In the eyes of the law, Madonna’s no different than a door-to-door salesman or even a jailbird.
That was the position of a no-nonsense Manhattan judge who said that the superstar’s lawsuit against her Central Park West co-op to skirt building rules belongs in Housing Court with average New Yorkers.
“Let’s say your client were a traveling salesperson or away in college or serving a brief period in jail, wouldn’t your client be as protected then as she is now going on tour and spending an inordinate amount of time in hotels?” Judge Gerald Lebovits asked Madonna’s lawyer in court Monday.
“It’s the same principle,” he said.
The “Like a Virgin” singer is suing One West 64th Street over a strict residency requirement that says her children and domestic servants aren’t allowed inside her $7.3 million unit while she’s not there.
Madonna has four children — Lourdes Leon, 20, Rocco Ritchie, 16, David Banda Ritchie, 11, and Mercy James, 10.
The building’s board implemented the new rule in 2014.
“Certainly such a requirement is ridiculous and impossible for almost any family to comply with, and certainly not someone with plaintiff’s itinerant schedule,” Madonna’s April lawsuit says.
Her attorney, Stuart Shaw, told the judge that he submitted a sworn statement from his client that explains her lifestyle.
“She has homes all around the world, she travels extensively, she has a house in California, she has a house in Europe. She goes on tours, she spends an inordinate amount of time in hotels, yet the places she calls home is 64th Street,” Shaw said.
Judge Lebovits was not impressed.
“There’s a landlord-tenant relationship between your client and the cooperative corporation and they could bring a Housing Court action to evict,” he said.
Shaw argued that his international pop star client “should not have to wait to defend an eviction proceeding.”
The building’s attorney, Patrick J. Sweeney, said the suit should be tossed because Madonna waited too long to file it. In court papers he also argued that Madonna cannot “credibly claim she was treated any differently from every other shareholder.”
The judge said he’d issue a written decision to determine in the coming weeks.