Judge Orders Owner of Shipyard Quarters Marina to Take Immediate Action to Ensure Public Safety
Boat Owners Allowed to Stay if Engineer Deems Portions of Marina are Safe
BOSTON – The owner of Shipyard Quarters Marina in Charlestown has been ordered by a judge to take immediate steps to ensure the structural integrity of the severely dilapidated facility that has become a public safety and environmental concern for local residents and boat owners, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
“Shipyard Quarters Marina continues to suffer from serious structural problems placing the public at risk,” AG Coakley said. “The owner can no longer dodge his responsibility to correct this dangerous situation for boat owners and the general public. We will continue our work with Mayor Menino’s Office and the MassDEP to provide services for boat owners.”
“I want to thank Attorney General Martha Coakley for her work in moving this issue forward,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. “The residents of the marina deserve a safe place to call home, and they deserve the cooperation of Mr. Oliner after he has disregarded their safety and quality of life for so long. We’ll continue to work together on behalf of our residents and boat owners to make sure they get the best possible outcome. ”
“One year ago, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection ordered the owner of Shipyard Quarters Marina to fix the safety issues at this property,” said MassDEP Commissioner Ken Kimmell. “The owner has failed to comply. We appreciate the Attorney General’s intervention and look forward to this longstanding problem being remedied. We will closely review the engineering submissions that are required by the court order to ensure that this facility becomes safe for its users and the public.”
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Fahey granted a preliminary injunction on Thursday, ordering Martin Oliner of Lawrence, N.Y., Shipyard Quarters Marina, L.L.C. and LDA Pier 9, L.L.C. to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of any vessels currently docked at the marina.
The injunction further orders that Oliner submit a full engineering inspection report by Wednesday. If the inspection shows that no portion of the marina is safe until Oct. 31, Oliner is to facilitate and pay for the relocation of all boats and to provide a reasonable amount of time for boat owners to leave. Water, pump-out facilities and electricity are to be provided to those boats that remain in the marina.
In addition, the injunction freezes all of Oliner’s personal financial assets and places several limitations on the financial assets of his two companies. The injunction also requires regular inspections of the marina as work is performed and for the engineer to certify which sections of the marina are safe for vessels currently docked.
A lawsuit and request for a preliminary injunction against Oliner, Shipyard Quarters Marina and LDA Pier 9 were filed together in Suffolk Superior Court on Aug. 1. According to the complaint, Oliner was appointed as the trustee of the Shipyard Marina Trust and Shipyard Quarters in August 2005. He is now the sole manager of Shipyard Quarters Marina, LLC and LDA Pier 9, LLC, which are also named as defendants in the Commonwealth’s complaint.
The complaint seeks to fine Oliner $25,000 for every day that the marina’s condition violated state law, which could total millions of dollars.
On Aug. 1, Judge Fahey issued a temporary restraining order (TRO), requiring the defendants to hire an engineer to assess the structural integrity of the marina. The order also effectively froze the financial assets of Oliner and his two companies.
On Aug. 13, Oliner gave boat owners 48 hours to vacate the marina. At a Wednesday hearing, the AG’s Office alleged that Oliner violated the terms of the TRO by issuing the eviction notices and requested that Oliner give owners a reasonable amount of time to locate alternative accommodations if an inspection reveals that no portion of the marina may be made safe. The AG’s Office also requested that Oliner pay their relocation costs and fully refund license fees paid for use of the marina facilities for the remainder of the season.
Judge Fahey extended the TRO indefinitely on Aug. 14. Despite the order, the AG’s office learned that Oliner intended to move forward with evictions, and lock owners out early Friday morning. In response, the AG’s office filed an emergency motion on Aug. 15 to halt those evictions. That motion was granted.
Representatives of the AG’s Office in collaboration with the City of Boston and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) continue to assist boat owners. Those with concerns are encouraged to call Mayor Menino’s 24-hour hotline with questions at (617) 635-4500.
Assistant Attorney General Seth Schofield of AG Coakley’s Environmental Protection Division is handling this case with assistance from Advocate Amber Foley from the AG’s Victim Services Division.