BY JOHN KIRITSIS, ESQ., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M
A “Yellowstone injunction” is a legal remedy available in New York State that allows a commercial tenant to seek a court order to stop a landlord from terminating a lease due to alleged lease violations or defaults. When a tenant seeks a Yellowstone injunction, they are essentially asking the court to “maintain the status quo” while the dispute is being resolved, preventing the landlord from terminating the lease or taking other drastic actions. Here’s how the courts in New York legally enforce Yellowstone injunction waivers:
- Contractual Agreements:
In some cases, commercial leases in New York may include a clause that requires the tenant to waive their right to seek a Yellowstone injunction. This clause is typically referred to as a “Yellowstone waiver.” If such a waiver is included in the lease agreement and is clear and unambiguous, the courts may enforce it.
- Freedom of Contract:
New York courts generally respect the principle of freedom of contract. If both parties entered into a lease agreement with a Yellowstone waiver, the courts are more likely to enforce that waiver, assuming it was entered into knowingly and voluntarily.
- Judicial Review of Waivers:
While Yellowstone waivers are generally enforceable, courts may scrutinize them to ensure that they are not unconscionable or unfairly one-sided. If a waiver is found to be unconscionable or against public policy, the court may be less likely to enforce it.
- Knowledge and Understanding:
For a waiver to be enforceable, the tenant must have had a clear understanding of what they were waiving. Courts may consider whether the tenant had the opportunity to seek legal advice and comprehend the implications of the waiver.
- Fairness and Equity:
Courts may consider the fairness and equity of enforcing a Yellowstone waiver in specific cases. If enforcing the waiver would lead to an unjust result or an inequitable balance of power, the court might be less inclined to do so.
- Public Policy Considerations:
While parties have the right to enter into contracts, including Yellowstone waivers, courts may still consider public policy and the overarching purpose of the Yellowstone injunction. If enforcing a waiver would undermine the tenant’s ability to protect their interests, the court might take that into account.
- Case-Specific Factors:
Each case is unique, and courts will consider the specific circumstances, facts, and arguments presented by both parties before making a decision on the enforceability of a Yellowstone waiver.
It’s important to note that the enforceability of Yellowstone injunction waivers can depend on a variety of factors, and the interpretation of the law can evolve over time. If you are involved in a commercial lease dispute involving a Yellowstone injunction waiver, it’s advisable to seek guidance from legal professionals who specialize in New York real estate law to understand your rights and options.
Citations, References and Potentially Useful Resources for Further Information:
New York State Constitution
Federal Securities Regulation
New York State Martin Act
New York Condominium Act
New York State Security Regulations
New York Business Corporation Law
New York Limited Liability Company Law
New York Uniform Partnership Act
Federal Internal Revenue Code
New York State Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
New York City Tax Laws, Rules & Regulations
Winston Churchill Owners, Inc. v. Regents Real Estate Associates
Board of Managers of the Park Regis Condominium v. Park Regis Owners Corp.
Park Sutton Condominium v. 447 E. 57th St. LLC
28 E. 10th Street Corp. v. Veras
Riverside Syndicate, Inc. v. Munroe
Essex House Condominium v. Marks
The Parc Vendome Condominium v. Atkinson
54-56 Meserole Street Owners Corp. v. Rossi
The Beekman Regent Condominium v. Bottiglieri
Chelsea 19th LLC v. West 19th Street Realty LLC
New York Department of Finance
New York City Department of Buildings
New York City Bar Association
New York State Bar Association
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