Ginsberg v. Yeshiva of Far Rockaway

45 A.D.2d 334, 358 N.Y.S.2d 477 (1974)

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Ginsberg v. Yeshiva of Far Rockaway

New York Supreme Court
45 A.D.2d 334, 358 N.Y.S.2d 477 (1974)

Facts

In 1908, a restrictive covenant was created for a set of six adjacent lots, three on each side of one street, providing that the lots could only be used for private residences. Stanley and Susan Ginsberg (plaintiffs) owned and resided in a house on one of the six lots. In 1963, a synagogue purchased one of the vacant lots and used it as a parking lot for the synagogue, which was not located in one of the six restricted lots. Ginsberg did not object to the use of the lot as a parking lot. In 1971, Yeshiva of Far Rockaway (the yeshiva) (defendant) purchased one of the restricted lots and operated a religious school in what was formerly a private residence. The yeshiva purchased the lot knowing of the restrictive covenant and aware that Ginsberg had warned that he would sue to enforce the covenant. Once the school was built, Ginsberg complained about the students at the school playing hockey in the synagogue’s parking lot and in the street, as well as the failure to remove garbage cans from the street for days after garbage collection. In 1971, Ginsberg sued the yeshiva to enforce the restrictive covenant on the yeshiva’s school lot. In 1972, the yeshiva purchased another of the restricted lots adjacent to the first in order to expand the school. The trial court found that the use of one of the restricted lots as a synagogue parking lot did not change the residential character of the area. Further, the court held that the presence of groups of high-school-age students and the use of the school property by people other than private residents would adversely affect the property values of the restricted lots and enjoined the operation of the religious school. The yeshiva appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Latham, J.)

Dissent (Benjamin, J.)

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