OFF the construction-choked streets of Manhattan, tenants are in court fighting condominium developers, in search of justice — or at least a bigger settlement.

At 220 Central Park South, 22 tenants recently won a small victory in State Supreme Court in Manhattan that could eventually delay the demolition of their building for a 41-story glass tower. In a ruling on June 4, Justice Paul G. Feinman found that state law may require the state to conduct a formal environmental review, including a study of what effect the project, and its influx of wealthy buyers, “may have on population patterns or existing community character.”

The decision rejected efforts by the developers, the Clarett Group and Vornado Realty Trust, to dismiss the tenant suit.

Jack L. Lester, a lawyer for the tenants, said the ruling marked the first time a court had found that environmental regulations might be used to protect tenants under the state’s rent-stabilization law.

220 Central Park South Credit Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

Veronica W. Hackett, the managing partner of the Clarett Group, minimized the decision’s significance. She said that a state hearing officer had been assigned to the group’s eviction case and that she expected the hearings to get under way soon.

James Plastiras, a spokesman for the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, suggested that the hearings might be delayed because of the lawsuit. “We are reviewing all possible options,” he said.

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The proposed demolition, announced last year, involves the eviction of 80 tenants from a large postwar building. All but 30 tenants have since left the building, including market-rent tenants and rent-regulated tenants who have accepted buyouts.

Mr. Lester said the tenants he represents had rejected an offer of $1 million per apartment to leave the building and were seeking a higher offer.

They include Jean E. Shimotake, a partner at the law firm of White & Case, and Leighton Candler, a well-known broker at the Corcoran Group. Ms. Candler was recently selected to handle the sale of the late Brooke Astor’s duplex co-op at 778 Park Avenue with an asking price $46 million.

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