Developer files appeal to continue Cahill Building legal battle | News
OSWEGO – The nearly decade-long lawsuit over the historic Cahill building in Oswego resumed earlier this year after an appeal to overturn a state Supreme Court ruling was filed.
The legal battle appeared to be over in April after a ruling by Supreme Court Justice Gregory Gilbert dismissed local developer Thomas Millar’s lawsuit against the city. Its lawsuit – and its original 2013 lawsuit – against the city called into question the true owners of the historic riverside property known as the Cahill Building.
The original lawsuit questioned the appropriateness of the city’s rescinding of a purchase contract between the city and Millar. Gilbert’s decision this year came after years of rulings and motions, a second complaint in 2016 and a 2019 State Court of Appeals ruling that reignited the trial.
The 2019 ruling overturned an earlier ruling, which removed Anthony Pauldine – the local developer who ultimately bought the town property – from the trial and brought the case back to Oswego County and the courtroom. by Gilbert.
Following the April ruling, Millar and his team filed a notice of appeal shortly thereafter. A notice of appeal is a document that marks the beginning of the time limit for an appellant to file a written argument containing their views on the facts and legal arguments in the hope of overturning the decision, according to the American Bar. Association.
Contacted earlier this month about the recent appeal, Millar has not commented on the pending case. He previously said he and his partners were eagerly awaiting a trial after years of petitions and delays.
Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow, who inherited the lawsuit from the previous administration, said earlier this month news of the appeal was “extremely disappointing” and only delayed Pauldine’s efforts to restore and preserve one of the oldest structures in Oswego.
“I understand that Mr. Millar, who thought he owned it, has gone through this lawsuit over and over again and he continues to lose. He just wants to extend and delay the inevitable, which is frustrating because it locks up some of Pauldine’s funding that he could use to recover after completing this project, ”Barlow said.
Pauldine, who acquired the space in 2015 as part of her company Camelot Lodge LLC, earlier this month described the call as nothing more than an attempt to acquire the renovated space.
“This is once again a last ditch effort on the part of this individual to steal the Cahill Building from the rightful owners, which is Camelot Lodge LLC, and improve himself by getting a finished building back after investing $ 1.5 million in it. “Pauldine said earlier. month.
“When he was brought back they did an amazing job and every point that was raised was dismissed,” he said of Gilbert’s decision in April. “We just feel extremely strong about it. It’s just another further delay, and I don’t like having to pay attorney fees and having to go back to court to reestablish and secure our position as the rightful owner.
Despite his confidence, Pauldine said that while “anything can happen” in the justice system, he believes “the law will prevail”.
“The last time the judge categorically quashed all of the points they raised and I thought it bolstered our case by slamming the door on Mr. Millar’s case,” Pauldine said earlier this month -this. “They’re going to read the judge’s decision, and unless Mr. Millar brings up a fantastic new point of interest, I can’t see these judges overturning this case while we’ve won it again.”
The multi-year battle over the Cahill Building began with an April 2013 contract between the city, Millar and associated parties to purchase the property. Millar claimed that city officials violated the $ 200,000 purchase contract before finally passing a deed of ownership to Pauldine in July 2015.
Former Oswego County Supreme Court Justice James McCarthy initially dismissed the case because Millar’s lawsuit did not include the original buying partners. The original buying partners then signed the lawsuit and an amended complaint named Pauldine and Camelot as additional defendants in April 2017.
Pauldine and her lawyers sought to have the case dismissed in county court and were ultimately successful. Millar, however, appealed the ruling to the state Court of Appeals, which overturned the ruling and reinstated the claims against Camelot.
In a June 2017 ruling, Oswego County Court Judge Norman Seiter Jr. said the trial could go ahead, noting that “the facts had not been established” during a previous dispute. Seiter said an earlier ruling dealt with the issue of standing and joint ventures, not the merits of the case.
Gilbert’s position dismissed the complaint with prejudice and on the merits. Dismissal of a case with prejudice is a legal term essentially meaning that the case is closed definitively and cannot be referred to court.
The Cahill Building, built in 1828, is one of the oldest commercial structures in the port city. In September 2008, the building was abandoned and remained vacant and was on the verge of collapse in 2014, as litigation began. Currently the building operates as an apartment building with units by the river.