Flophouse tenant barred from suing Bowery SRO owners

Landlords Meyer Muschel and Sam Chang had spent more than $200K defending frivolous suits

TRD New York /
Nov.November 14, 2016 08:30 AM
Whitehouse Hotel and Sam Chang

Whitehouse Hotel and Sam Chang

A Manhattan judge has banned a litigious tenant of a storied Bowery SRO from suing his landlords.

Roland Davis was told that unless he gets a lawyer to represent him, he’s not allowed again to file suit against current or former owners of the famed Whitehouse Hotel at 338-340 Bowery – putting a stop to a string of nearly two dozen frivolous lawsuits.

“While public policy generally mandates free access to the courts, the court will not tolerate the use of the legal system as a tool of harassment,” Manhattan Judge Kelly O’Neill wrote in her decision, the New York Post reported.

Davis, who paid $8.32 per night for a windowless room, had sued the hotel 23 times in seven years, insisting that management make repairs to his small room and then refusing to let workers in, court papers show.

“I am both relieved and excited, not just for me, but for the fact the courts are willing to recognize that nobody should be permitted to use the system as a weapon,” said former owner Meyer Muschel, who had been sued.

Muschel and the building’s current owner Sam Chang TRData LogoTINY had spent more than $200,000 and appeared in court over 100 times defending the shaky claims.

O’Neil said Davis could return to court, but only if he had a lawyer or permission from a chief judge.

“You can’t get away with filing lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit against somebody even if you’re doing it pro se,” said Steven Sladkus, Muschel’s lawyer. “It’s very disruptive, time-consuming, and costly.” [NYP]Rich Bockmann

Related Articles

30 West 31st Street and 52 West 36th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

South Korean firm snaps up two Midtown hotels for $137M

Brookfield Property Group CEO Brian Kingston and 652 11th Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Brookfield drops $83M on Hell’s Kitchen hotel

Sam Chang and 40 West 45th Street (Credit: Google Maps and iStock)

Sam Chang can now purchase 160 elite racing pigeons

Mensur Cekic, Hudson Yards’ director of residences

From private tutors to meditation sessions, inside NYC’s new amenities battle

Sam Chang with 62 Mulberry Street in Manhattan and 37-30 Review Avenue in Long Island City (Credit: Google Maps)

Here’s what the $10M-$20M NYC investment sales market looked like last week

Lightstone Group CEO David Lichtenstein and Moxy Chelsea at 105 W 28th Street (Credit: Lightstone and Facebook)

Lightstone gave its neighbors $7M to build a hotel. Then the neighbors secretly went to war, suit claims.

Here are the numbers behind Michael Dell’s record purchase of the Boca Raton Resort

Long Island’s hotel market could be headed for a downturn