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Shock Ice Cream Cone Heads Back to Court

The case will be heard in the Appellate Term in Mineola on Thursday.

Credit: Shock Ice Cream
Credit: Shock Ice Cream
The Village of Westhampton Beach and Shock Ice Cream business owner Elyse Richman will be back in court on Thursday before the Appellate Term in Mineola.

The Village of Westhampton Beach is appealing a 2012 decision made by Westhampton Beach Judge  J. Lee Snead to dismiss the case after a near two-year battle in the courts. 

The case, which has already cost the village near $18,000, began after Richman was issued a summons under the village's sign ordinance for displaying a 6-foot tall ice cream cone sculpture on Main Street.

Richaman, who challenged the $750 violation, has maintained that the cone, which has since been stolen, was not a sign, but instead a decoration for a children's birthday party she was hosting.

At first, the village board opted not to appeal, but then in a turn-around three week's after the decision, the village board voted unanimously to hire Herman Bishop as a special attorney to fight Snead's decision at a rate of $190 an hour. 

No cap was placed on his services.

At the time, village attorney Richard Haefeli explained that if the village did not appeal, the village's ability to enforce its codes would be "severely impacted." 

He said, "Even if costly, we had to do it otherwise there would be chaos on Main Street and the building inspector can't enforce the codes."

The case has been called a waste of money by former Westhampton Beach Trustee Joan Levan, who declared at a May 2013 village board meeting that Richman's ice ream cone is "the most expensive ice cream cone in the Hamptons."

Elyse Richman January 16, 2014 at 03:05 PM
So the case was finally scheduled to be heard in the Appelate Term in Mineola. The taxpayers in WHB have footed this 18,000 bill so far . 14 months ago the 2 nd Appeal was filed ,the first one was withdrawn because it was done incorrectly, you have to appeal from an order not a decision, so after billing the village over 90 hours about 18,000 why would the village not show to argue their case ?l Lets see how this absurd case finally plays out. To be continued.......

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