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On Friday, the Superior Court judge who ordered the eviction of Laura Friedman and Anthony Villano from Cobb’s Mill Inn lifted a stay on the execution of that order.
The judge, having conducted an inspection of the property, found damage to its interior “stunning.”
The eviction had been put on hold when the defendants — Ms. Friedman and Mr. Villano — sought relief from the Appellate Court.
But in her order on Friday, Judge Sheila Ozalis found that the appeal was filed solely to delay her July 21 summary judgment, itself a procedure intended to provide Cobb’s Mill owners Kleber and Sandra Siguenza “an expeditious remedy.”
Judge Ozalis had already telegraphed her displeasure with the dilatory tactics of the defense, ordering — of her own volition — a hearing to consider holding the defendants and their attorney in contempt, particularly for defying orders she had previously issued.
That hearing itself was delayed more than once, including most recently on October 19, a day the attorneys had scheduling conflicts, Ms. Friedman was in Greece, and Mr. Villano was in jail.
The day before in Milford Superior Court, Mr. Villano was convicted of first-degree larceny and taken into custody. A jury found him guilty of stealing a U-Haul truck he had rented and never returned, going so far as to remove the truck’s U-Haul emblems. He faces 20 years for that offense and has a number of other criminal charges pending. His bail was increased to $100,000, and he was released from custody a few days later.
“Stunning interior damage”
On the 20th, Judge Ozalis, the plaintiff, their attorney, and a defense attorney conducted a long-delayed inspection of Cobb’s Mill Inn.
“The property,” wrote the judge, “has stunning interior damage. Ceilings were falling down due to water damage, floors were buckled and rain was actively coming into the buildings in well over a dozen areas.”
“The buildings have deteriorated significantly” while in the possession of the defendants, she wrote. “There is a real and immediate need for plaintiff to be able to take immediate possession of the property to prevent further damage to it during the appeal period.”
“If the stay is not lifted, the building will be permanently destroyed.”
August 9, 2023: Cobbs Mill Eviction On Hold
July 24, 2023: Cobbs Mill Inn Eviction Ordered