Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Elderly Home Hijacking Victim's $1 Million Lawsuit Accusing NYC Officials With Improperly Accepting Forged Deed From Convicted Felon For Recording Gets Heave-Ho

In Jamaica, Queens, the New York Post reports:
  • An elderly Manhattan woman whose family home was allegedly stolen by a scheming squatter cannot sue the City nor the City Registrar’s Office for damages, a Queens judge ruled Friday.

    Supreme Court Justice Kevin Kerrigan ordered that Jennifer Merin, 72, must drop her nearly $1M actions because the City Registrar has no obligation and “no authority” under New York law to ensure the deeds it accepts are legitimate.

    Merin filed suit in April 2015 seeking nearly $600,000 from the City for negligence, plus $400,000 in property cost after ex-con Darrell Beatty broke into the family home, changed the locks, and filed a forged deed with the City.

    “[The city] was negligent in the way in which they allowed the deed to be registered,” she bitterly told The Post after filing suit. “There was no indication that any of those signatures were related to my family or the property.”

    Merin sued to cover the legal fees she poured into attempting to evict Beatty, as well as the damage he’d done to the home.

    The Laurelton 1930 Tudor was left to Merin when her mother died.

    The 72-year-old, who lives on the Upper West Side, was using the property to store heirlooms, but realized something was amiss when water bills spiked in May 2014.

    When cops refused to throw-out Beatty — a convicted armed robber — Merin took the battle to Surrogates Court, where she was named as administrator of the estate and transferred the title to herself.

    Beatty was indicted on charges of grand larceny in Sept. 2015, but moved back into Merin’s house after he got out on bail.

    While she eventually had Beatty evicted in Civil Court, the criminal case against him is still pending.

    In his decision, Kerrigan said the clerks’ only responsibilities arethe deed be acknowledged and that the recording fees are paid.” “The recording clerk has no authority to look beyond the instrument that is being presented for recording,” he wrote.

    Merin could not be immediately reached for comment.