Civil Court and Counterclaims and Cross claims

It's a jurisidctional thing

51 W. 86th St. Assoc. LLC v Fontana, 2010 NY Slip Op 51602(U) (App. Term, 1st 2010)

Civil Court should not have adjudicated Degala's cross claim against tenants seeking to recover the rent overcharge and related treble damages. By that cross claim, Degala sought to recover approximately $23,000 in compensatory damages and, after the trebling of those damages, a total of approximately $69,000 in damages. Since Degala asserted a single cross claim beyond the monetary jurisdiction of the Civil Court — $25,000 — the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over that claim (see 1443 York Ave. Realty Co. v Ronning, 12 Misc 3d 142[A], 2006 NY Slip Op 51401[U] [2006]; see also Herbert v Jerome, 14 Misc 3d 141[A], 2007 NY Slip Op 50351[U] [2007]). We note in this connection that, while Civil Court has subject matter jurisdiction to hear and adjudicate counterclaims without regard to the amount sought (CCA 208[b], 211; see PRAPL 743), it has no similar jurisdiction with respect to cross claims (see 125 Church St. Dev. Co. v Grassfield, 170 Misc 2d 31 [1996]; Scherer & Fisher, Residential Landlord-Tenant Law in NY §§ 7:56, 10:11 [2009 ed]; Siegel, NY Prac § 19 [4th ed]). For similar reasons, Civil Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over tenants' cross claims sounding in tort against Degala — each of which sought damages in excess of Civil Court's monetary jurisdiction. Therefore, we vacate those portions of the order addressing the merits of Degala's and tenants' respective cross claims, and dismiss said claims without prejudice (see CPLR 205; see generally Bing v Fairfield Presidential Mgt. Corp., 5 Misc 3d 130[A], 2004 NY Slip Op 51297[U] [2004]).

So, in short:  Counterclaims over $25,000.00 (OK); Cross claims over $25,000.00 (Hell no).

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