September 24, 2023


Where Innovation Lives

State not supportive in legal challenge to county authority in Spring Valley

5 min read


Rockland County Executive Ed Day claims the point out has abandoned the county by not supporting its court fight towards an try to block its capacity to prosecute code violations and difficulty fines in Spring Valley.

Day wrote in a letter dated Wednesday the state Division of State deputized the county to enforce state building and fire codes in the village, but the agency has declined to guidance the county in legal motion brought by a landlord cited by Rockland for additional than 160 violations.

Just before the county attorney’s office environment questioned the court to dismiss the authorized motion by the proprietors of 101 Kennedy Drive, Day explained an assistant county lawyer spoke with the Section of Condition.

“It can be unconscionable and unfathomable for (the division) to direct the county of Rockland to believe administration and enforcement of the Point out Uniform Hearth Avoidance and Making Code and the Point out Electrical power Conservation Building Code inside the Village of Spring Valley and then decrease to aid people extremely functions staying challenged by an irresponsible assets operator,” Working day wrote to Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Ed Markunas, center, director of the Rockland Office of Building and Codes at the Yeager Health Center in Pomona Feb. 14, 2022.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Ed Markunas, middle, director of the Rockland Business of Setting up and Codes at the Yeager Well being Heart in Pomona Feb. 14, 2022.

Letter to state: Rockland County Government Ed Day would like the condition to intervene in the authorized circumstance from the county

Lawful action: Landlord’s lawsuit seeks to block Rockland from implementing Spring Valley building codes

Creating inspected: Rockland turns up 100-plus violations immediately after Spring Valley apartment hearth

By not backing the county, the point out sends the information the workplace is unconcerned with landlords attempting to circumvent the lawful method at the expenditure of life, Working day wrote.

“Your office environment specified us to guide this effort and hard work, and it is your obligation to stand powering the processes essential to get the career done,” the Rockland executive wrote.

The Department of State responded with a statement on Friday: “The Office of Condition is not a social gathering to the litigation involving Rockland County and can not remark on pending litigation.” The assertion failed to address Day’s fears but included track record on the department’s job in putting the county in cost.

The landlord’s attorney, Joseph Churgin of Nanuet, wrote the court docket that he will file papers opposing the county’s movement to dismiss the suit Friday. The scenario is getting listened to by acting Supreme Court docket Justice Rolf Thorsen at the Rockland Courthouse in New City.

Rockland took above inspections on Feb. 14 primarily based on a condition get issued in November. The village experienced a backlog of 800 corporations, condominium properties, universities, and houses of worship that wanted inspections. Some attributes experienced not been inspected for a long time.

Record of problems: Spring Valley creating office brought on condition displays to step in

Inspectors have finished about 450 inspections and located additional than 900 violations, according to the business. Several landlords have been issued fines, together with one for nearly $40,000. The county will consider lawful action if the fines are not paid out.

What is in the suit

The 40-site post 78 legal action was filed by the owners and operators of Region Village Towers in Spring Valley – Jacob Weinreb, NBM Administration, Weinreb Management, and State Village Towers Corp. The Office environment of Making and Codes filed much more than 160 violations discovered subsequent a fireplace to the seven-story apartment developing.

101 Kennedy Drive in Spring Valley March 18, 2022. There was a fire on the top floor on March 9th.

101 Kennedy Generat
e in Spring Valley March 18, 2022. There was a fireplace on the major flooring on March 9th.

The homeowners of a 7-story condominium constructing on Kennedy Generate claim in courtroom papers the county usurped the authority of Spring Valley judges to identify violation scenarios and punishment.

The legal action states the condition edict isn’t going to empower the county to hold administrative hearings on violation fees. The landlord’s Short article 78 also argues the county-established administrative system has a political appointee replacing an elected village justice. The business office can problem tickets for alleged violators to surface in the nearby courtroom, the authorized motion argues.

The Office of Making and Codes’ prosecution of the violations could be blocked by the authorized motion. The submitting also difficulties the county’s legal ideal to established a high-quality of $2,000 for each working day.

A display-bring about order has been issued for the county to exhibit why the legal motion really should not be approved.

What Rockland suggests

The county countered administrative tribunals are used statewide, which includes in the Department of Motor Motor vehicles, Office of Environmental Conservation, and quite a few other point out companies.

Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach speaks at the Rockland Office of Building and Codes at the Yeager Health Center in Pomona Feb. 14, 2022.

Rockland County Legal professional Thomas Humbach speaks at the Rockland Business office of Constructing and Codes at the Yeager Health and fitness Center in Pomona Feb. 14, 2022.

County Attorney Thomas Humbach urged Thorsen in court docket papers on June 3 to dismiss the legal action. Humbach denied the landlord’s competition his constitutional rights under the fifth and 14th amendments would be violated and the nearby regulation is arbitrary and capricious, as it does not deprive the landlord of owing process.

Humbach argued the landlord “fails to point out any cognizable result in of motion and fails to assist their statements with facts …  As such, dismissal is appropriate.”

The Office of Developing and Codes issued the Kennedy Push landlord violations adhering to a March 9 fireplace through which some residents were being trapped on the leading flooring. Police and firefighters evacuated dozens of people from the creating. Four persons were taken to the healthcare facility for smoke inhalation.

Inspectors later on identified what the county stated have been additional than 100 harmful circumstances. They mentioned they identified apartments with residing rooms and dining rooms transformed into bedrooms and exposed wires and faulty smoke alarms.

Steve Lieberman covers government, breaking news, courts, law enforcement, and investigations. Reach him at [email protected]. Twitter: @lohudlegalRead much more content and bio. Our neighborhood protection is only feasible with help from our viewers.  

This posting initially appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Rockland claims NY unsupportive in Spring Valley legal battle


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