Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, in an entertaining 12-page ruling, found the city missed the point with its claim that a Building Code provision “does not ever permit” rental of a full unit in a two-story residence for less than a month.
“The relevant question is not whether the provision permits anything,” wrote the self-proclaimed activist judge. “The relevant question is whether it prohibits anything. By its plain meaning, it does not. If you define an elephant as a large mammal with gray skin, four legs, and a trunk a giraffe — [it] is not illegal. It is just not an elephant.”