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Trump loses round in Jones Beach lawsuit

Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action

Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. Credit: AP

Developer Donald Trump has lost the latest round in one of three pending lawsuits over his stalled Jones Beach catering hall and restaurant.

A state appellate court Tuesday overturned a lower court's 2009 preliminary injunction that - while the case is under way - barred parks officials from collecting rent from Trump for the site where he wants to build Trump on the Ocean, and from declaring Trump in default for not opening the facility on time.

Trump attorney Steven R. Schlesinger said he would ask the state Court of Appeals to hear the case even though the latest ruling voided only the injunctions and allowed the suit to proceed.

The Appellate Division ruled that "the Supreme Court improvidently exercised its discretion" because any financial damages that Trump might incur due to delays in construction could be calculated and collected if he ultimately prevails in litigation. It added that the lower court "improperly exceeded the purpose" of the injunction "by impermissibly rewriting the terms of the lease by extending the deadline for the completion of construction."

State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation spokesman Dan Keefe said, "We are gratified that the court found Mr. Trump was not entitled to avoid his obligations under the lease."

Garden City attorney Ronald J. Rosenberg, who has fought the project, said he was "pleased that the Appellate Division reaffirmed the sanctity of contracts and that courts are not permitted to rewrite written agreements."

In the other cases, the Appellate Division in December gave the state permission to seek to be heard at the state Court of Appeals on lower court rulings that the state erred when it denied Trump a variance to build a basement at the proposed facility. And an appeals court in December upheld a state Court of Claims judge's decision rebuffing Trump's effort to collect $500 million in damages from the state. Schlesinger is appealing that ruling.

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