Sections

Lyceum’s former owner: Judge hornswoggled me out of the property

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

A Brooklyn judge cheated the owner of a landmarked Park Slope building out of his property when she illegally allowed its sale at auction to pay off creditors, a lawsuit claims.

Eric Richmond, who purchased the Brooklyn Lyceum on Fourth Avenue between President and Union streets in 1994 and used it as an events space until this winter, claims a bankruptcy judge lied when she ruled that a court filing to keep the building in his name got to her a day late, and that the auction she subsequently approved should never have happened.

Richmond alleged Judge Carla Craig gave him seven days to appeal a ruling she filed on Sept. 30 that allowed the property to be auctioned. But when he filed his appeal on Oct. 7, the judge ignored it, claiming it was a day late, as she signed her order on Sept. 29 — and that was when the clock started ticking.

“Due process matters,” Richmond said. “If you’re given seven days, you’re supposed to get seven days — and you can’t just change that after the fact.”

But Craig lifted the order keeping the Lyceum off the market and it sold at auction on Oct. 23 for $7.6 million.

Richmond’s motion is one of several last-ditch efforts to regain control of his pet project, which was a decrepit eyesore when he bought it two decades ago. He has battled for the Lyceum since foreclosure proceedings began in 2008 over millions of dollars in liens against the property, a debt that at the time of the sale had climbed to more than $5 million.

Richmond is fighting his legal battles in hopes of reopening the venue, but he said he is also taking a stand for fair treatment by the courts.

“My main goal is getting the building back, but if I have to fall on the sword of due process, I will fall on that sword,” he said.

The new owner, meanwhile, is steaming ahead with plans to restore the Lyceum’s facade and convert the inside to condos. The firm, Greystone, also plunked down $12.5 million for an adjacent lot on which it plans to build a 12-story, 75-unit residential rental building, along with ground-floor retail space.

The decision to snap up the arts center came at the last minute, a representative said.

“While in the process of purchasing 225 Fourth Ave., we found out about the auction next door,” said Karen Marotta, a Greystone spokeswoman. “It all happened very fast.”

Marotta said Greystone expects work on the rental building to begin in the spring, but the development of the former Lyceum will take longer, as the developer must navigate the strict requirements of the Landmarks Preservation Commission in order to get approval for the project.

Greystone has filed an initial application for the renovation, but it has not submitted its full plans, and a hearing has not yet been scheduled, according to a Landmarks spokeswoman.

A clerk for Judge Craig said the judge had no comment.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Clarity added.
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

lyceumguy from brooklyn says:
What was told to the reporter was much more than reported. A sample of the due process issues:

--Federal Judge says you get 7 days to respond from date of entry of an order and then calculates from the date of signing the order leaving you only 6 days? Yup.

--Federal Judge, contrary to all prior motions in the case, doesn't give you any time to reply to a response? Yup.

--Federal Judge rules that perjury by a lawyer TO THE COURT is not extrinsic to the case. Yup.

--Federal Judge tries to keep things on the record prior to a decision off the record on appeal? Yup.

--Federal Judge moots a decision on a motion? Yup. (as far as we can tell, you can moot a motion but not an existing decision)

--Federal Judge attempts to dismiss an appeal of a decision dismissing a case because you aren't appealing the decision dismissing the case? Yup. (you read that right, Escher would be proud)

--Federal Judge attempts to dismiss another case with the basis being a blog article never put on the record? Yup.

--Federal Judge ignores 5 cases you submit that rebut a crucial finding. Then, on reconsideration, acknowledges, but does not address the 5 cases? Yup.

--Federal Judge repeatedly fails to acknowledge papers filed when rendering a decision? Yup.

--Federal judge holds that a particular precedent means one thing in prior cases with other parties but then means the opposite in your case? Yup.

--Federal Judge invokes a procedure that requires you get 21 days notice AND a hearing should you object but overrules your objection due to the lack of that statutory notice? Yup.

--Federal Judge invokes the specter of Rooker Feldman as a catch all for when a lower court has put pen to paper even if that act is a violation of the law? Yup.

The issue cited by the reporter is not a one off. As far as we can tell, it is a pattern
Feb. 20, 2015, 8:50 am
Rob from Williamsburg says:
The Lyceum’s former owner hornswoggled an entertainment friend of mine. From what I've heard, the Lyceum’s former owner deserves to be hornswoggled. Karma.
Feb. 20, 2015, 8:42 pm
Lyceumguy from Brooklyn says:
Have that person contact me directly at brooklynlyceum@gmail.com.

Most outstanding debts have been taken care of. The rest should be taken care of in a few weeks give or take.
Feb. 20, 2015, 9:19 pm
jay from nyc says:
how about posting links to the actual pleadings, motions, and court decision, rather than trading in unsubstantiated innuendo? Its public record, come on BP, try being a cub reporter at least. sheeesh.
Feb. 20, 2015, 11:31 pm
Lyceumguy from Brooklyn says:
We will begin posting, on the Lyceum website, the papers that show the above allegations.

Give it about a week so the can be reasonably annotated.

First one will be the proof that 7 does not equal 6.
Feb. 21, 2015, 9:29 am
Carol from Fort Greene says:
"Federal Judge moots a decision on a motion? Yup. (as far as we can tell, you can moot a motion but not an existing decision)"

I think the point is that the appeals are moot because the court isn't going to disturb the foreclosure sale, and in light of the foreclosure sale, there is nothing that can be achieved by any of the appeals.
Feb. 21, 2015, 3:39 pm
Lyceumguy from Brooklyn says:
Carol,

That would be an overarching generalization that does not hold up to scrutiny.

Due process is the cornerstone of everything that matters, not developer desires.
Feb. 21, 2015, 5:57 pm
Carol from Fort Greene says:
Say more! It's not at all clear what the point of the appeals would be if the foreclosure sale were irreversible. So for instance, you appealed the court's decision to lift the automatic stay. Imagine for a minute that (A) the court agrees with you that the stay should not have been lifted, but (B) the court refuses to reverse the foreclosure sale because the purchaser is not to blame for any procedural defect. What can the court do in that instance? Nothing! So the issue is moot.

If that is not your understanding of mootness, maybe you could take a few minutes to share your view of the doctrine.
Feb. 21, 2015, 6:11 pm
Lyceumguy from Brooklyn says:
Carol,

You are making assumptions that are generally true, most if the time.

When you have a gaggle of due process violations that touch the third rail of the judicial system what is generally done is irrelevant.

Let just deal with the baseline, was due process repeatedly violated?

Then we shall see. If I am right then others can be soared my fate with less effort.
Feb. 21, 2015, 6:32 pm
Lyceumguy from Brooklyn says:
Spared
Feb. 21, 2015, 6:32 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
If the court violated statutory process, the appeal should be allowed to move forward. Why the judge was so quick to not afford an extra day is puzzling. Appeals happen.

However, if you cannot maintain a property, maybe its time to move on. At least the building will be saved. Sad to see the venue close.
Feb. 22, 2015, 2:57 pm
b0boy from here and there says:
this property has looked like a mess for decades already time to clean it up and move on.
Feb. 25, 2015, 9:40 am
lyceumguy from brooklyn says:
boboy.

Maybe due process should be followed by a judge first? Maybe the state of the building is a direct result of the courts violating statutes at, as far as I can tell, every turn?

And, you had to hunt for this article because the Brooklyn Paper pulled the article from the main website feed yesterday.

Go ahead. Scroll down and hit previous issue.

No articles for Friday. Hmmm....
Feb. 25, 2015, 12:42 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: