Benjamin Fox Tracy Authors New York Law Journal Article on Appellate Division Decision Clarifying RPAPL § 881 Reimbursement Obligations

The Appellate Division, First Department recently issued an opinion in 1643 First LLC v. 1645 1st Ave. LLC attempting to reconcile conflicting decisions about a petitioner’s obligation to reimburse a respondent’s professional fees in a proceeding held pursuant to Section 881 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL § 881). RPAPL § 881 provides that a property owner may petition a trial court for a temporary license to access an adjoining property when necessary to improve or repair a petitioner’s property and when the adjoining property owner has denied the request.

A petitioner files an RPAPL § 881 proceeding because of the respondent’s professional fee reimbursement demand, claiming that the respondent is demanding exorbitant fees, the fees are not reasonable considering the requested access, or the respondent is extorting the petitioner for excessive fees.

In an article for the New York Law Journal, partner Benjamin Fox Tracy analyzes the Appellate Division, First Department’s ruling. Ben discusses the history of professional fees requested by respondents, including when they are needed and how counsel can avoid a trial court denying a professional fee reimbursement request. Read the full article here.