Title Description
Another Appellate Division win for the firm!

In Nassau Property Investors LLC v. Jason Goffe, 2023 NY Slip Op 00429, the firm represented Treasurer's Deed holder Nassau Property Investors LLC and successfully obtained a declaratory judgment of quiet title pursuant to RPAPL Article 15 in the Lower Court.  Jason Goffe appealed, raising numerous constitutional challenges, including due process, insufficient notice, unconstitutional vagueness, and the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment.  The Appellate Division found in Mr. Goffe's constitutional arguments to be without merit and affirmed the Lower Court's declaratory judgment of quiet title.  

Selling Your House - An Important Tip about Title Preparedness

As you prepare and declutter your home for sale, be careful that you don't discard or misplace these types of important documents you may need to clear your title for closing.  Ignoring this tip can often result in time delays and price reductions.

Real Estate Appeal Victories

In 2022, the firm was awarded 2 separate Real Estate litigation victories by the Appellate Division, Second Department, in cases which involved Article 78 of the CPLR, Article 14 of the RPTL, Article 15 of the RPAPL, and 28 U.S.C. Section 2410.

In Matter of A. Ottavino Property Corp. v. Incorporated Village of Westbury, et. al., 2019-10823, the firm represented Respondents Nassau Property Investors LLC and BR Madison LLC to defend a hybrid proceeding brought pursuant to CPLR Article 78 and for Declaratory Judgment pursuant to RPAPL Article 15.  The firm successfully argued that the doctrine of collateral estoppel precluded the Petitioner’s Article 78 action.  The Court found that the Respondents “established that the decisive issue in this proceeding was necessarily decided against the petitioner in a prior action pursuant to RPAPL article 15 to quiet title to real property, and the petitioner failed to demonstrate that it did not have a full and fair opportunity to contest the prior determination”. In the lower court, the firm had argued successfully that, under the facts of this case, due process had been satisfied, since the property owner was provided with notice reasonably calculated to apprise them of taxes due.  The lower court issued a declaratory judgment of quiet title.

In Carr Holdings LLC v. Heriberto Martinez, et al., defendants, Nationstar Mortgage, et al. appellant, 2019-03710, the firm represented Respondent Carr Holdings LLC and had successfully obtained a declaratory judgment of quiet title pursuant to RPAPL Article 15 in the lower court.  Nationstar Mortgage appealed, arguing that Respondent did not comply with 28 U.S.C. Section 2410.  The firm argued, successfully, that there was no evidence presented in the Record that Respondent, a private bank, was an agent or assignee of HUD and therefore Champion may not assert HUD’s rights with respect to any alleged noncompliance with 28 USC 2410.   The Appellate Division agreed, and affirmed the declaratory judgment of quiet title.



As of June 13, 2021, there is a new statutory short form power of attorney in effect with new execution requirements and obligations.  Nonetheless, an existing previously executed power of attorney, if valid when executed, will continue to be considered valid and does not need to be re-executed.  Execution requirements of a power of attorney are complicated and extremely specific, which is why they are best executed under supervision of counsel.

Whether one is an agent presenting a power of attorney, or the recipient of a power of attorney being presented for use, it is important to be aware that it is unlawful to dishonor or reject a properly executed power of attorney without reasonable cause, and that there is a 10 day deadline for action after presentation of a statutory short form power of attorney.  The statute sets forth various reasons for reasonable rejection of a power of attorney, including but not limited to missing signature, invalid notarization, unacceptable identification, and knowledge or belief of the principal’s death or, in the case of a nondurable power of attorney, incapacitation.  The statute also sets forth specific reasons for rejection which are deemed unreasonable basis for dishonoring a valid power of attorney, including that the power of attorney is not on a form prescribed by that third party to whom it is presented.  Care must be taken as unreasonable or wrongful rejection of a valid power of attorney may result in the imposition of monetary damages, including attorneys’ fees.

Preparing for College

Once your child reaches their 18th birthday, they are legally an adult and you as their parents will suddenly no longer have authority to speak with your child’s doctors, access their health or financial records, and make decisions on their behalf.   Therefore, we have always advocated having your 18 year old execute a POWER OF ATTORNEY and a HEALTH CARE PROXY giving you legal authority to make important decisions for them in the event they become incapacitated or incompetent due to illness or other circumstances.  These documents can appoint a parent as “agent” authorized to make medical decisions and handle financial affairs in the event the adult child is unable to do so for themselves.

Today, sending your child off to a college campus during and after the Covid 19 Pandemic makes executing these documents, as well as a HIPAA authorization form, even more important.  So, along with bed sheets and notebooks, send your college student off with some peace of mind by arranging for execution of a POWER OF ATTORNEY and HEALTH CARE PROXY. 


Are You a Tenant in NYS?

Are you a Tenant in New York?

If Yes, here is What You Need to Know About the Housing Security and Tenant Protection Act of 2019

On June 14, 2019, the New York Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) became law. HSTPA has strengthened many protections for tenants while also increasing landlords’ obligations. Tenants may now hold landlords to the higher standards to which they are obligated to under New York State law.

Are You a Landlord in NYS?

Are You a Landlord in New York State?

If Yes, Here is What You Need to Know About the Housing Security and Tenant Protection Act of 2019

On June 14, 2019, the New York Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) became law. Moving forward, HSTPA has increased obligations for landlords while also strengthening protections for tenants. Landlords are now held to a higher standard in regard to how written notice is given, what can be recovered in non-payment cases, and the protocol for self-help and security deposits.

Why include a Trust in your will? *

Why include a Trust in your will?  A Testamentary Trust will allow you to bequest cash and/or property to a loved one, and to have the peace of mind that the monies will still be there for them when they need it, regardless of their circumstances.  

Contracts - Not Just a Handshake

Can you imagine buying or selling property simply based upon a handshake?  Such deals have actually been upheld in other states.  However, since verbal agreements are fraught with a multiplicity of various issues, both evidentiary and factual, here in New York, the General Obligations Law, Section 5-703, requires that conveyances and contracts concerning real property within New York State must be in writing. 


New York State just became a whole lot more Tenant friendly. 

There are new rules regarding notices to terminate, notices of non-renewal, notices of rent increase, notices of non-payment, notices of inspection, notices to commence an action, - even Sheriff’s notices!  Landlords’ obligations have increased, as have Tenants’ protections.  For example, with regard to residential premises, landlords are now limited to collecting only one months’ security deposit and are required to provide written rent receipts in certain circumstances.  There are also significant restrictions on landlords’ abilities to make any changes in rent stabilized property.

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, you need to be aware of the many significant changes made to the law by the new Statewide Housing Security & Tenant Protection Act of 2019. 

Criminals are out there!

Criminals are out there!  Protect yourself with Title Insurance.

     Al Capone, Bernard Madoff and John Gotti are three infamous criminals.  They, and those who have the same mindset, are one of the reasons why the purchaser of real property must purchase fee title insurance.

What is a Title Report?

A Title Report is a document that is produced by an underwriter (i.e.: Fidelity Nat’l Title Co., First American Title, etc.) or an abstract company. It is usually ordered by the purchasers’ attorney after the contract of sale has been signed or ordered when the refinance of the property is being undertaken.

The Importance of Compliance with Your Local Building Department

Whether you are selling property, buying property or a real estate broker, it is imperative to be aware of the local building codes.  Failure to comply with those codes may have dire consequences.

What is a Lis Pendens? A Lis Pendens or a Notice of Pendency is a legal notice that a legal action is pending against your property and that your property has been encumbered by it. MORE>>
Requirements of a 1031 Exchange There are five basic requirements of a 1031 Exchange. MORE>>
Types of 1031 Exchanges There are 3 types of 1031 Exchanges - the Simultaneous Exchange, the Reverse Exchange and (the most common) the Delayed Exchange. MORE>>
1031 Exchanges What is a 1031 Exchange? MORE>>
Condos versus Coops Condos and coops are suitable options for those looking to avoid the hassles and costs of maintaining a single-family home. Although both forms accomplish the same goal in providing homeownership, their legal structures present many notable differences. MORE>>
Trusts & Estates Glossary of Terms * Provided here is a list of legal terms frequently used when dealing with Trusts & Estates, and a simple explanation of their meanings. MORE>>
Living Trusts * The Pros and Cons of Living Trusts MORE>>
Estate Plannning * Read about the six basic estate planning documents which, once executed, can help avoid unnecessary distress, delays or high legal bills down the road. MORE>>
You’ve Been Served You answer the doorbell, and are handed a legal document by a process server.  You come home from work only to discover a Summons and Complaint taped to your door.  Don’t panic. MORE>>
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR vs. EMPLOYEES LABELS AREN’T EVERYTHING – HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY DISTINGUISH YOUR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR FROM YOUR EMPLOYEES Businesses frequently seek to reduce overhead by reclassifying their “employees” as “independent contractors” or “consultants” with the intent of saving on taxes and other employee expenses. Unfortunately, saying it does not make it so. MORE>>
“S” Corporation versus LLC * “S” Corporation versus LLC: How are they different and how are they the same? Why is an LLC a better vehicle in which to hold title to real property and why do more people choose “S” Corporations to form operating entities? MORE>>
Estate planning for young adults Now that your child is 18… An 18 year old, while still a child in your household in your eye, is actually a legal adult under the law. That means that the law recognizes their right to privacy and to govern their own affairs. What does this mean for you as a parent sending your child off to college (or anywhere else for that matter)? Access to your child’s medical records, financial accounts or even their college grades can be barred without your child’s consent. MORE>>
Your Loved One Has Passed. Now What? Your loved one has passed and their assets need to be handled. Now what? MORE>>
Estate planning vs. convenience banking Estate planning versus convenience banking: Does setting up a joint bank account with your elderly parent confer an ownership interest in that account to you, or is it merely a “convenience” account in which you have no ownership interest upon your parent’s passing? MORE>>
Court finds individuals liable under corporate lease In an August 2011 New York County landlord/tenant action, 498 Seventh Ave. LLC v. Easy Street, Inc., it was held that, where a corporation is dissolved by proclamation, and leases are then signed by individuals purportedly in their representative capacities as officers of said corporation, those individuals were to be held personally responsible to the landlord for the obligations incurred under said leases. The Court reasoned that since the individuals purported to act on behalf of a corporation that did not have either a de jure nor a de facto existence, they were to be held personally liable for the obligations incurred under those leases. The Court granted summary judgment to the landlord.

* These forms are not intended for execution, but rather are merely informational.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. All information posted is general advice only, based upon the rules of NYS, and is not intended to be a substitute for personal legal advice. Although information provided here was accurate as of the date of posting, laws change frequently and rules in other jurisdictions may differ. Therefore, readers should not rely upon these postings but should consult an attorney to discuss their specific factual situation.

175 East Shore Road, Suite 270,  Great Neck, NY 11023  Phone: (516) 482-1186