September 27, 2010

81-Year-Old Woman Faces Eviction From the Home She Shared With Her Domestic Partner for Over 30 Years

(New York, September 27, 2010) – The LGBT Law Project at the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is representing Lucille Greenfield, 81, who faces eviction from the home she and her Domestic Partner, Marion Molloy, shared for over 30 years.

Ms. Molloy, who passed away in 2007 at 97 years old, bequeathed the Chelsea home that she lived in since she was a young girl to Ms. Greenfield and to her niece. However, in 1981 Ms. Molloy was approached by a couple, Dexter Guerrieri and Jane Ordway – currently co-owner’s of Vandenberg Real Estate – who wanted to buy her home for $185,000.  She and Ms. Greenfield were considering a move to an apartment so she told them that she would sell it to them if she moved.  Mr. Guerrieri and Ms. Ordway had their attorney draft an agreement and brought it to Ms. Molloy who was not represented by an attorney.  She signed the document without realizing that the language they used would require her to sell them the home for $185,000 when she vacated the home.

When Ms. Molloy passed away, Mr. Guerrieri and Ms. Ordway filed with the Court asking to take ownership of the home since Ms. Molloy had “vacated” the home.  The court found in their favor, and the executor of Ms. Molloy’s estate ultimately settled with Mr. Guerrieri and Ms. Ordway for $500,000, of which Ms. Greenfield should receive $150,000.  The current market value of the house is closer to $3 million.

Four days after this settlement was finalized, Ms. Greenfield was served with a 30-Day Notice of Termination of Tenancy, filed in New York Housing Court by Mr. Guerrieri and Ms. Ordway, doing business as 338 West 15th Street, LLC.  They ask that in the interim of these eviction proceedings, the Court direct Ms. Greenfield to pay $16,000 per month in use and occupancy fees.
Throughout the complex dealings culminating in these eviction proceedings, Ms. Greenfield has been without counsel to advocate for her interests. The LGBT Law Project at NYLAG is advocating on behalf of Ms. Greenfield so that she may remain in the only home she has known for the past 35 years.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has assisted the LGBT Law Project with this case.

###

The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) provides free civil legal services to New Yorkers who cannot afford a private attorney. Founded in 1990, NYLAG works to empower individuals, protect fundamental legal rights, and promote access to justice. With a reputation for responding quickly to emerging community needs, the agency offers a broad range of high quality and culturally competent services. For more information, go to www.nylag.org.