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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: June 16, 2021

Statute Barring Lease Provisions That Prohibit Tenants from Seeking a Yellowstone Injunction Does Not Apply to Leases Effective Before the Statute was Enacted

On April 9, 2021, Justice Knipel of the Kings County Commercial Division issued a decision in 159 MP Corp. v. Redbridge Bedford LLC, 2021 NY Slip Op. 31716(U), holding that the recently-enacted statute barring lease provisions that prohibit tenants from seeking a Yellowstone injunction does not apply to leases that were effective before the statute was enacted, explaining:

It has long been a primary rule of statutory construction that a new statute is to be applied prospectively, and will not be given retroactive construction unless an intention to make it so can be deduced from its wording. Even remedial statutes are applied prospectively where they establish new rights, or where retroactive application would impair a previously available defense. Here, there is no mention from the legislature about retroactive application of the statute, only that it shall take effect immediately. Where a statute directs that it is to take effect immediately, it does not have any retroactive operation or effect. Under the circumstances, the court finds that RPL 235-h cannot be given retroactive effect and is thus inapplicable to the subject lease. Accordingly, the change in the law woµld not change the prior determination.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

We frequently litigate disputes over the leasing, purchase and sale of commercial property. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at jlundin@schlamstone.com if you are involved in a dispute regarding a commercial real estate transaction.

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