A lawyer representing the owner of a women’s clothing store on Elm Street last week filed papers in state Superior Court seeking to have the landlord’s attempt to evict the business for nonpayment of rent dismissed due to improper service of legal papers.
The owner of 7 Elm St., a commercial space occupied for the past two years by Hamptonite, on Aug. 10 filed eviction papers saying that the business hadn’t paid rent for about six months, in violation of its lease. Though the monthly rent had been reduced from its original $3,900 “as a result of COVID 19 circumstances,” still business owner Kaiser Sharif stopped paying in February, according to a complaint filed on behalf of Petra Properties LLC by Norwalk-based attorney John W. Madigan III. The principal of the LLC is listed in Connecticut Secretary of the State records as an Elm Street resident.
The women’s clothing store opened on upper Elm Street in 2016. The business in early 2019 faced eviction by a prior landlord for failing to pay rent for four months. Later that year, the shop moved closer to Main. A sign can be seen in the window of Hamptonite this week saying “Store closing sale. Everything must go. 70% off. Cash only.” It appears that Hamptonite never changed the sign atop the storefront from its prior occupant, Jade Activewear.
On Sept. 3, Sharif’s lawyer, Norwalk-based Abram J. Heisler, said in a Motion to Dismiss that the return of service filed in the complaint “indicates that service was performed by an individual who did not identify himself as a state marshal but merely stated that he was authorized by law to service said papers.”
“The individual serving the papers is also not listed in the latest marshal list of the Connecticut Judicial Department,” Heisler said in a memorandum in support of the Motion. “The defendant has filed the instant motion claiming that the failure of the plaintiff to serve him in accordance with” state law.
“For the foregoing reasons, the defendant, Kaiser Sharif, asks that this action be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction,” it said.
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