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Bais Din of the Central Rabbinical Congress of the U.S.A. and Canada (the CRC) / Hisachdus HaRabonim has issued a Siruv Warning against Prime Apartments tenants following their filing of an Order To Show Cause which seeks for their building to be removed from the hands of their landlord and to be given to a Receiver instead, FAA News has learned.

As first reported here on FAA News, just last month, 60 tenants of Prime Apartment tenants filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court against their landlord Cheskel Brach, and his property manager Rushmore Management alleging a long list of illegal rent increases and associated harassment, intimidation and retaliation.

The tenants are Alexander Sternbuch, Shmuel and Rochel Bogart, Dovid Balter, Shmuel Banker, Aaron Beer, Yaakov Cohen, Moshe and Feigy Eisemann, Ezra Esses, Tzvi and Zipora Feifer, Chezky Feigenbaum, Yehoshua Finkel, Yisroel Friedman, Ashi Fuchs, Boruch Gellis, Yaakov Glustein, Yonah Goldberg, Yaakov Gordon, Esther Gorelick, Elozor Greenberger, Shmuel Grunhut, Yehuda Gugenheimer, Alter Halberstam, James Holtzberg, Yisroel Kanarek, Dovid Kaplan, Kirnos, Zev Kramer, Abraham Leibiker, Yehuda and Yehudis Marcus, Steven Meisels, Yisrael Mordowitz, Nochum Naiman, Chayala and Moshe Olshin, Dovid Paskesz, Meir Poltzer, Tzvi Puretz, Shlomo Reidel, Mordechai Reis, Menachem Rosenblum, Dov Rosenman, David Rothstein, Yaakov Schechter, Chaim Schwab, Chanoch Shapiro, Temima and Zachary Shemesh, Naftoli Simon, Yosef and Zizi Simon, Mordechai Snyder, Samuel Tepfer, Yisroel Weiss, and Moshe Wilner.

The tenants are represented by Attorneys Adam Pfeffer and Ian Goldman Esq.

Following the filing of this lawsuit, as previously reported here on FAA News, Cheskel Brach, the landlord of Prime Apartments, served the tenants with a Hasra'ah (a warning) from the Bais Din of the Central Rabbinical Congress of the U.S.A. and Canada (the CRC).

Additionally, as previously reported here on FAA News, Bais Din Zedek which is under the auspices of Rav Yisroel Knopfler, has also authored a Hasra'ah against the tenants.

As previously reported here on FAA News, the landlord answered the lawsuit, alleging that the tenants are the ones in breach of their leases either because they failed to pay their rent, a rent increase, had too many occupants residing in the unit and/or by occupying the unit in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the lease agreement, including by taking up storage units that are not in their lease and they are not paying for the storage.

The landlord is further counter-claiming that the lawsuit was filed or pursued in bad faith, solely for the purpose of harassment, delay or malicious injury, and the tenants knew or should have known that the claims were without any reasonable basis in law and could not be supported by a good faith argument.

Moreover, the tenants violated the terms of their lease agreements by failing to pay rent and over-occupying units, yet they continue to reside in their apartments in clear violation of those terms, thus unjustly enriching themselves.

As recently reported here on FAA News, just days ago, the ongoing litigation regarding got cranked up a whole notch more contentious when Attorney Ian Goldman representing the tenants filed in Court for emergent relief seeking to take the building out of the hands of its landlord and have a Receiver appointed to manage the building instead!

As previously reported here on FAA News, Attorney David A. Rubin Esq. representing the landlord filed Opposition to the Order To Show Cause, which highlights that the appropriate venue to adjudicate this entire matter would be before Lakewood Township's Rent Control Board as they are vested with jurisdiction to hear hardship increase applications - however, the Township Committee has abolished the Board, leaving this landlord with no appropriate venue to establish the rent so that he can avoid operating a severe financial loss. "Lakewood needs to address the rent increase."

Mr. Rubin added that the tenants filed the order to show cause simply as a red-herring attempt to delay the landlord's ability to proceed with its rental hardship application as well as necessary eviction applications.

As previously reported here on FAA News, at a conference hearing held Wednesday afternoon before Judge Mark Troncone, Mr. Goldman argued that by telling the tenants that he filed a hardship application to the Rent Control Board, the landlord has in fact admitted that his current unilateral rent increases are illegal (without approval of the Rent Control Board).

Additionally, Mr. Goldman added that he checked with the Township and he was advised that they have in fact not received any application on this matter to the Rent Control Board.

Mr. Goldman told Judge Troncone that immediately after the filing of their initial lawsuit, the landlord immediately wrote them a letter alerting them that he is serving them with a Hasruas Beth Din and that he will plaster their names all over town. He added that additionally, he will react by removing the lobby furniture and barring their access to the storage units.

The letter ended off by noting, "a few rotten apples are causing everyone to suffer... even tenants not part of this evil group will, unfortunately, have to suffer for a while."

In addition, before the commencement of the lawsuit, in the middle of the night the tenants heard drilling - turns out that the landlord was converting the units which the Zoning Board stipulated must remain for storage, into additional residential dwellings.

"We know that our motion to hand the building over to a Receiver is aggressive, however, we need a Receiver in order to maintain the status quo which the tenants have been stripped of, including to replace the lobby furniture and reopen access to the storage units.

Attorney Lori Greenberg Esq. representing the landlord responded, "this Order To Show Cause filing is premature. The lawsuit was only filed May 15. Since then we filed an Answer and we served them with discovery demands. They have not yet responded to our discovery demands, nor have we yet held a Case Management Conference regarding a schedule for the discovery process. It's absurd that they already jumped the gun with this Receivership motion before they even gave us the discovery that we asked for."

"This case doesn't even need to be in Civil Court as everyone involved is religious and Beis Din and the community at large is involved. The Rabbis can handle this matter. In fact, there were meetings with Rabbi Landau just this morning to try to settle this case. We've asked the tenants even just to postpone today's meeting and they vehemently objected even to just that request," Ms. Greenberg added.

Attorney David Rubin Esq. co-counsel for the landlord echoed these words, adding "let the Rabbis handle this case as they can arbitrate such matters. Alternatively, we can do arbitration through the judicial system. However, there should be no need to litigate in court."

Attorney Adam Pfeffer Esq., co-counsel for the tenants vehemently disagreed, saying "the fact that there are Rabbis taking all day trying to resolve this is irrelevant. Our clients have simply not consented to go to Beis Din."

"Just this morning, the landlord disseminated Hebrew statements of contempt against random tenants. This is simply an intimidation factor. The Rabbis can't appoint a Receiver, and they can't do all the things that we are asking the court to do," Mr. Pfeffer added.

Ms. Greenberg shot back, "there is no intimidation going on here. In fact, just this morning the Rabbis came up with a potential solution for part of the matter. So saying that anyone is doing any intimidating here is just a bunch of fewy."

"Either way, the Court can't rule on intimidation claims simply by hearing so from attorneys who are arguing unsubstantiated allegations, rather, to claim intimidation they need to bring testimony from witnesses," Ms. Greenberg added.

Mr. Rubin argued that it's premature to appoint a Receiver now as landlord has not yet been found culpable of anything. It would simply be saying "you can't run your business anymore. In your place we will appoint someone who has no clue how to run this business."

Mr. Pfeffer shot back that the reason why appointing a Receiver already now is because, as part of all the intimidation, the landlord has refused to sign some routine HUD applications which are time sensitive.

"The key issue is that they are not playing fair, and that's why we need to fight hard and move on our motion for a receiver to take over," Mr. Pfeffer added.

Judge Troncone has not yet issued a ruling on the Order To Show Cause, but indicated that a ruling will come in the coming days.

Following the filing of the Order To Show Cause, Bais Din of the Central Rabbinical Congress of the U.S.A. and Canada (the CRC) / Hisachdus HaRabonim issued a Siruv Warning against the tenants.

The documents warn the tenants that if they do not adjudicate their claims before a Bais Din within 10 days, they will be found in contempt of Bais Din. In accordance with Halacha and law, the Bais Din did not demand that the tenants adjudicate their claims before Hisachdus HaRabonim specifically, but rather before any Bais Din that is mutually agreeable to all parties.

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Yudel Shain said...

Dayan and Rav Chaim Meir Roth has a Siruv against him.

Rav Dov Kahan, Rosh Bais Din Maishorim has a Siruv against him.

Chaim Berlin Hanhala has a Siruv against them.

Don't lose any sleep over a Siruv, and you'll be able to do nice shiduchim (it might even be a plus one day).

Anonymous said...

With a Siruv, you are in good company, yet no reason to add that to your resume.

Anonymous said...

Which beis din issues a siruv against rabbi roth and Rabbi kahan?

Anonymous said...

Which Bais Din?
Look in the Code of Jewish Law, aka Shulchan Oruch, for the definition of Bais Din.

They are not the only individuals of stature that have a siruv or a לא ציית.

The Lakewood hierarchy refuses to submit to any Bais Din as they are above...That is also actually "a Siruv."

Tracht! said...

So basically each and every bais din Undermines the other so none have any power whatsoever basically cutting their own feet from beneath themselves. And then you wonder why no one has any respect for the establishment and if you want to get a Honest check you go to court.SAD.