RJ and CE and EE

Breslin Realty Dev. Corp. v Shaw, 2010 NY Slip Op 00087 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010)

II. Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel

Under the doctrine of res judicata, a final judgment precludes reconsideration of all claims which could have or should have been litigated in the prior proceedings against the same party (see Parker v Blauvelt Volunteer Fire Co., 93 NY2d 343, 347). The doctrine of collateral estoppel, a narrower species of res judicata, precludes a party from relitigating in a subsequent action or proceeding an issue clearly raised in the prior action or proceeding, and decided against that party or those in privity, whether or not the tribunals or causes of action are the same (see Ryan v New York Tel. Co., 62 NY2d 494, 501-502). Once the party seeking the benefit of collateral estoppel establishes that the identical issue was "material" (emphasis supplied) to a prior judicial or quasi-judicial determination, the party to be estopped bears the burden of establishing the absence of a full and fair opportunity to litigate the issue in the prior action or proceeding (id.). Contrary to the determination of the Supreme Court, the proponent of the doctrine of collateral estoppel need not demonstrate that the particular theory in support of a cause of action was actually raised and litigated in the prior action or proceeding (see Matter of Schulz v New York State Legislature, 278 AD2d 710, 711; Williams v Steinberg, 211 AD2d 597; Lanzano v City of New York, 202 AD2d 378, 379; Sokol v Sokol, 113 F3d 303, 306).

Where the prior adjudication involved the same parties and the same cause of action, res judicata applies. "Under res judicata, or claim preclusion, a valid final judgment bars future actions between the parties on the same cause of action . . . As a general rule, once a claim is brought to a final conclusion, all other claims arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions are barred, even if based upon different theories or if seeking a different remedy'" (Parker v Blauvelt Volunteer Fire Co., 93 NY2d 343, 347, quoting O'Brien v City of Syracuse, 54 NY2d 353, 357; see Insurance Co. of State of Pa. v HSBC Bank USA, 10 NY3d 32).

Union St. Tower, LLC v Richmond, 2011 NY Slip Op 03834 (App. Div., 2nd 2011)

The doctrine of res judicata " operates to preclude the renewal of issues actually litigated and resolved in a prior proceeding as well as claims for different relief which arise out of the same factual grouping or transaction and which should have or could have been resolved in the prior proceeding'" (Luscher v Arrua, 21 AD3d 1005, 1006-1007, quoting Koether v Generalow, 213 AD2d 379, 380). To determine what "factual grouping" constitutes a "transaction," the court must consider how " the facts are related in time, space, origin, or motivation, whether they form a convenient trial unit, and whether . . . their treatment as a unit conforms to the parties' expectations or business understanding or usage'" (Smith v Russell Sage Coll., 54 NY2d 185, 192-193, quoting Restatement, Judgments 2d [Tent Draft No. 1], § 61; see Braunstein v Braunstein, 114 AD2d 46, 53). Under New York's transactional approach to the doctrine of res judicata, "once a claim is brought to a final conclusion, all other claims arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions are barred, even if based upon different theories or if seeking a different remedy" (O'Brien v City of Syracuse, 54 NY2d 353, 357).

The first and second counterclaims in this action are barred by res judicata because those claims could have been resolved in the March 2004 action (see Jennings v City of Glens Falls Indus. Dev. Agency, 9 AD3d 773, 774). These counterclaims, when compared with the causes of action in the March 2004 action "are related in time, space, origin, [and] motivation" (Smith v Russell Sage Coll., 54 NY2d at 192-193). They (1) originate from the identical agreement, (2) span the same period of time, (3) involve the same chief participants, and (4) involve the same motivation of Richmond to reclaim an ownership interest in Lot 4. "Under these circumstances, it is almost impossible to resist the conclusion that the over-all transaction here formed a convenient trial unit and that this view conforms to reasonable expectations" (Smith v Russell Sage Coll., 54 NY2d at 193 [internal quotation marks omitted]).

Vitello v Amboy Bus Co., 83 AD3d 932 (App. Div., 2nd 2011)

Under the doctrine of collateral estoppel, a party is precluded from "relitigating in a subsequent action or proceeding an issue clearly raised in a prior action or proceeding and decided against that party or those in privity, whether or not the tribunals or causes of action are the same" (Ryan v New York Tel. Co., 62 NY2d 494, 500 [1984]). Two elements must be established: (1) that "the identical issue was necessarily decided in the prior action and is decisive in the present action"; and (2) that the precluded party "must have had a full and fair opportunity to contest the prior determination" (D'Arata v New York Cent. Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 76 NY2d 659, 664 [1990]). Collateral estoppel is applicable to quasi-judicial determinations of administrative agencies, including the WCB (see Ryan v New York Tel. Co., 62 NY2d at 499; O'Gorman v Journal News Westchester, 2 AD3d 815, 816 [2003]; Rigopolous v American Museum of Natural History, 297 AD2d 728, 729 [2002]).

Here, the Decision of the WCB does not collaterally estop the defendant from arguing that it was the plaintiff's employer, because there is no indication in the record that this was a disputed issue at the workers' compensation proceeding or that the WCB specifically adjudicated this issue (see Weitz v Anzek Constr. Corp., 65 AD3d 678, 679 [2009]; Caiola v Allcity Ins. Co., 257 AD2d 586, 587 [1999]). Therefore, the Supreme Court improperly concluded that the defendant was collaterally estopped from arguing that it was the plaintiff's employer.

John Hollings, Inc. v Nick & Duke, LLC, 83 AD3d 444 (App. Div., 1st 2011)

The issue whether plaintiff was wrongfully deprived of its use of the subject premises was fully and fairly litigated, and necessarily decided, in the prior Civil Court proceeding (see Ryan v New York Tel. Co., 62 NY2d 494, 500 [1984]). Plaintiff's eviction was based on uncured lease violations alone and had no connection to the wrongs it alleges against defendants in this action.

We find that plaintiff's conduct in commencing this action was frivolous within the meaning of 22 NYCRR 130-1.1.

Town of Huntington v Beechwood Carmen Bldg. Corp., 82 AD3d 1203 (App. Div., 2nd 2011)

"Under the doctrine of res judicata, a disposition on the merits bars litigation between the same parties or those in privity with them of a cause of action arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions as a cause of action that either was raised or could have been raised in the prior proceeding" (Goldstein v Massachusetts Mut. Life Ins. Co., 32 AD3d 821, 821 [2006]; see Greenstone/Fontana Corp. v Feldstein, 72 AD3d 890, 893 [2010]). "A stipulation of discontinuance with prejudice without reservation of right or limitation of the claims disposed of is entitled to preclusive effect under the doctrine of res judicata" (Liberty Assoc. v Etkin, 69 AD3d 681, 682-683 [2010]; see Greenstone/Fontana Corp. v Feldstein, 72 AD3d at 893). Here, the Town's current claims against SBJ were either raised or could have been raised in the previous action which was discontinued with prejudice against SBJ and, thus, the Town is precluded under principles of res judicata from litigating claims against SBJ arising from the same transaction. Accordingly, the complaint was properly dismissed insofar as asserted against SBJ.

OrthoTec, LLC v Healthpoint Capital, LLC, 2011 NY Slip Op 04533 (App. DIv., 1st 2011)

To be sure, "collateral estoppel will bar the subsequent independent action . . . if . . . the moving party was in fact given a hearing on the motion that was the equivalent of a trial with oral testimony" (id. at 668, 123 Cal Rptr 2d at 170-171 [emphasis added]). However, plaintiff was not given such a hearing. It was given the opportunity for a hearing, but it chose not to exercise that opportunity.

Defendants' reliance on Barker v Hull (191 Cal App 3d 221, 226, 236 Cal Rptr 285, 289 [1987]) is unavailing, since the evidence on the motion which led to the decision to which defendants seek to give preclusive effect was indeed restricted.

Dier v Suffolk County Water Auth., 2011 NY Slip Op 03993 (App. Div., 2nd 2011)

The Supreme Court erred in concluding that the appellant is estopped from asserting a defense based on the plaintiff's failure to serve a timely notice of claim. Equitable estoppel against a public corporation will lie only when the conduct of the public corporation was calculated to, or negligently did, mislead or discourage a party from serving a timely notice of claim, and when that conduct was justifiably relied upon by that party (see Bender v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 38 NY2d 662; Dorce v United Rentals N. Am., Inc., 78 AD3d 1110, 1111; Vandermast v New York City Tr. Auth., 71 AD3d 1127; Mohl v Town of Riverhead, 62 AD3d 969; Wade v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 16 AD3d 677). Here, the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the appellant engaged in any misleading conduct that would support a finding of equitable estoppel (see Dorce v United Rentals N. Am., Inc., 78 AD3d at 1111; Wade v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 16 AD3d 677; Walter H. Poppe Gen. Contr. v Town of Ramapo, 280 AD2d 667, 668; Cappadonna v New York City Tr. Auth., 187 AD2d 691, 692; Nicholas v City of New York, 130 AD2d 470). The fact that the appellant conducted an examination pursuant to General Municipal Law § 50-h prior to making its motion to dismiss does not justify a finding of estoppel (see Hochberg v City of New York, 63 NY2d 665; Wade v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 16 AD3d 677; Rodriguez v City of New York, 169 AD2d 532, 533; Ceely v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., 162 AD2d 492). Accordingly, the appellant's motion, in effect, to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against it for the plaintiff's failure to serve a timely notice of claim pursuant to General Municipal Law § 50-e(5) should have been granted.

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