Horwitz v. 1025 Fifth Ave., Inc – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Horwitz v. 1025 Fifth Ave., Inc., 7 A.D.3d 461, 462, 777 N.Y.S.2d 482 (1st Department 2004), the plaintiffs had an awning on the terrace of their apartment that was allowed when they purchased their apartment. However, several years later, the board adopted a house rule prohibiting awnings.

In connection with some renovations, the board, citing the house rule, required the plaintiffs to remove the awning and the plaintiffs commenced an action seeking a declaration that they could maintain the awning and an injunction prohibiting the cooperative from removing it.

The cooperative moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

The motion court denied the cooperative's motion and granted the plaintiffs injunctive relief.

In reversing the motion court, the First Department stated:

"We perceive no basis for Supreme Court's interference in the management prerogative of the cooperative's board of directors. Irrespective of whether the it was permissible at the time it was installed, the cooperative's house rules presently prohibit the awning, and the cooperative's right to require its removal is preserved by the nonwaiver provision in the proprietary lease. The rule prohibiting awnings is applicable to the tenants generally and furthers no discriminatory purpose that would overcome the presumption that the directors exercised their honest judgment to promote the lawful and legitimate interests of the corporation"