Justice Michael Stallman

Friends of Hudson River Park sought attorney fees for its efforts to enforce the terms of a 2005 stipulation between itself and the Department of Sanitation (DSNY). After an initial stipulation, and then further extensions of it, DSNY finally vacated the subject premises. Friends argued DSNY did not act in good faith regarding its attempts to comply with the deadlines imposed by the various stipulations. As such, they contended they were entitled to legal fees. DSNY disputed such relief claiming it did all it was required to, and paid use and occupancy on the premises until its vacatur of same. It contended neither the stipulations nor subsequent extensions provided for fees. Friends alleged the language in the second supplemental agreement provided that it may move for fees. The court disagreed, finding the language did not create a right to fees. It merely noted Friends could move for a decision on whether it could be entitled to such fees. Also, it noted as DSNY’s conduct was not frivolous, and Friends did not demonstrate that DSNY “acted in bad faith, vexatiously, wantonly or for oppressive reasons,” it was not entitled to legal fees.