New York State Supreme Court Judge Eileen Bransten ruled Thursday that the owners of a condo in Manhattan's Upper West Side had the legal right to remove the name "Trump" from the outside of the building.
The owners of a condominium building at 200 Riverside Boulevard in New York City have been fighting in court for the right to remove the word "Trump" from its prominent place in big gold letters from the front of their building.
President Donald Trump never owned the building in question. Nor did any company that he controlled or owned a stake in. Instead, the name "Trump Place" was emblazoned on the side of the building as part of a March 2000 licensing deal. Under the guidelines of the deal, the owners of the building would pay Trump a grand total of $1 in exchange for being able to advertise the Trump name on the building forever.
Lawyers for a company that Trump owned had argued that in addition to the $1, an understood part of the agreement was that the name would remain there “in perpetuity.”
Marc Kasowitz, who represented Trump's interests in the proceedings, said that if the letters were removed, Trump would “commence appropriate legal proceedings to not only prevent such unauthorized action, but to also recover the significant amount of damages, costs and attorney’s fees.”
Why does the condominium want to take Trump's name down?
It's all about business.
A straw poll conducted of the building's residents after Trump was elected president found that two-thirds of them wanted the name removed, while only 23 percent wanted it to stay.
The recent ruling does not mean that the lettering will necessarily come down, but it does mean that the 377 residents in the building will be allowed to vote on what the next course of action should be, and that the building's owners will have the legal authority to grant their request.
The letters would cost an estimated $42,000 to completely remove.
What did the court rule?
Judge Bransten ruled that just because the licensing agreement allowed the building's owners to use the Trump name, it did not require them to do so.