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Public Nuisance, Closure of Retail Grocery charged with Illegal Gambling - Now Reopened

Case Conclusion Date: 06.25.2012

Practice Area: Litigation

Outcome: Settlement, Enjoining Future Illegal On-Premises Gambling Activity and Fine $1,000

Description: On January 11, 2012 at approximately 12:30 p.m. the NYPD conducted an undercover investigation of a Queens grocery store in relation to permitting on- premises illegal gambiling. An undercover officer alleged in the criminal complaint that he entered into the store, filled out a race horse betting slip and exchanged a sum of U.S. currency for a receipt. The NYPD later arrested the owner and operators of the store. The Portela Law Firm represented the owner and operators of the business and resolved the case with a non criminal, violation conviction. The owners and operators agreed to forfeit the gambing proceeds that the NYPD recovered at the time of the arrest and pay a fine. On June 22, 2012 The NYPD Civil Legal Enforcment Unit secured a preliminary injuction and immediate closure of the business. The civil action sought a preliminary and permanent injuction to close the business for one year, alleging that the business was a public nuisance by permitting illegal gambling. On June 25, 2012, The Portela Law Firm, filed a notice of appearance at the Queens Supreme Civil Court and negotiated an early settlement agreement permiting the reopening of the grocery store after three days of closure. As a condition to reopening the business the Portela Law Firm negotiated on behalf of the store owner to allow the NYPD to make reasonable unannounced inspections of the store for the limited purposed of ensuring no illgegal on- premises gambling. The parties also agreed to a closure of the business if a new violation was determined after the execution of the settlement agreement. The store owner sustained three days of lost revenue totalling approximately $6,000 and agreed to pay a fine of $1,000.00. The store remains open for busines.

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