Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 1, 2012

Fed. Dist. Ct in NY Dismisses Congregation’s Lawsuit Over Permit Revocation for Catering Operation on Collateral Estoppel Grounds

Yeshiva Imrei Chaim (Congregation), owner and operator of a religious school and synagogue in Brooklyn commenced a lawsuit in federal court alleging it experienced disparate treatment by the City of New York concerning the use of a catering establishment in the building.  The City Department of Buildings (DOB) issued a certificate of occupancy in 1999 to allow the basement to be used for the catering operation, but in 2002 the DOB reexamined the basement and determined that since the building was in a residential district, it could not include the catering operations.  In 2005, DOB filed an action before the Board of Standards and Appeals to revoke the designation.  Later the same year, the Congregation filed for a variance to allow it to continue the catering operation. The Board denied the Congregation’s request and approved DOB’s request to remove the designation. In 2007, the Congregation brought an action in state court challenging the removal of the designation, which was denied and they failed to continue to appeal the opinion. In 2010, the Congregation filed the present action in federal court. The District Court granted summary judgment to the City, holding that collateral estoppel applied, and it declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction on the state law claims.

Yeshiva Imrei Chaim Viznitz of Boro Park v City of New York, 2011 WL 3273273 (S.D.N.Y. 7/27/2011).

Hat Tip to Environmental Law In New York (November 2011) from which this abstract is excerpted.

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