Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Village Scandal, the vintage hat shop, is in its 16th year at 19 Seventh St. However, owner Wendy Barrett (above, right) says that she has been battling eviction ever since A.J. Clarke became the property management in 2004. After an ongoing series of legal fights, a court issued a Warrant of Eviction to the marshal on June 10.
Barrett recently shared four shopping bags of legal documents with us during a store visit. "I've become a bag lady," she says rather grimly.
It's a complicated story that involves more than $60,000 in back rent and real estate taxes that have been accruing since 2004. She claims that A.J. Clarke has been "deliberately manipulating" her to keep the store in eviction status. And she has every document related to the case. Barrett lays out the details of the ongoing legal battle in the following video filmed during the summer... (Too much to detail in a blog post, to be honest.)
An appellate court just turned down Barrett for a 60-day extension to perfect her appeal. Today, her attorney, Andrew Molbert, is refilling the request to reargue her case. Meanwhile, Barrett is trying to raise money so the issues of the case can be heard in State Supreme Court. She says that she was never able to present her side of the case in any court.
So that means the store is selling items at 50 percent off to raise money for legal fees. They'll also be a fundraiser soon at Cafe Mocha on Second Avenue. (She's also asking for people to sign a petition of support at the store to send to A.J. Clarke.)
"This is the most egregious abuse," she says of the ongoing eviction drama. "I've been tortured by this."