The private attorney who has drawn the wrath of City Councilwoman Eneida Martinez has a collection action against her for failing to pay more than $10,000 in leaseholder fees, common charges and maintenance fees at her Wilmot Apartments residence on Connecticut Avenue, according to filings in Superior Court. The Bridgeport law firm of Juda Epstein, who Martinez has criticized for abusive collection action against her constituents regarding Water Pollution Control Authority user fees, filed the collection action against her December 20 on behalf of Wilmot Apartments. It seeks judgement for immediate possession of the premises. Martinez tells OIB a prior years-long collection complaint was recently tossed based on a technicality. In response the Epstein law firm recently refiled the new court complaint. See complaint here. Recent case history here. Martinez has legal counsel contesting the case and asserts her legal battle with Epstein has nothing to do with her criticism of the attorney.
“My case has nothing to do with my fight for the abuse of the WPCA,” Martinez stated in a text to OIB. “That shouldn’t even be part of the conversation of what is happening in the city. My case was regarding a strict foreclosure he filed at a co-op I own.”
Part of her criticism, she adds, centers on the inordinate amount of collection work Epstein receives from the City Attorney’s Office when “there are other qualifying attorneys that can be as efficient, but receive little or no cases from the city.”
The Ordinance Committee that Martinez co-chairs is scheduled to meet Monday at 5 p.m. to question the principals involved in WPCA collection cases including Epstein. OIB has left phone and email messages with Epstein seeking comment.