JUDGE ORDERED LAKE TERRACE TO PAY $26,000 FOR LEGAL FEES. PLUS THEY HAVE ANOTHER HEARING ON FRIDAY.

As previously reported here on FAA (https://www.faanews.com/2022/08/its-now-court-order-judge-prohibits.html), there has been an ongoing year-and-a-half long legal land use saga regarding the famous Lake Terrace wedding and concert hall in Lakewood which began after Clayton Associates, an industrial neighbor, filed a lawsuit seeking to shut down Lake Terrace after discovering that Lake Terrace never received Township Zoning Board approval to build a wedding hall.


On February 2, 2021, Ocean County Superior Court Judge Marlene Ford signed an Interim Order permitting Lake Terrace - pending the outcome of the lawsuit - to continue hosting weddings, but with certain restrictions including limiting the occupancy to 712 seated guests, barring any outdoor activities or events on the banquet hall property, and requiring all parking to be maintained on-site only.


Judge Ford signed this Order as a interim compromise to permit Lake Terrace to continue operating while the lawsuit continues, but with restraints.


Since the onset of this lawsuit, claiming that Lake Terrace and Greenwald Caterers have violated the February 3, 2021 Order, Clayton Associates has made several attempts to get Judge Ford to shut down Lake Terrace completely.


At the last hearing on July 8th, Judge Ford declined to shut down Lake Terrace completely, but she did find them in violation of the court order and she sanctioned them $5,000 plus the legal fees incurred by Clayton in filing the motion. Judge Ford also ordered that no further outdoor events or gatherings of any sort at all take place outdoors within 1,000 feet of Lake Terrace.


Clayton's attorney Rob Shea today submitted his bill for the legal fees incurred by Clayton in filing the motion - and it's a whopping $26,233.75!


The 13 page invoice shows that Mr. Shea and his associates have worked a total of nearly 87 hours since May 23rd in preparation of the filing of their Motion to Enforce Litigants Rights which they filed on June 13, as well as their subsequent Reply Briefs which they filed on July 5 in response to the Defendant's opposition to the motion.


Of these 87 hours, the head attorney Robert C. Shea clocked 17.7 hours at $475 per hour, for a total of $8,407.50; Robert C. Shea II, an associate attorney, clocked 36.25 hours at $300 per hour, for a total of $10,875.00; Vincent Joseph DelRiccio, another associate attorney, clocked 19.05 hours at $275 per hour, for a total of $5,238.75; and Karin Magala clocked 13.7 hours at $125 per hour, for a total of $1,712.50.


As previously reported here on FAA News, on July 20th, just mere couple of weeks after the July 8th hearing, Clayton Associates filed yet another Motion to Enforce Litigants Rights seeking to completely shut down Lake Terrace.


In this latest filing, attorneys for Clayton provided photos and videos from their surveillance camera footage showing that, just 2 days and 4 days after the July 8 hearing, Lake Terrace hosted events with parking overflowing onto both sides of Corporate Road West, "creating a dangerous situation in that a truck driving down the road was forced to drive extremely slowly and carefully to ensure it did not side swipe any vehicles." Clayton also claims that banquet hall patrons illegally parked in their property parking lots as well as at Bnos Brocho which is also a violation of the court order.


Attorney Shea emphasizes in his motion filing that "simply ordering monetary sanctions against Lake Terrace is insufficient as they just received a monetary sanction at the last hearing and yet, 'here we are here again'". As such, Mr. Shea's proposed order is that "any and all Certificates of Occupancy are hereby revoked;" and that the Defendants are to "immediately cease all activity on the property located at 1690 Oak Street until such time as they have received all requisite, non-appealable, approvals and complied with all conditions thereof".


Attorney Shea also notes in his motion filing that attorneys for Lake Terrace have previously told the judge that they already filed an application to the Zoning Board and that they will "seek to expedite their application", however, since then, "we haven't seen any progress in getting the Zoning Board to hear this application any sooner."


Lake Terrace and Greenwald Caterers have submitted objections to the Motion.


Judge Ford has scheduled oral arguments for Friday August 26.


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