Wednesday, 14 September 2016


Sean ordered to remove tree leaning on Greenwich Village property of Marisa Tomei's parents
A Manhattan judge has ordered the musician to "remove as immediately as practicable" the 70-year-old Ailanthus tree that is rooted in his front yard but leaning into the stoop of his neighbors, the parents of actress Marisa Tomei.
The Greenwich Village soap opera on West 13th St. has been broiling for years as the tree — leaning toward the sun to the west — has slowly twisted and dislodged the wrought iron handrail on the stoop of the Tomei townhouse.
Unable for years to communicate directly with Lennon, who bought his townhouse in 2008 but only recently started to renovate, Gary Tomei, the actress' father, sued Sean last year for $10 million.

Sean's lawyer, Judith Goodman, said at a hearing this summer that Lennon was willing to pay for the damages but didn't want to remove the tree. His experts proposed to repair the Tomei stoop and handrail, but move the handrail to accommodate the tree's 24-inch trunk.
Tomei's lawyer said that solution would cost his client more money because he would have to get approval from the city Landmarks Preservation Commission before moving the handrail. The entire neighborhood is landmarked.
Tomei had an additional problem: The city Buildings Department gave him a violation this summer for the broken stoop and he was subject to additional fines unless he fixed it immediately.
The tree is rooted to left of his front yard and leans into the stoop of his neighbors, Marisa Tomei's parents.
Tomei personally pleaded for relief from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Debra James, noting that if he chopped the tree on his side of the property line it would die anyway.
James in a decision posted early Tuesday agreed with Tomei that the tree qualifies as a nuisance under the law and permanently barred Lennon from taking measures to try to save the tree.
James ordered the parties back to court next month to resolve the issue of damages.
Tomei's original lawsuit said that in addition to the tree, Sean's contractor had dug so deep in the basement that he undermined the foundation of the Tomei home and caused the entire house to shift.

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