West Carthage takes legal action to prevent inn from housing migrants

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 3:40 PM EDT
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WEST CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - West Carthage Mayor Scott Burto believes a village motel is already set to house asylum seekers, and the village is taking legal action to stop it from happening.

The village filed a complaint in State Supreme Court on Thursday against the Pleasant Night Inn, which is owned by Paresh Patel.

On Wednesday, Patel told 7 News that he heard from a company that’s helping New York state place migrants who are coming to New York City.

He said the company asked him for details about his motel, including the number of rooms.

“We don’t have any contract or anything,” Patel said.

He added that if his facility was needed, “We want to go the legal way with the village permission, as well as county and the state government’s permission.”

However, Burto says he believes this is a done deal and that West Carthage isn’t equipped to handle the situation. Plus, he says if it happens, the motel will be violating village code by running as a long-term stay motel.

West Carthage recently changed its village code to prohibit hotels and motels from housing people for longer than 30 days.

According to legal documents, Burto and the deputy mayor met with Patel on Wednesday to talk about the village code.

In an affidavit, Burto states, “The Property owner offered to buy equipment for the Village playground if we refrained from enforcing

the law. We told him we did not need anything from him and that the Village’s laws would be enforced fairly, irrespective of any donation to the community.”

In his sworn statement, Burto says waiting until the law is violated and the motel is full of people who can’t be easily moved is “an unjust outcome.”

“We have a situation where the Defendant has unequivocally expressed his plan to violate the Village Code in a way that will immediately harm the community and cannot be easily corrected once the violation is committed. It is incumbent on the local government to enforce the law fairly for the benefit of the entire community and we require the assistance of the judicial system in order to fulfill this duty,” Burto states.

The village is looking for the court to issue a restraining order that would prohibit the inn from violating the village code.

This isn’t the first time the Pleasant Night Inn has been in the news.

In 2022, protesters gathered outside the motel to protest the housing of registered sex offenders there.

The demonstration came a week after one of the inn’s residents - placed there by the Jefferson County Department of Social Services - was seen pleasuring himself in view of two adolescent children using the playground, less than 1,000 feet from the motel.

Patel changed hotel policy to no longer allow registered sex offenders to stay in the inn.

“I’ve heard from the community that they are making trouble in the community. So that’s why I decided,” Patel said at the time.