By Jon Cronin, Editor
Middle Village Prep received another stay of eviction on June 13 in Queens Supreme Court in Jamaica.
David Brand, the attorney for Christ the King High School, which leases space to Middle Village Prep, said that the judge didn’t give any indication as to when she would make her decision in favor of the Brooklyn Diocese or Christ the King.
On Tuesday, the judge looked at information submitted by both parties and heard oral arguments.
“She didn’t tip her hand in favor of either,” said Brand.
Brand said the judge advised for both parties to “see what [they] can do to get this settled.” The judge will make her conclusions based on what was submitted and not on any further oral arguments, Brand reported.
Brand added that the temporary restraining order that keeps Middle Village Prep from being evicted is still in effect until a decision is made.
“I would suspect it is sooner than later,” said Brand of the impending decision. “Sometimes, it takes months—this may take weeks.”
Approximately 100 parents and students showed up outside the Jamaica court house with signs protesting the Brooklyn Diocese’s attempt to force the school to vacate the Christ the King campus.
Community Education Council 24 President Nick Comaianni wrote in a letter to Brooklyn Diocese Bishop Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio that Middle Village Prep students live in the most overcrowded school district in the city.
“The influx of 400 new students displaced by your actions would make a terrible situation even worse in our schools and for our children,” he wrote.
He then asked the bishop to direct the diocese’s lawyers to “stand down and withdraw this action.”
Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Long Island City) and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) both wrote letters urging the diocese to work with the high school.
Although Christ the King High School has been in court with the diocese for several years, Middle Village Prep, which has students in 6-8, has only been aware of the diocese’s threat to close the secular school for a few months.
The lawsuit stems from a clause in an agreement that the diocese has with Christ the King stating that only a Catholic school can be operated on the premises. The diocese has promised to allow the charter school to remain if the high school signs a reverter agreement, which would place the ownership of the property back into the diocese’s hands if anything other than a Catholic school were to be located on the property.
Reach Jon Cronin at 718-357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin.