Matt vs Sonny’s Gates – Decision

Matt was clearly damaged by Sonny’s actions. 

The issue of the large fine imposed on Matt was not before me.

Small Claims can issue money judgments only, and cannot interfere with the laws and regulations of other municipal agencies or courts.

Excessive fines for minor violations became a hot political issue in NYC’s recent primary race for Mayor. It was announced by City Council Speaker Quinn, one of the mayoral candidates, that she had reached an agreement with the City’s Health Department to lower fines for minor violations by restaurants.

Many low level violations had cost restaurant owners about $348 on average.

I expressed to Matt my personal hope that our new mayor will support the deal and advocate lowering the fines in this kind of matter.

I then granted judgment to Matt for $5,000, the maximum.

Do you agree?


3 thoughts on “Matt vs Sonny’s Gates – Decision

  1. Agree that the maximum due Matt was recognized. Sonny should receive a low grade from the BBB for his obvious and deliberate oversights.

  2. I agree without hesitation to award Matt the $5,000.
    Matt was correct to have a security gate installed to protect the store’s contents.
    He was a little to trustworthy in hiring this gate company. He should have asked to see the paperwork on obtaining the permit. If he obtained two or three estimates from gate companies, I think he would have leaned a little from each of them and would have gotten a feeling on which company would be more professional in following the correct order of procedures.

    Maybe he should have checked out Sonny’s gate company to see if he had any citations against it.
    On the bright side, Now that Matt is educated in the entire permit process, he can run an ad in the local newspaper offering to obtain a permit for any new business opening that needs a permit. He’ll make his $2,000 back for the “course”. Good Thinking?
    Another costly lesson learned!
    I hope Matt’s gate is installed and he has a successful business.

    • I am sure that Matt learned a lot from his experience. His mistake was in relying on Sonny’s promise to get the permits. Matt should have asked Sonny about them before going further with the gate.

      I congratulate you for the bright idea of turning Matt’s experience into a positive thing.

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