Lance R. Pomerantz
Attorney at Law

Land     Title     Law

“Constructive Notice”  The  Newsletter

Excerpted from the April 14, 2015 mailing of "Constructive Notice":

Must Police Jurisdiction

"Run With the Land?"

A Bronx County Criminal Court has concerns regarding New York City’s “Operation Clean Halls” (officially known as the "Trespass Affidavit Program”) on constructive notice grounds. People v. Villa, 2015 NY Slip Op 50429(U) (Crim Ct., Bronx Cty., Mar. 27, 2015).

A building owner participates in the program by executing a “Clean Halls Affidavit,” which permits police to patrol the building’s common areas and arrest individuals who are not tenants or tenants’ guests. The Affidavit purportedly binds the owner to continue participating in the program "for perpetuity." Without knowing if the affidavit was “filed with the Office of the City Register as easements and restrictive covenants are required to be filed in order to provide constructive notice,” the Court doubts the “continued legal viability of the affidavit.” In addition, the Court observed that the authorization does not “run with the land.”

The Court granted defendant's motion for a Dunaway hearing to determine if there was probable cause to effectuate his arrest.


The Court did not explain why failure to record the affidavit might give the defendant standing to contest the arrest. The purpose of recording is to alert potential assignees (not trespassers) to binding covenants. If the Dunaway hearing results in suppression, the New York City land records may well see an influx of “Clean Halls Affidavits.”