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Dec 18, 2018 12:53 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Obstructing Fence To Come Down At Eastport Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin' Donuts on Eastport Manor Road in Eastport currently has a fence around it that restricts access to about half of its parking spaces. ANISAH ABDULLAH
Dec 19, 2018 11:18 AM

A chain-link fence that has restricted parking access at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Eastport Manor Road for nearly three weeks will be dismantled as a result of a December 11 court order.

Gobind “Ben” Bathija, the owner of the Dunkin’ Donuts, and the neighboring property owner, Minas Michaelian, of CMWV LLC, went to Suffolk County Supreme Court on Tuesday to resolve their year-and-a-half-long dispute over who has rights to a strip of land used by the donut shop as part of its parking lot.

The judge, Sanford Neil Berland, issued a court order restraining Mr. Michaelian from “interfering with the possession and use by defendants and their customers, guests and invitees” of the area in dispute, according to the court order. Mr. Michaelian must remove the fence within 30 days of the order.

Mr. Michaelian, who owns the property surrounding Dunkin’ Donuts on three sides, hired a lawyer in 2017 after accusing Mr. Bathija of expanding the parking lot past the property line and of clearing trees that were not on his property. Mr. Michaelian put up the fence on November 28 amid the lawsuit, which prevented access to about half of the parking lot and caused the donut outlet to lose 30 percent of its business, according to Mr. Bathija’s attorney, Louis Algios, of Miller, Rosado and Algios, LLP.

With the fence up, customers had difficulty maneuvering their cars in the tight lot and some even parked along the street or in the King Kullen parking lot across the street. Garbage and delivery trucks could not properly drive to the rear of the building like they did before.

Mr. Algios said that his client, Mr. Bathija, must provide $20,000 to the court by December 31 to cover any damages or costs from the fence removal, in the event that he loses the case. The court order document mistakenly said “plaintiff” in the handwritten note about the undertaking when it should have said “defendant,” according to Mr. Algios.

Mr. Michaelian did not return calls seeking comment.

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