Judge dismisses effort to hold up homeless move from NYC's Lucerne Hotel

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A judge on Wednesday dismissed an effort to hold up the movement of homeless men from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side.

The approximately 200 homeless men can now be moved to the Radisson Hotel in Lower Manhattan, although there will likely be an appeal, and the city may wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday to move them.

The decision is a blow to several residents who sued over the move, citing the stability of the hotel.

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During five hours of hearings over two days last week, Supreme Court Judge Debra James repeatedly questioned the move.

But in her decision, James said Lower Manhattan residents lacked "standing to challenge the relocation of residents from the Lucerne Hotel to the Radisson Hotel."

She also dismissed the claims of the men who are currently staying at the Lucerne.

"The intervening residents have no right to choose their own temporary placements," she said. "Thus, such parties have no grievance that is ripe for review, having suffered no harm cognizable under the law, and this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction and the intervening parties' premature pleadings must be dismissed."

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The planned move has been paused several times while the case played out in court, and the city's Law Department issued a statement after the ruling.

"We're pleased with the court's decision, which will allow the city to continue providing critical services to those who need it most in the way we believe is most effective," it read.

The Lucerne has been the subject of controversy throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with neighbors and area residents complaining of a degradation to their quality of life. They gave fought to have the homeless moved, though the Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless objected to the new plan.

Related: Homeless encampments line New York City streets, Cuomo calls it 'public health threat'

UWS Open Hearts posted on social media over the ruling.


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