CPLR § 325
Goodwin v Rice, 2010 NY Slip Op 09103 (App. Div., 2nd 2010)
The Supreme Court and the Surrogate's Court have concurrent jurisdiction over the administration of a decedent's estate (see Cipo v Van Blerkom, 28 AD3d 602; Gaentner v Benkovich, 18 AD3d 424, 428). "However, [w]herever possible, all litigation involving the property and funds of a decedent's estate should be disposed of in the Surrogate's Court'" (Cipo v Van Blerkom, 28 AD3d at 602, quotingNichols v Kruger, 113 AD2d 878, 878-879; see Hollander v Hollander, 42 AD2d 701; cf. Gaentner v Benkovich, 18 AD3d at 428). The Supreme Court, upon motion, may transfer an action to the Surrogate's Court "[w]here an action pending in the supreme court affects the administration of a decedent's estate which is within the jurisdiction of the surrogate's court" (CPLR 325[e]; see NY Const, Art VI, §§ 12[f], 19[a]). The plaintiff commenced this action in her [*2]capacity as preliminary executor of the decedent's estate, and seeks to recover in this action, inter alia, funds the defendants allegedly owe to the estate. As such, determination of this action "affects the administration of the decedent's estate" (see CPLR 325[e]; Cipo v Van Blerkom, 28 AD3d at 602; Birnbaum v Central Trust Co., 156 AD2d 309, 310; Burmax Co. v B & S Indus., 135 AD2d 599, 601-602; Nichols v Kruger, 113 AD2d 878; Hollander v Hollander, 42 AD2d at 701). Moreover, transfer to the Surrogate's Court will "foster judicial economy and lead to an expedited settlement of the [decedent's] estate," as a separate action involving the estate is ongoing in Surrogate's Court (Burmax Co. v B & S Indus., 135 AD2d at 601-602; see Birnbaum v Central Trust Co., 156 AD2d at 310). Accordingly, the Supreme Court properly exercised its power under article VI, section 19(a) of the New York State Constitution to grant the defendants' cross motion pursuant to CPLR 325(e) to transfer this action to the Surrogate's Court, Nassau County (see Benjamin v Morgan Guar. Trust Co. of N.Y., 173 AD2d 373, 374; Peekskill Community Hosp. v Sayres, 88 AD2d 657).