WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The battle between Ralph's Italian Ices and the Village of Mamaroneck has taken a step into the courthouse as owner Scott Rosenberg has sued both the Village and a host of defendants.
The legal action, filed in state Supreme Court by Attorney Andrew Schriever, seeks to allow the store to reopen and asks for at least $300,000 in damages.
Schriever said that although state Supreme Court Judge Anne Minihan denied the shop's emergency request to reopen, the suit will proceed forward and ultimately, if the judge rules in their favor, allow the popular ice cream shop to return to business.
"Shutting down Ralph's at the height of the summer season means there might not be a business to open by the time there is a decision," Schriever said.
The lawyer said the July 14 closure of Ralph's was a violation of his constitutional rights, as the village had granted Rosenberg a business permit and the illegally rescinded it after he has spent more than $300,000 to meet their demands and jumped through hoops to work with the surrounding neighborhood.
The trouble began shortly after the shop opened with certain Mamaroneck residents who were not happy with the long lines and the noise coming from the business. They took their complaints to the Zoning Board.
Rosenberg took action to try and help ease any issues by hiring extra staff, realigning the parking and expanding to the building next door.
But his efforts fell on deaf ears with the zoning board who revoked Ralph's certificate of occupancy and adopted a resolution that denied his application for a special use permit.
In addition to the Village, the lawsuit, which alleges the village's decision was maliciously motivated, also names the Zoning Board of Appeals, Building Inspector Dan Gray and village residents who have opposed the store.
Schriever says once the initial suit is decided upon, there is a separate complaint dealing with damages for the money Rosenberg has put into the business.
"The owner continues to appreciate the outpouring of community support and looks forward to returning," said Schriever.
The two sides have until Aug. 31 to file paperwork with the court dealing Ralph's request for an eventual reopening of the shop and financial damages.
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