3211

County of Suffolk v MHC Greenwood Vil., LLC, 2012 NY Slip Op 00174 (2nd Dept., 2012)

"When a party moves to dismiss a complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7), the standard is whether the pleading states a cause of action, not whether the proponent of the pleading has a cause of action" (Sokol v Leader, 74 AD3d 1180, 1180-1181; see Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, 43 NY2d 268, 275). "In considering such a motion, the court must accept the facts as alleged in the complaint as true, accord plaintiffs the benefit of every possible favorable inference, and determine only whether the facts as alleged fit within any cognizable legal theory" (Sokol v Leader, 74 AD3d at 1181 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Nonnon v City of New York, 9 NY3d 825, 827; Leon v Martinez, 84 NY2d 83, 87-88). " Whether a plaintiff can ultimately establish its allegations is not part of the calculus'" (Sokol v Leader, 74 AD3d at 1181, quoting EBC I, Inc. v Goldman, Sachs & Co., 5 NY3d 11, 19). "A court is, of course, permitted to consider evidentiary material submitted by a defendant in support of a motion to dismiss pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7)" (Sokol v Leader, 74 AD3d at 1181; see CPLR 3211[c]). "If the court considers evidentiary material, the criterion then becomes whether the proponent of the pleading has a cause of action, not whether he has stated one'" (Sokol v Leader, 74 AD3d at 1181-1182, quoting Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, 43 NY2d at 275). "Yet, affidavits submitted by a defendant will almost never warrant dismissal under CPLR 3211 unless they establish conclusively that [the plaintiff] has no cause of action" (Sokol v Leader, 74 AD3d at 1182 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Lawrence v Graubard Miller, 11 NY3d 588, 595; Rovello v Orofino Realty Co., 40 NY2d 633, 636). "Indeed, a motion to dismiss pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) must be denied unless it has been shown that a material fact as claimed by the pleader to be one is not a fact at all and unless it can be said that no significant dispute exists regarding it'" (Sokol v Leader, 74 AD3d at 1182, quoting Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, 43 NY2d at 275).

Here, the evidence submitted by the defendants did not demonstrate that any fact alleged in the complaint was undisputedly "not a fact at all" (see Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, 43 NY2d at 275; Sokol v Leader, 74 AD3d at 1182). Accordingly, the Supreme Court properly denied that branch of the defendants' motion which was pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action.

Makris v Darus-Salaam Masjid, N.Y., Inc., 2012 NY Slip Op 00340 (2nd Dept., 2012)

"On a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) for failure to state a cause of action, the court must afford the pleading a liberal construction, accept all facts as alleged in the pleading to be true, accord the plaintiff the benefit of every possible inference, and determine only whether the facts as alleged fit within any cognizable legal theory" (Breytman v Olinville Realty, LLC, 54 AD3d 703, 703-704; see Leon v Martinez, 84 NY2d 83, 87). Where evidentiary material is submitted and considered on a motion to dismiss a 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 (see Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, 43 NY2d 268, 274-275; Fishberger v Voss, 51 AD3d 627, 628). "A motion pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(1) to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the action is [*2]barred by documentary evidence may be granted only where the documentary evidence utterly refutes the plaintiff's factual allegations, thereby conclusively establishing a defense as a matter of law" (Mendelovitz v Cohen, 37 AD3d 670, 670; see Goshen v Mutual Life Ins. Co. of N.Y., 98 NY2d 314, 326).

Contrary to Tower's contention, the Supreme Court properly denied its motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(1) and (7). Tower failed to carry its burden of demonstrating that the faulty workmanship exclusion applies in this particular case, and that the exclusion is subject to no other reasonable interpretation than the one offered by it (see Cragg v Allstate Indem. Corp., 17 NY3d 118, 122; Insurance Co. of Greater N.Y. v Clermont Armory, LLC, 84 AD3d 1168, 1170; 242-44 E. 77th St., LLC v Greater N.Y. Mut. Ins. Co., 31 AD3d 100, 104-106). Consequently, Tower failed to utterly refute the plaintiffs' allegation that Tower wrongfully denied their claim or to establish that their allegation was "not a fact at all" (Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, 43 NY2d at 275; see Granada Condominium III Assn. v Palomino, 78 AD3d 996, 997).

Conniff v 32 Gramercy Park Owners Corp., 2012 NY Slip Op 00253 (1st Dept., 2012)

The dismissal should have been without prejudice because the court dismissed the complaint upon plaintiff's default in failing to oppose the motion to dismiss (see Hernandez v St. Barnabas Hosp., __ AD3d __, 2011 NY Slip Op 7722 [2011]; Aguilar v Jacoby, 34 AD3d 706, 708 [2006]). The Court did not address the merits of the motion.

Kaplan v Roberts, 2012 NY Slip Op 00492 (2nd Dept., 2012)

At the outset, although the Supreme Court did not give "adequate notice to the parties" that it would treat the defendant's motion as one for summary judgment (CPLR 3211[c]), where, as here, a specific request for summary judgment was made and the parties " deliberately chart[ed] a summary judgment course'" (Mihlovan v Grozavu, 72 NY2d 506, 508, quoting Four Seasons Hotels v Vinnik, 127 AD2d 310, 320), the court was authorized to treat Equinox's motion as one for summary judgment (see Burnside 711, LLC v Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., 67 AD3d 718, 720).

Furthermore, the Supreme Court should have granted that branch of Equinox's motion which was pursuant to CPLR 3211(c) and 3212 for summary judgment dismissing the fourth cause of action in the third-party complaint, which sought to recover damages for breach of contract. When the parties' intent to be bound by a contractual obligation "is determinable by written agreements, the question is one of law," which can be resolved by the court on a motion for summary judgment (Mallad Constr. Corp. v County Fed. Sav. & Loan Assn., 32 NY2d 285, 291; see ADCO Elec. Corp. v HRH Constr., LLC, 63 AD3d 653, 654; German Masonic Home Corp. v DeBuono, 295 AD2d 312, 313). "A question of fact arises as to the parties' intent to enter into an enforceable obligation [o]nly where the intent must be determined by disputed evidence or inferences outside the written words of the instrument"' (ADCO Elec. Corp. v HRH Constr., LLC, 63 AD3d at 654, quoting Mallad Constr. Corp. v County Fed. Sav. & Loan Assn., 32 NY2d at 291).

Here, even assuming that the "member policies" constituted binding contracts between Equinox and each of its individual members, Equinox established, prima facie, that the provision therein concerning use of the facility by children was clear and unambiguous, and did not create any obligation on the part of Equinox to ensure that Roberts would be protected against any and all dangers potentially posed by another member's failure to properly supervise his or her children (see Mallad Constr. Corp. v County Fed. Sav. & Loan Assn., 32 NY2d at 292; German Masonic Home Corp. v DeBuono, 295 AD2d at 313; Berghold v Kirschenbaum, 287 AD2d 673, 673). In opposition, Roberts failed to raise a triable issue of fact. Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted that branch of Equinox's motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the fourth cause of action in the third-party complaint.

The Supreme Court also should have granted that branch of Equinox's motion which was pursuant to CPLR 3211(c) and 3212 for summary judgment dismissing the fifth cause of action in the third-party complaint, which sought to recover damages for negligence. A property owner, or one in possession or control of property, "has a duty to take reasonable measures to control the foreseeable conduct of third parties on the property to prevent them from intentionally harming or creating an unreasonable risk of harm to others" (Hillen v Queens Long Is. Med. Group, P.C., 57 AD3d 946, 947; see Millan v AMF Bowling Ctrs., Inc., 38 AD3d 860, 860-861). This duty arises when there is an ability and an opportunity to control such conduct, and an awareness of the need to do so (see Hillen v Queens Long Is. Med. Group, P.C., 57 AD3d at 947; Jaume v Ry Mgt. Co., 2 AD3d 590, 591; Cutrone v Monarch Holding Corp., 299 AD2d 388, 389). In support of this branch of its motion, Equinox submitted evidence demonstrating, prima facie, that it did not have the ability and opportunity to control the conduct at issue through the exercise of reasonable measures, and that it had no awareness of the need to control the conduct of the child (see Hillen v Queens Long Is. Med. Group, P.C., 57 AD3d at 947; Jaume v Ry Mgt. Co., 2 AD3d at 591; Lazar v TJX Cos., 1 AD3d 319, 319). In opposition, Roberts failed to raise a triable issue of fact (see Hillen v Queens [*3]Long Is. Med. Group, P.C., 57 AD3d at 947; Victor C. v Lazo, 30 AD3d 365, 367). Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted that branch of Equinox's motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the fifth cause of action in the third-party complaint.

Contrary to the Supreme Court's determination, there is no basis to believe that facts necessary to properly oppose the motion for summary judgment would be uncovered through disclosure (see Gabrielli Truck Sales v Reali, 258 AD2d 437, 438; Glassman v Catli, 111 AD2d 744, 745).

Henderson v Kingsbrook Jewish Med. Ctr., 2012 NY Slip Op 00334 (2nd Dept., 2012)

In determining a motion to dismiss a complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7), the court must "accept the facts as alleged in the complaint as true, accord plaintiffs the benefit of every possible favorable inference, and determine only whether the facts as alleged fit within any cognizable legal theory" (Leon v Martinez, 84 NY2d 83, 87-88; see Nonnon v City of New York, 9 NY3d 825, 827). In addition, the pleading is to be "afforded a liberal construction" (Sarva v Self Help Community Servs., Inc., 73 AD3d 1155, 1155).

Here, the complaint states a cause of action alleging a violation of the plaintiffs' right of sepulcher, since the facts stated therein allege that the defendant interfered with the plaintiffs' "absolute right to the immediate possession of a decedent's body for preservation and burial" (Melfi v Mount Sinai Hosp., 64 AD3d 26, 31). Although the delay in releasing the decedent's body was not inordinate and may ultimately be determined to have been reasonable and proper under all of the circumstances, "[w]hether [the] plaintiff can ultimately establish [his] allegations is not part of the calculus in determining a motion to dismiss [made pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7)]" (ECBI, Inc. v Goldman, Sachs & Co., 5 NY3d 11, 19; see Ginsburg Dev. Cos., LLC v Carbone, 85 AD3d 1110, 1111).

Fleyshman v Suckle & Schlesinger, PLLC, 2012 NY Slip Op 00176 (2nd Dept., 2012)

Moreover, the Supreme Court should have granted that branch of the defendants' motion which was pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) to dismiss the second cause of action, which alleged a violation of Judiciary Law § 487. Even as amplified by the plaintiff's affidavit, and according the plaintiff the benefit of every favorable inference (see Leon v Martinez, 84 NY2d 83), the complaint failed to allege that the defendants acted "with intent to deceive the court or any party" (Judiciary Law § 487[1]; see Jaroslawicz v Cohen, 12 AD3d 160, 160-161). Further, the plaintiff's allegation that the defendants "willfully delayed [her] recovery with a view to their own ends and benefit" is a bare legal conclusion, "which is not entitled to the presumption of truth normally afforded to the allegations of a complaint" (Rozen v Russ & Russ, P.C., 76 AD3d 965, 969; see Judiciary Law § 487[2]).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s