No sooner than reading an article in the Daily News that a Bronx judge rules that people can drink alcohol in common areas of buildings, the moral panic began on the internet.
Folks immediately began to decry the ruling saying that, “Now NYC will only get worse” and similar sentiments.
But did they actually READ the article?
At stake here was something quite simple. A young man was given a summons for having a half full open bottle of vodka in a building’s elevator where his aunt lived.
Read that again.
He was ticketed for being on PRIVATE PROPERTY for having an open container. Summonses of this kind clearly state having open container in public and although a building’s common areas might appear to be public, in fact they are not.
Anything public ends at the street entrance of a building or development and anything beyond that within the confines of the property is private.
NYPD has no right or jurisdiction to come onto the premises and issue nonsensical citations that are in clear violation of an individual’s right.
From reading the article, the individual wasn’t being disorderly nor was someone reporting a quality of life crime: He was in an elevator on private property.
Readers online immediately began saying that now this is a free-for-all for folks to go out of control but the fact of the matter is that no it does not.
In the decision, the judge said this:
“There is simply no basis to conclude that the interior common areas of residential apartment buildings, often separated from the streets by locked doors, intercoms and ‘No Trespassing’ signs, are part of the public streets, whether the interior area is a rooftop garden, gymnasium, laundry room, hallway, lobby or elevator,”
It is up to each individual landlord to come up with its own rules about conduct in common areas. Many buildings have it in their leases that drinking in common areas is prohibited.
So before you jump the gun and say NYC is going downhill and this is one of the many reasons, do yourself the favor and READ the articles not just the headlines!
Now sound off in the comments section below!
Drink to this: A Bronx judge gave the thumbs up to people who want to drink booze in apartment building elevators, gyms, lobbies and laundry rooms.
“It’s a victory for everybody. It’s a victory for the community,” said Steven Chavez, whose November 2012 arrest led to Judge Shari Michels’ ruling.Chavez was in his aunt’s apartment building on Rogers Place at 1 a.m. when two cops said they spotted him “inside an elevator holding a half-full, open bottle of Ciroc vodka.”The cops slapped Chavez with a summons for drinking in public, then arrested him for allegedly shoving the officer who tried to give him the ticket.
In a decision made public Thursday, Michels tossed the resisting arrest charge, finding the officer shouldn’t have given Chavez a ticket because he wasn’t drinking in a “public place.”
“There is simply no basis to conclude that the interior common areas of residential apartment buildings, often separated from the streets by locked doors, intercoms and ‘No Trespassing’ signs, are part of the public streets, whether the interior area is a rooftop garden, gymnasium, laundry room, hallway, lobby or elevator,” the judge wrote.
As it turns out, cops could have given Chavez a ticket for underage drinking — he told the Daily News he is 17 years old.
Steven Reed, a spokesman for the Bronx District Attorney’s office, said they’re reviewing the decision and haven’t decided whether they will appeal.
Author:ERIK BADIA, DAREH GREGORIAN