Middle Village Prep wins appeal to hold off eviction as legal battle goes on

MVP opens
Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS

Middle Village Preparatory Charter School (MVP), located at the Christ the King High School (CTK) campus, earned a legal victory on Wednesday afternoon after the CTK chairman announced that the middle school won their appeal, preventing the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens from forcing the school off the groungs, for now.

After receiving a temporary restraining order back in September, the chairman of the CTK board of trustees, Serphin R. Maltese, said in a statement that a motion to keep the school open as they move forward with an appeal they filed came back in their favor.

“Today, I am pleased to inform you that the Appellate Division has granted our motion to stay enforcement of Justice Gray’s order pending the hearing and determination of our original appeal,” Maltese wrote in the statement.

The issue at the heart of months-long legal battle between CTK’s board of trustees and the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens stems from a 40-year-old agreement between the two entities, where it says that CTK cannot operate anything but a Catholic high school on the school grounds without the diocese’s permission.

The diocese contends that CTK operating the secular charter school on the campus violates the agreement’s terms.

“We still must file additional paperwork with the court, and the Diocese of Brooklyn will be able to respond, but the main fact is that thanks to this decision we can continue to provide exemplary educational opportunities to all the students on the CTK campus without fear of interruption during the school year,” Maltese said.

All paperwork must be submitted to the Appellate Division by Nov. 30, the diocese said. Then, the diocese has 30 days to to file its opposition brief.

CTK, CTKCE, and MVP then have 10 days to reply to the diocese’s brief. The Appellate Division then reviews the appeals and schedules oral arguments. After the oral arguments are heard, the Appellate Division will render a written decision and order deciding the appeals.

The win also allows CTK to continue offering the Four Year Tuition Guarantee as well as continuing to grant the $500 per year Catholic School Award.

“Our feelings have not changed, we still want to work this out with Christ the King High School so that everyone is happy,” said Carolyn Erstad, spokesperson for the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens. “The door remains open for constructive dialogue so that the education of the students at Middle Village Prep is not disrupted. We hope that Christ the King will agree to the same terms as every other regional high school so that we might all move forward.”

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