, ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, FAMILY LAW, PER CURIAM

In the Matter of Jung, No. 150
Petition for review of a determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, which imposed the sanction of removal from office as a family-court judge, is denied where petitioner’s policies limiting parents’ rights to be heard and to counsel during custody proceedings were due-process violations, resulting in gross and repeated deprivation of litigants’ rights.

 

 

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, GOVERNMENT LAW, JUDGMENT ENFORCEMENT, TRANSPORTATION

Boudreaux v. State of Louisiana Dep’t of Transp., No. 182
In a suit to satisfy a money judgment in a negligence case by reaching New York assets owned by the State of Louisiana, denial of plaintiffs’ request to amend filing of the Louisiana judgment is affirmed where neither the Full Faith and Credit clause nor the doctrine of comity required New York courts to enforce a money judgment against Louisiana when such judgment was unenforceable in Louisiana due to constitutional and statutory limitations.

 

 

CONSTRUCTION, INJURY AND TORT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

Cohen v. Mem’l Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr., No. 218 SSM 25
In a suit under Labor Law section 240(1), summary judgment for plaintiff is reversed where no Labor Law section 240(1) liability exists where an injury results from a separate hazard wholly unrelated to the risk which brought about the need for the safety device in the first place.

 

 

GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

In the Matter of City of New York, regarding Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area, Phase II, No. 156
In a condemnation proceeding in which the landowner claimed numerous woodworking tools as compensable trade fixtures, an order awarding compensation for the tools is reversed where: 1) the claimed items would not “lose substantial value” if removed from the premises; and 2) on remand the court could consider whether the items otherwise met the test for trade fixtures, under a three-pronged “annexation-adaptability-permanency” test.

 

 

INJURY AND TORT LAW, LANDLORD TENANT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

Litwack v. Plaza Realty Investors, Inc., No. 159
In a negligence suit brought by a tenant arising from the discovery of toxic mold in her apartment, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where the plaintiff failed to present evidence to show that defendants were on notice of a possible hazardous mold condition.

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