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Harlem Woman Sues to Kick 'Nuisance' Daycare Out of Her Building

By James Fanelli | February 5, 2014 7:32am
 A resident at 80 St. Nicholas Place in Harlem is suing a daycare center in the unit abover hers, accusing its toddlers of making too much noise.
A resident at 80 St. Nicholas Place in Harlem is suing a daycare center in the unit abover hers, accusing its toddlers of making too much noise.
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DNAInfo/James Fanelli

HARLEM — A resident of a landmarked Sugar Hill apartment building says noisy toddlers in her neighbor’s daycare center are driving her bonkers and making her sick.

Denise Suares, 61, filed a lawsuit last week against the tenants directly above her unit, claiming their romper room raises a ruckus every day from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

“The nuisance consists of there being excessive amount of noise emanating from the said above apartment consisting of children crying, jumping and running across the floor, movement of furniture, children crying in the hall ways of the building, courtyard and inordinate amount of traffic in and out of the apartment,” Suares says in her lawsuit.

Suares, who lives in a two-bedroom unit on the first floor of a St. Nicholas Place building, says she hears the fracas through her ceiling, stressing out her and her ill daughter.

Suares's blood pressure rose because of the tumultuous tots, and her daughter's medical condition worsened, sending both to the hospital on separate occasions, the lawsuit says.

But the daycare owners, Suzette and Trevor Walsh, say Suares is being a big baby.

“She tried to blame all of those things on me,” Suzette Walsh told DNAinfo New York. “Her daughter's been ill from way before I started the daycare.”

The Walshes have leased the two-bedroom unit above Suares’s home for more than 30 years. They moved to a home in Mount Vernon in 2010 but kept the unit to start a daycare business.

Suares claims in the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, that she has witnessed 12 to 15 toddlers and four daycare workers in the Walshes’ unit.

But Walsh, who is licensed to run the daycare, said that each day she has seven children at most, ranging in age from 7 months to 5 years.

Walsh said she has tried to pacify Suares by installing floor padding to absorb the sound, but  Suares continues to complain to 311, the city Health Department and the building’s management firm.

“She'll do everything in her power to shut me down. She also mentioned that she will call every agency on me,” Walsh said. “When none of those things worked, [the lawsuit] was her next resort.”

Walsh said that her kids don’t make noise — and it’s the success of her company that really bugs Suares.

“Now that I have my own business, it's like jealousy. It's like vengeance is hers,” Walsh said.

“This is ridiculous. If someone was trying to do something with their life, I would never try to stop them.”

Suares declined to comment.

She is also suing the building’s owner, 80 St. Nicholas Place Association, and its managing agent, Gilman Management Corporation, claiming the noise is a violation of her lease.