Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gag Reflex: At Least One Coney Gag Rule Isn't Legal

Coney Island Arcade

At least one Coney Island gag provision in a lease (though not the one that Thor Equities forced most tenants to sign as a condition of renewing their leases for the 2007 season) has been found illegal. The saga of the Coney Island Arcade is detailed in Time Out New York. Yesterday, Dianna Carlin (Lola Staar) sent out an email about the latest development that said:
Jeff Persily, a land owner in Coney Island, forced his tenants to sign the exact same Confidentiality Clause that Thor Equities forced down their tenants' throats. It is speculated that Jeff Persily is partnering with Thor in their scheme to build Condos within the Amusement District. Manny Cohen has owned the Coney Island Arcade and has been Persily's tenant for roughly 20 years. Manny refused to sign his 2007 Agreement due to this Confidentiality Clause. Persily took him to court to evict him yesterday. At this court date, the judge ruled that the Confidentiality Clause in the Agreement was not legal. The judge told Persily's lawyer that they had to negotiate a fair Agreement and that the Confidentiality Clause was not fair. This is a very significant ruling because most of the Coney Island businesses have been forced this very same Clause...

Today Manny plans to unveil a large tomb stone on the corner of the Bowery and 12th Street. This tomb stone reads Coney Island RIP and accuses Joe Sitt and Jeff Persily of being dictators. It also includes a copy of the illegal Confidentiality Clause that the two land owners have forced their tenants to sign.
Did someone suggest that Ms. Carlin was going to roll over and play dead after her lease (without a gag order) was renewed by Mr. Sitt following the Save Coney Island demonstration and a ton of bad press? Not looking like it.

Related Posts:
Gag Me: Why Do Mr. Sitt and Mr. Ratner Like Silence?
Legal Gag Removed, Coney Island's Lola Staar Speaks

UPDATE: Mr. Cohen's landlord writes to say: "As Mr. Cohen's landlord I can assure that the judge made no such ruling in reagrd to an unfair or unjust 'gag rule.' Mr Cohen was taken to court only because of his continuing failure to tender his rent which in fact is still owing from last season. If such a ruling was made by a judge surely it would be in the public domain, nobody can or will find it because it is fictional and does not exist. If Mr. Cohen pays his rent he can stay if he doesn't he will be evicted. Can we hold ourselves to a higher standard and at least attempt to print what is actual and true. No that would never be as controversial or interesting, just continue to conjure up and fabricate more nonsense about the big bad landowners."

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