Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and her Garden City cooperative, which had clashed over a no-pet rule, have reached a settlement that allows Rice to keep Pearl, a Maltese and Yorkshire terrier mix. “Kathleen and the Co-op Board have resolved their disagreement amicably and, as a result, Kathleen’s adopted dog, Pearl, will remain living in her home,” Rice’s attorney, Steven Cohn of Carle Place, and the co-op’s attorney, Marc Schneider of Schneider Mitola in Garden City, said in a joint statement. “Kathleen and the Board are pleased with the agreement and the fairness that has been achieved for both parties. We will have no further comment.”
When Rice moved into the co-op in 2006, house rules allowed pets. But unbeknownst to Rice, the rules changed in May 2010 to bar pets that had not been registered before a certain point. Rice adopted Pearl in April 2011. She said in court papers that she heard about the rule change from a neighbor when she was walking Pearl a week after the adoption. Months later, the board served Rice with an eviction notice, to which she responded with a suit for a declaratory judgment blocking the board from terminating her lease.
Supreme Court Justice Steven Jaeger in Nassau County (See Profile) signed a temporary restraining order and the matter was assigned to Supreme Court Justice Timothy Driscoll (See Profile). Negotiations led to a settlement giving all residents, including Rice, a limited time to register pets. The case is Rice v. Stewart Franklin Owners Corp., 11-015991.