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We Moved

I’ve decided to move thecplrblog to here, under the bruteforcelawyer site, because typepad has been absolutely terrible for me for quite some time now.  Some things might be moved around since I’m not sure whether I want to run more than one blog on this site. So, you might have to take an extra step to click on the CPLR stuff at some point.

Successive vacate motions

Shannon v Ifemesia, 2018 NY Slip Op 07478 [2d Dept. 2018]

We also agree with the Supreme Court’s denial of the defendant’s second motion to vacate the default judgment and to dismiss the complaint. The defendant was precluded from making a second motion to vacate her default on the same ground raised in the prior motion (see Viva Dev. Corp. v United Humanitarian Relief Fund, 108 AD3d 619, 620; JMP Pizza, LLC v 34th St. Pizza, LLC, 104 AD3d 648).

CPLR 3016(f)

SSG Door & Hardware, Inc. v APS Contr., Inc., 2018 NY Slip Op 07481 [2d Dept. 2018]

In an action involving, inter alia, goods sold and delivered, CPLR 3016(f) permits a plaintiff to “set forth and number in his [or her] verified complaint the items of his [or her] claim and the reasonable value or agreed price of each.” “To meet the requirements of CPLR 3016(f), a complaint must contain a listing of the goods or services provided, with enough detail that it may readily be examined and its correctness tested entry by entry'” (Teal, Becker & Chiaramonte, CPAs v Sutton, 197 AD2d 768, 768-769, quoting Innis, Pearce & Co. v Poppenberg, Inc., 213 App Div 789, 790; see Raytone Plumbing Specialities, Inc. v Sano Constr. Corp., 92 AD3d 855, 856). If the complaint meets these requirements, the defendant may not generally deny allegations of the complaint, but must, instead, specifically dispute the items on the plaintiff’s list (see Summit Sec. Servs., Inc. v Main St. Lofts Yonkers, LLC, 73 AD3d 906).

Here, the complaint failed to comply with CPLR 3016(f). The three invoices failed to state the price of each individual invoice item, or the date when each item was delivered. Although it was acknowledged that partial payment was made, the plaintiff did not specify what the partial payment was for. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant made a partial payment toward one invoice without specifying to which of the invoiced items the defendant’s payment was applied (see Anderson & Anderson, LLP-Guangzhou v Incredible Invs. Ltd., 107 AD3d 1520Summit Sec. Servs., Inc. v Main St. Lofts Yonkers, LLC, 73 AD3d 906Epstein, Levinsohn, Bodine, Hurwitz & Weinstein, LLP v Shakedown Records, Ltd., 8 AD3d 34Innis Pearce & Co. v Poppenberg, Inc., 213 App Div 789).

In any event, even assuming CPLR 3016(f) was complied with, a general denial is sufficient where a defense to the cause of action pursuant to CPLR 3016(f) speaks to the “entirety of the parties’ dealings” (Anderson & Anderson, LLP-Guangzhou v Incredible Invs. Ltd., 107 AD3d at 1522 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Harbor Seafood v Quality Fish Co., 194 AD2d 713). In this case, the defense—that the plaintiff breached the contract by untimely delivering the items in the contract—goes to the entirety of the parties’ dealings. Further, damages awarded on the counterclaim may offset liability for goods sold and delivered if the circumstances warrant it (see Created Gemstones v Union Carbide Corp., 47 NY2d 250, 255; Panda Capital Corp. v Kopo Intl., 242 AD2d 690, 692).

22 NYCRR 202.48

Solomon v Burden, 2018 NY Slip Op 07480 [2d Dept. 2018]

The plaintiffs made a second motion for an order of reference. The Supreme Court denied this motion without prejudice, finding that the plaintiffs abandoned their motion for an order of reference since they failed to submit the order of reference within 60 days after the signing and filing of the order directing submission, without showing good cause for their failure, in violation of 22 NYCRR 202.48(a). The plaintiffs then moved, inter alia, in effect, to extend the time to submit an order of reference, and for an order of reference. In the order appealed from, the court granted those branches of the plaintiffs’ motion, excusing the plaintiffs’ failure to submit some of the supporting documents the court had directed them to provide in its earlier order.

” It is within the sound discretion of the court to accept a belated order or judgment for settlement'” (Curanovic v Cordone, 134 AD3d 978, 979, quoting Russo v Russo, 289 AD2d 467, 468; see Dime Sav. Bank of N.Y. v Anzel, 232 AD2d 446). “Moreover, a court should not deem an action or judgment abandoned where the result would not bring the repose to court proceedings that 22 NYCRR 202.48 was designed to effectuate, and would waste judicial resources'” (Curanovic v Cordone, 134 AD3d at 979, quoting Meany v Supermarkets Gen. Corp., 239 AD2d 393, 394; see Zaretsky v Ok Hui Kim, 17 AD3d 455, 456; Matter of Argento v New York State Div. of Hous. & Community Renewal, 269 AD2d 443, 444; Crawford v Simmons, 226 AD2d 667).

Here, under the particular facts of this case, the interests of justice dictate that the court not be burdened with a trial where liability is certain. To hold otherwise would be contrary to the intent of 22 NYCRR 202.48 and would lead to a waste of judicial resources (see Russo v City of New York, 206 AD2d 355, 356). Accordingly, the Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in granting that branch of the plaintiffs’ motion which was, in effect, to extend their time to submit an order of reference.

The Supreme Court also did not violate the law of the case doctrine in excusing the plaintiffs’ failure to submit some of the supporting documents the court had directed them to provide in its earlier order. Generally, a plaintiff in a foreclosure action who is awarded summary judgment on the complaint is entitled to an order of reference appointing a referee (see e.g. Citibank, N.A. v Gentile, 156 AD3d 859). Consequently, the court’s original direction, made after the plaintiffs had already been awarded summary judgment, that supporting documents be submitted along with an order of reference was a discretionary ruling to which the law of the case doctrine does not apply (see Clark v Great Atl. & Pac. Tea Co., Inc., 23 AD3d 510, 511; Latture v Smith, 304 AD2d 534; Brothers v Bunkoff Gen. Contrs., 296 AD2d 764, 765).

 

pre-judgment interest: CPLR 5001(a)

Scotti v Barrett, 2018 NY Slip Op 07477 [2d Dept. 2018]

On a prior appeal in this action, this Court awarded summary judgment to the plaintiff, inter alia, on the cause of action to recover damages for conversion in the sum of $69,500, representing the amount of estate funds that were wrongfully converted by the defendant Rick Barrett. The Supreme Court subsequently entered an amended judgment that awarded the plaintiff the sum of $69,500 but failed to award prejudgment interest at the statutory rate of 9% per annum on that sum. The plaintiff appeals from so much of the amended judgment as failed to award prejudgment interest at the statutory rate on the $69,500 damages award.

“The usual measure of damages for conversion is the value of the property at the time and place of conversion, plus interest” (Fantis Foods v Standard Importing Co., 49 NY2d 317, 326; see Hoffman v Dorner, 86 AD2d 651). Indeed, CPLR 5001(a) provides for the award of prejudgment interest upon sums awarded for the deprivation of or interference with another’s property, and relevant case law clearly establishes that such interest is properly awarded as part of the recovery on a cause of action sounding in conversion (see 23 E. 39th St. Mgt. Corp. v 23 E. 39th St. Dev., LLC, 134 AD3d 629, 632; Hunt v Hunt, 13 AD3d 1041, 1043; Zimmerman v Tarshis, 300 AD2d 477, 478; Eighteen Holding Corp. v Drizin, 268 AD2d 371, 372; Phillips v Catania, 188 AD2d 1029, 1030). Moreover, interest is to be awarded at the statutory rate of 9% per annum (see CPLR 5004; Zimmerman v Tarshis, 300 AD2d at 478; Phillips v Catania, 188 AD2d at 1030; Long Playing Sessions v Deluxe Labs., 129 AD2d 539, 540).

Accordingly, we remit the matter to the Supreme Court, Nassau County, for the entry of a second amended judgment that includes an award of prejudgment interest at the statutory rate of 9% per annum on the damages awarded in favor of the plaintiff on the cause of action to recover damages for conversion.

3211(a)(7) and no-fault

Abruscato v Allstate Prop., 2018 NY Slip Op 07279 [2d Dept. 2018]

“Where evidentiary material is submitted and considered on a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7), and the motion is not converted into one for summary judgment, the question becomes whether the plaintiff has a cause of action, not whether the plaintiff has stated one, and unless it has been shown that a material fact as claimed by the plaintiff to be one is not a fact at all and unless it can be said that no significant dispute exists regarding it, dismissal should not eventuate” (Rabos v R & R Bagles & Bakery, Inc., 100 AD3d 849, 851-852; see Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, 43 NY2d 268, 275).

We agree with the Supreme Court’s determination granting that branch of the defendant’s motion which was pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) to dismiss so much of the first cause of action as sought to recover no-fault insurance benefits for lost wages. It is undisputed that the plaintiff did not submit a claim for reimbursement for lost wages, and therefore the defendant’s obligation to pay or deny such a claim never arose (see 11 NYCRR 65-3.8; see also Viviane Etienne Med. Care, P.C. v Country-Wide Ins. Co., 25 NY3d 498Sound Shore Med. Ctr. v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 106 AD3d 157).

We also agree with the Supreme Court’s determination granting those branches of the defendant’s motion which were to dismiss the second and third causes of action to recover damages for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, respectively. The conduct alleged, even if proven, was not sufficiently extreme and outrageous to support the cause of action to recover damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress (see Brunache v MV Transp., Inc., 151 AD3d 1011, 1014; Long Is. Care Ctr., Inc. v Goodman, 137 AD3d 874, 875). Additionally, the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant does not give rise to a duty which could furnish a basis for tort liability in negligence (see Pirrelli v OCWEN Loan Servicing, LLC, 129 AD3d 689, 692; Baumann v Hanover Community Bank, 100 AD3d 814, 816).

We also agree with the Supreme Court’s determination granting that branch of the defendant’s motion which was to dismiss the fourth cause of action, which sought declaratory relief, since the plaintiff has an adequate alternative remedy in the form of a cause of action to recover no-fault insurance benefits (see Stuckey v Lutheran Care Found. Network, Inc., 140 AD3d 734, 736; Alizio v Feldman, 82 AD3d 804, 805; BGW Dev. Corp. v Mount Kisco Lodge No. 1552 of Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks of U.S. of Am., 247 AD2d 565, 568).

Further, the Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in denying the plaintiff’s cross motion for leave to amend the complaint, because the proposed amendments were palpably insufficient and patently devoid of merit (see White Knight of Flatbush, LLC v Deacons of Dutch Congregation of Flatbush, 159 AD3d 939Ferrandino & Son, Inc. v Wheaton Bldrs., Inc., LLC, 82 AD3d 1035, 1037; Lucido v Mancuso, 49 AD3d 220, 229).

However, the Supreme Court should have denied that branch of the defendant’s motion which was to dismiss so much of the first cause of action as sought to recover no-fault insurance benefits for medical expenses. The defendant contends, inter alia, that the plaintiff lacked standing because he had assigned his right to no-fault insurance benefits for medical expenses to his medical providers. Although the defendant submitted evidence that the plaintiff assigned his right to no-fault benefits to two medical providers (hereinafter the assignees), the plaintiff’s evidentiary submissions showed that other medical providers had also billed him for their services. Moreover, upon the defendant’s determination that the injury was not causally related to the motor vehicle accident, the assignees were no longer precluded from seeking payment from the plaintiff (see Hospital for Joint Diseases v Travelers Prop. Cas. Ins. Co., 9 NY3d 312, 318; Central Gen. Hosp. v Chubb Group of Ins. Cos., 90 NY2d 195, 199; Rotwein v Stancil, 15 Misc 3d 19, 21). Since there was a failure of insurance coverage rendering the plaintiff personally responsible for the medical bills (see Hospital for Joint Diseases v Travelers Prop. Cas. Ins. Co., 9 NY3d at 318; Central Gen. Hosp. v Chubb Group of Ins. Cos., 90 NY2d at 199; Rotwein v Stancil, 15 Misc 3d at 21), the plaintiff has a cause of action to recover no-fault insurance benefits for medical expenses from the defendant (see Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, 43 NY2d at 275).

Standing waived

BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P. v Chertov, 2018 NY Slip Op 07281 [2d Dept. 2018]

The defendant waived the defense of lack of standing (see Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Erobobo, 127 AD3d 1176Wells Fargo Bank Minn., N.A. v Mastropaolo, 42 AD3d 239). Therefore, BAC was not required to establish its standing in order to demonstrate its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law (see Citigroup v Kopelowitz, 147 AD3d 1014, 1015; JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v Butler, 129 AD3d 777, 780).

Personal Jurisdiction waived and waited too long to bring up 317

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v Soussis, 2018 NY Slip Op 07294 [2d Dept. 2018]

The defendant waived any claim that the Supreme Court lacked personal jurisdiction over her. The defendant appeared in the action by serving a notice of appearance, and neither she nor her attorney moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of personal jurisdiction at that time or asserted lack of personal jurisdiction in a responsive pleading (see CPLR 320[a], [b]; U.S. Bank N.A. v Pepe, 161 AD3d 811, 812-813; Wilmington Sav. Fund Socy., FSB v Zimmerman, 157 AD3d 846, 847; American Home Mtge. Servicing, Inc. v Arklis, 150 AD3d 1180, 1181; National Loan Invs., L.P. v Piscitello, 21 AD3d 537, 538).

The defendant’s contention that she was entitled to relief pursuant to CPLR 317 is improperly raised for the first time on appeal (see Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Saketos, 158 AD3d 610, 612).

CPLR 3215 and 317 standard

Kircher v William Penn Life Ins. Co. of N.Y., 2018 NY Slip Op 07295 [2d Dept. 2018]

“On a motion for leave to enter judgment against a defendant for the failure to answer or appear, a plaintiff must submit proof of service of the summons and complaint, proof of the facts constituting its claim, and proof of the defendant’s default” (Triangle Props. # 2, LLC v Narang, 73 AD3d 1030, 1032; see CPLR 3215[f]; Mercury Cas. Co. v Surgical Ctr. at Milburn, LLC, 65 AD3d 1102). Here, the plaintiff submitted proof that it properly effected service of process upon the defendant pursuant to Insurance Law § 1212 by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to the Superintendent of Insurance (see Insurance Law § 1212[a]). The plaintiff also submitted proof of the facts constituting the claim and proof of the defendant’s default in appearing or answering the complaint. Thus, the plaintiff established her entitlement to enter a default judgment against the defendant (see Seidler v Knopf, 153 AD3d 874, 875; Cruz v Keter Residence, LLC, 115 AD3d 700).

However, in opposition, the defendant established its entitlement to relief from its default under CPLR 317. “Pursuant to CPLR 317, a defaulting defendant who was served with a summons other than by personal delivery’ may be permitted to defend the action upon a finding by the court that the defendant did not personally receive notice of the summons in time to defend and has a potentially meritorious defense” (Booso v Tausik Bros., LLC, 148 AD3d 1108, 1108, quoting CPLR 317; see Eugene Di Lorenzo, Inc. v A.C. Dutton Lbr. Co., 67 NY2d 138, 141; Gershman v Midtown Moving & Stor., Inc., 123 AD3d 974, 975). There is no necessity for a defendant moving pursuant to CPLR 317 to show a reasonable excuse for its delay (see Eugene Di Lorenzo, Inc. v A. C. Dutton Lbr. Co., 67 NY2d at 141; Booso v Tausik Bros., LLC, 148 AD3d at 1108; see also Samet v Bedford Flushing Holding Corp., 299 AD2d 404, 405). Here, the defendant met its burden of showing that it did not receive actual notice of the summons, which was delivered to the Superintendent of Insurance, in time to defend itself against this action (see Gershman v Midtown Moving & Stor., Inc., 123 AD3d at 975; Ferguson v Shu Ham Lam, 59 AD3d 387, 388; Hospital for Joint Diseases v Lincoln Gen. Ins. Co., 55 AD3d 543, 544). Moreover, there is no basis in the record upon which to conclude that the defendant was deliberately attempting to avoid service of process (see Gershman v Midtown Moving & Stor., Inc., 123 AD3d at 975; Samet v Bedford Flushing Holding Corp., 299 AD2d at 405). Furthermore, the defendant met its burden of demonstrating the existence of a potentially meritorious defense.

3015(e)

Kristeel, Inc. v Seaview Dev. Corp., 2018 NY Slip Op 07296 [2d Dept. 2018]

“Pursuant to CPLR 3015(e), a complaint that seeks to recover damages for breach of a home improvement contract or to recover in quantum meruit for home improvement services is subject to dismissal under CPLR 3211(a)(7) if it does not allege compliance with the licensing requirement” (ENKO Constr. Corp. v Aronshtein, 89 AD3d 676, 677; see Holistic Homes, LLC v Greenfield, 138 AD3d 689, 690; Westchester Stone, Sand & Gravel v Marcella, 262 AD2d 403, 404). Moreover, a home improvement contractor who fails to possess and plead possession of a valid license as required by relevant laws may not commence an action to foreclose a mechanic’s lien (see Nicotra v Manger, 64 AD3d 547).

Conditional Order 3126

McIntosh v New York City Partnership Dev. Fund Co., Inc., 2018 NY Slip Op 07303 [2d Dept. 2018]

Contrary to the plaintiffs’ contention, under the language of the conditional order of preclusion, the plaintiffs’ failure to respond to outstanding discovery demands from even a single other party would result in the plaintiffs being precluded from presenting any evidence of damages at trial. The plaintiffs did not meet their burden to avoid the adverse effect of the conditional order of preclusion, as they did not “demonstrate a reasonable excuse for the failure to comply with the order and the existence of a potentially meritorious” cause of action (Naiman v Fair Trade Acquisition Corp., 152 AD3d at 780).