Queens woman whose entire home was stolen barred from suing city

She was seeking $1 million in damages

May.May 14, 2016 11:00 AM

It was a bizarre case that just got stranger and stranger. During the fall of 2014, Jennifer Merin, 72, discovered that someone had moved into her family home in Queens and changed the locks. When confronted by police, the thieves claimed they were the legal residents, even producing a deed issued by the city in error. In response, Merin sued the city and the City Registrar’s Office for their costly mistake and was seeking $1 million in damages. No more.

Supreme Court Justice Kevin Kerrigan ordered Merin to drop her suit because the City Registrar has no obligation and “no authority” under New York law to ensure the deeds it accepts are legitimate, according to the New York Post.

Merin was seeking nearly $600,000 from the City for negligence, and $400,000 in property damages resulting from the break-in and squatting.

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

Merin said her Russian and Ukrainian grandparents moved into the house on 141st Avenue in 1931 and raised her mother and her mother’s two siblings there. She now lives on the Upper West Side.

She first realized something was wrong when she received a pricey water bill. When she investigated, she found her locks changed and her car gone. Criminal charges are still pending. [NYP]Christopher Cameron

Related Articles

Robert De Niro and a rendering of Wildflower Studios (Credit: Getty Images and BIG)

Robert De Niro’s Wildflower Studios closes on $72M Astoria site

Hiram Monserrate (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Ex-con’s campaign funded by real estate principal sued for fraud

Rodrigo Nino, 84 William Street in Lower Manhattan and 1400 N. Orleans Street in Chicago (Credit: Facebook, Google Maps)

Prodigy Network investors say millions in limbo as company shuts them out

765 8th Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Hotel claims city audit mothballed 18 rooms for a year

94-16 34th Road, Michael Besen and Amit Doshi (Credit: Google Maps)

Doshi-Besen feud continues with lawsuit over Queens multifamily property

Harvey Hernandez fights back against Airbnb

Harvey Hernandez fights back against Airbnb

Donald Trump golf club sued over treatment of workers in Rancho Palos Verdes (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Trump’s LA golf club accused of violating workers’ rights

Harvey HHernandez (Credit: Airbnb)

Airbnb sues Miami partner in branded apartments concept