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Mystery Solved: The Eviction of a Restaurant Without Anonymous Owner

By Adam Leitman Bailey


A restaurant and bar had not paid rent for over 6 months.  A previous eviction attempt by another law firm had been defeated in court by a tenant who had nothing to defend with other than a host of technical flaws in an earlier case. It was thus apparent that absolutely every detail down to the last comma was going to have to be perfect if the landlord was going to prevail.  One of those details was the legal requirement that eviction notices be served on an actual owner, manager, or cashier.

The Mystery and the Investigation

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. took over the matter.  Quickly realizing that the restaurant set several traps to make sure it can stay in possession and not pay the rent, we realized that we had to determine the owner’s names and make sure they were served at least the nonpayment notice and then the court papers could be served on the Secretary of State.

Going Undercover

So we went undercover.  Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. employees went at different times and days collecting the names of the employees and the owner by visiting the restaurant and bar and acting as patrons.   All the employees gave the same name.  We took undercover video of the employees naming the owner. When serving him legal papers we took a video recording and served him personally at the restaurant and at home.

The Court Case

The undercover work should have ended the matter and possession returned to the landlord on the first court day since we took out all of the restaurant’s defenses. The commercial tenant came to court claiming the owner was not an owner and not even an employee.  Now we had to prove he was lying and perjuring himself.  So we sent over 15 Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. employees to ask again and they came back with the same owner.  Adam Leitman Bailey even had his waitress from the restaurant write the name of the owner on the back of his credit card receipt.  On the day of trial, instead of committing perjury on the witness, the restaurant finally surrendered.  Eviction was secured, and a money judgment given for the full amount of the rent plus legal fees, and taxes.

Adam Leitman Bailey represented the landlord in this matter.

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Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C.

NEW YORK REAL ESTATE ATTORNEYS