New York City has become extremely aggressive when it comes to using nuisance abatement, zoning laws and code violations.
The Wright Law Firm aggressively stands up for the rights of businesses facing such enforcement actions. While the original intent of these laws was to shutter illegal establishments, liberal interpretation has led to increased enforcement action. Unfortunately, several court decisions have not favored business owners – further emboldening the New York Police Department to close businesses.
Changes to the law in 1977 made it easier for police and the city to bring a case, requiring only that it show a negative “common fame or general reputation” of a business. The number of nuisance abatement cases in New York City has increased markedly in recent years, from 215 in 1994 to nearly 1,000 in 2011.
Judges overwhelmingly grant these requests, making it critical for a targeted establishment to immediately seek the advice of a New York City business attorney experienced in handling nuisance abatement defense in Manhattan, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Despite the fact that these laws were meant to provide remedial relief, the city is too often getting away with using them in a punitive fashion.
Liquor License Violation Defense
In an increasing number of cases, the city is using nuisance abatement in an attempt to deal with liquor-law violations and noise complaints at nightclubs or other establishments. In such cases, a business may successfully defend itself before the State Liquor Authority, only to be hit with nuisance abatement litigation by the city.
A 2013 ruling by the New York State Supreme Court in City of New York v. Tokyo Pop LLC, sided with the city, no doubt paving the way for many more businesses to be subjected to such double jeopardy.
Establishing a working relationship with your community board may be one proactive approach. These boards influence the outcome of liquor license permit applications through the State Liquor Authority and are often a conduit for complaints about public intoxication, noise, traffic and other issues that frequently culminate in a nuisance abatement action.
Unfortunately, once targeted, a business often finds itself increasingly the focus of inspection and litigation.Certainly it’s in a business’ best interest to proactively address legitimate concerns. Yet it’s of equal importance that an establishment consult with an attorney experienced in nuisance abatement defense to document such efforts. Likewise, an experienced law firm is best positioned to handle nuisance-abatement complaints or liquor-license violations from the outset. Early assertion of your rights and an aggressive, comprehensive defense are your best bet when it comes to protecting your business interests from aggressive administrative action.
At The Wright Law Firm, we represent many businesses on matters involving code violations, zoning enforcement and nuisance abatement defense.
To schedule a consultation, call us at 212 619-1500