Assorted waivers

Clark v Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co., 2020 NY Slip Op 02456 [2d Dept. 2020]

As a threshold matter, under the circumstances of this case, the Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in finding that the plaintiff had waived her contention that the defendants’ motion to dismiss was untimely made (see Rozz v Law Offs. of Saul Kobrick, P.C., 134 AD3d 920, 921-922; Spagnoletti v Chalfin, 131 AD3d 901, 901-902; Glass v Captain Hulbert House, 103 AD3d 607, 608). Accordingly, we agree with the court’s denial of that branch of the plaintiff’s cross motion which was for leave to enter a default judgment against Deutsche Bank.

Hui-Lin Wu v City of New York, 2020 NY Slip Op 02721 [1st Dept. 2020]

The trial court properly denied plaintiff’s motion to strike defendants’ pleadings or preclude defendants from calling witnesses on the ground of their alleged failure to provide discovery, since, by filing a note of issue, plaintiff waived her entitlement to any further discovery (see 22 NYCRR 202.21; Escourse v City of New York, 27 AD3d 319 [1st Dept 2006]; Abbott v Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr., 295 AD2d 136 [1st Dept 2002]). The court properly rejected plaintiff’s attempt to authenticate her medical records through the testimony of someone who merely became the records’ physical custodian after the sale of the surgical center at which they were created (see Irizarry v Lindor, 110 AD3d 846 [2d Dept 2013]). The court correctly declined to admit the officers’ disciplinary files, since plaintiff had never requested the requisite in camera review (see Civil Rights Law § 50-a[2], [3]; see also People v Gissendanner, 48 NY2d 543, 551 [1979]; Telesford v Patterson, 27 AD3d 328 [1st Dept 2006]). Nor could plaintiff show that the records were relevant, particularly since the City admitted that the officers were acting in the scope of their employment during the incident (see Cheng Feng Fong v New York City Tr. Auth., 83 AD3d 642 [2d Dept 2011]; Weinberg v Guttman Breast & Diagnostic Inst., 254 AD2d 213 [1st Dept 1998]). There is no indication in the record that plaintiff [*2]requested and was denied interested witness charges. The court properly determined that any explanation as to missing witnesses was better addressed by counsel in their summations than by a jury charge.

Wilmington Sav. Fund Socy., FSB v Chishty, 2020 NYSlipOp 00641 [2d Dept. 2020]

The defendant also waived her right to seek dismissal of the complaint insofar as asserted against her pursuant to CPLR 3215 (c) by filing two notices of appearance (see Bank of Am., N.A. v Rice, 155 AD3d 593 [2017]; Myers v Slutsky, 139 AD2d 709, 710 [1988])

Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Abrahim, 2020 NY Slip Op 02764 [2d Dept. 2020]

Contrary to the defendant’s contention, she waived the right to seek a dismissal pursuant to CPLR 3215(c) by appearing in the action and, inter alia, engaging in motion practice as early as 2012 (see HSBC Bank USA v Lugo, 127 AD3d 502, 503; Myers v Slutsky, 139 AD2d 709, 710-711).

And, not a waiver

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Martinez, 2020 NYSlipOp 01693 [1st Dept 2020]

Plaintiff’s argument that defendant waived his right to seek dismissal pursuant to section 3215 (c) because he participated in the settlement conferences is equally unavailing. Although a party may waive it rights under CPLR 3215 (c) “by serving an answer or taking any other steps which may be viewed as a formal or informal appearance” (Private Capital Group, LLC v Hosseinipour, 170 AD3d 909, 910 [2d Dept 2019] [internal quotation marks omitted]), defendant’s participation in settlement conferences did not constitute either a formal or an informal appearance “since [he] did not actively litigate the action before the Supreme Court or participate in the action on the merits” (Slone, 174 AD3d at 867).

The above bold is mine.

On mailing and service

Wilmington Sav. Fund Socy., FSB v Sheikh, 2020 NY Slip Op 02823 [2d Dept. 2020]

Here, in support of his cross motion, the defendant established that the plaintiff failed to properly serve its motion for summary judgment and for an order of reference because the plaintiff mailed the motion papers to an incorrect address for the defendant’s counsel, resulting in the defendant’s lack of notice of the motion. In opposition, the plaintiff merely speculated that the motion papers may have been forwarded to the defendant’s counsel by the U.S. Postal Service, or that counsel may have otherwise received notice of the motion. Given that defective service of the motion was established (see generally Matter of Community Hous. Improvement Program v Commissioner of Labor, 166 AD3d 1135, 1137; Jagmohan v City of New York, 14 AD3d 491, 492), the defendant was not obligated to demonstrate a reasonable excuse for the default or a potentially meritorious defense (see Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Whitelock, 154 AD3d 906, 907). Moreover, the failure to give the defendant timely notice of the motion deprived the Supreme Court of jurisdiction to entertain the motion and rendered the resulting order entered October 3, 2016, void (see Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Whitelock, 154 AD3d at 907; Nationstar Mtge., LLC v Chase, 147 AD3d 964, 965; Golden v Golden, 128 AD2d 672, 673).

Rodriguez v 60 Graham, LLC, 173 AD3d 1095 [2d Dept. 2020]

“Ordinarily, a process server’s affidavit of service establishes a prima facie case as to the method of service and, therefore, gives rise to a presumption of proper service” (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Leonardo, 167 AD3d 816, 817 [2018] [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Chichester v Alal-Amin Grocery & Halal Meat, 100 AD3d 820, 820 [2012]; Indymac Fed. Bank FSB v Quattrochi, 99 AD3d 763, 764 [2012]). “To be entitled to vacatur of a default judgment . . . a defendant must overcome the presumption raised by the process server’s affidavit of service” (Machovec v Svoboda, 120 AD3d 772, 773 [2014]). “A defendant’s sworn denial of receipt of service generally rebuts the presumption of proper service established by the process server’s affidavit and necessitates an evidentiary hearing; however, no hearing is required where the defendant fails to swear to specific facts to rebut the statements in the affidavit of service” (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Leonardo, 167 AD3d at 817). The sworn denial of receipt of service must be a “detailed and specific contradiction” of the allegations in the process server’s affidavit (Bankers Trust Co. of Cal. v Tsoukas, 303 AD2d 343, 344 [2003]; see Scarano v Scarano, 63 AD3d 716 [2009]).

Here, City Signs relied on an affidavit of the individual allegedly served in support of its contention that there were discrepancies between her appearance and the description of her provided in the process server’s affidavit. However, the claimed discrepancies were minor and did not warrant a hearing on the issue of service (see US Bank N.A. v Cherubin, 141 AD3d 514, 515-516 [2016]; Citimortgage, Inc. v Baser, 137 AD3d 735, 736 [2016]; Indymac Fed. Bank, FSB v Hyman, 74 AD3d 751, 751 [2010]; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v McGloster, 48 AD3d 457 [2008]). Additionally, City Signs failed to substantiate the claimed discrepancies (see US Bank N.A. v Cherubin, 141 AD3d at 516; Indymac Fed. Bank, FSB v Hyman, 74 AD3d at 751).

Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Dennis, 2020 NYSlipOp 02039 [2d Dept. 2020]

RPAPL 1304 provides that at least 90 days before a lender, an assignee, or a mortgage loan servicer commences an action to foreclose the mortgage on a home loan as defined in the statute, such lender, assignee, or mortgage loan servicer must give notice to the borrower. The statute provides the required content for the notice and provides that the notice must be sent by registered or certified mail and also by first-class mail to the last known address of the borrower (see RPAPL 1304 [2]). “Strict compliance with RPAPL 1304 notice to the borrower or borrowers is a condition precedent to the commencement of a foreclosure action” (Citibank, N.A. v Conti-Scheurer, 172 AD3d 17, 20 [2019]; see Citimortgage, Inc. v Banks, 155 AD3d 936, 936-937 [2017]; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Ozcan, 154 AD3d 822, 825-826 [2017]), “and the plaintiff has the burden of establishing satisfaction of this condition” (Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v Weisblum, 85 AD3d 95, 106 [2011]). “By requiring the lender or mortgage loan servicer to send the RPAPL 1304 notice by registered or certified mail and also by first-class mail, the Legislature implicitly provided the means for the plaintiff to demonstrate its compliance with the statute, i.e., by proof of the requisite mailing, which can be established with proof of the actual mailings, such as affidavits of mailing or domestic return receipts with attendant signatures, or proof of a standard office mailing procedure designed to ensure that items are properly addressed and mailed, sworn to by someone with personal knowledge of the procedure” (Citibank, N.A. v Conti-Scheurer, 172 AD3d at 20-21 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Viviane Etienne Med. Care, P.C. v Country-Wide Ins. Co., 25 NY3d 498, 508-509 [2015]; Bank of Am., N.A. v Bittle, 168 AD3d 656, 658 [2019]; Wells Fargo Bank, NA v Mandrin, 160 AD3d 1014, 1016 [2018]).

Here, the plaintiff failed to submit an affidavit of mailing or proof of mailing by the United States Postal Service evidencing that it properly mailed notice to the defendant pursuant to RPAPL 1304. Instead, the plaintiff relied on an affidavit of Rashad Blanchard, who was employed as a loan analyst by the parent company of the plaintiff’s loan servicer, and copies of the purported notices. The plaintiff submitted only one letter that purported to constitute the statutorily required 90-day notice of default, dated December 22, 2008. Although the letter contained the statement “sent via certified mail,” with a 20-digit number below it, no receipt or corresponding document issued by the United States Postal Service was submitted proving that the letter was actually sent by certified mail more than 90 days prior to commencement of the action. The plaintiff also failed to submit any documentary evidence that notice was sent by first-class mail. Further, Blanchard did not aver that the notice was sent in the manner required pursuant to RPAPL 1304, i.e., by certified mail and first-class mail. Moreover, since he did not aver that he personally mailed the notice, or that he was familiar with the mailing practices and procedures of American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., the entity that purportedly sent the notices, he did not establish proof of a standard office practice and procedure designed to ensure that items are properly addressed and mailed (see U.S. Bank N.A. v Offley, 170 AD3d 1240, 1242 [2019]; U.S. Bank N.A. v Henderson, 163 AD3d 601, 603 [2018]; Bank of Am., N.A. v Wheatley, 158 AD3d 736, 738 [2018]).

The bold is mine.

 

 

 

4518 and hearsay. You have to attach the records.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Sesey, 2020 NY Slip Op 02822 [App Div 2d 2020]

In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact. The plaintiff submitted, inter alia, an attorney affirmation to which documents were appended purporting to be the note and an allonge. The plaintiff also submitted the affidavit of Nancy Chouanard, a vice president employed by the plaintiff. The attorney affirmation was insufficient to authenticate the documents purporting to be the note and an allonge. The Chouanard affidavit also failed to authenticate such documents. Furthermore, while Chouanard claimed that the plaintiff’s business records showed that the plaintiff received the original note endorsed to it as trustee on November 10, 2005, which would have been prior to the commencement of the Option One foreclosure action, Chouanard failed to identify what documents she relied upon to support that conclusory assertion, much less submit any properly authenticated business records. Even assuming that Chouanard’s affidavit was sufficient to establish a proper foundation for the admission of business records pursuant to CPLR 4518(a), the plaintiff failed to submit copies of the business records themselves. “[T]he business record exception to the hearsay rule applies to a writing or record’ (CPLR 4518[a]) . . . [and] it is the business record itself, not the foundational affidavit, that serves as proof of the matter asserted” (Bank of N.Y. Mellon v Gordon, 171 AD3d 197, 205 [citation omitted]). “While a witness may read into the record from the contents of a document which has been admitted into evidence (see HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Ozcan, 154 AD3d 822, 826-827), a witness’s description of a document not admitted into evidence is hearsay” (U.S. Bank N.A. v 22 S. Madison, LLC, 170 AD3d 772, 774). Thus, Chouanard’s assertions as to the contents of the records were inadmissible hearsay as the documents themselves were not submitted (see id. at 774; JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v Grennan, 175 AD3d 1513, 1516). A review of records maintained in the normal course of business does not vest an affiant with personal knowledge (see JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v Grennan, 175 AD3d at 1517).

Bold is mine.

Similar holdings in HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Dubose, 175 AD3d 1270 [2d Dept. 2019], Bank of N.Y. Mellon v Gordon, 171 AD3d 197 [2d Dept. 2019], Nationstar Mtge., LLC v Tamargo, 177 AD3d 750 [2d Dept. 2019], Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Springer, 2020 NYSlipOp 00176 [2d Dept. 2020], Nationstar Mtge., LLC v Cavallaro, 181 AD3d 688 [2d Dept. 2020], Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Dennis, 2020 NYSlipOp 02039 [2d Dept. 2020]

O.K. v Y.M. & Y.W.H.A. of Williamsburg, Inc., 175 AD3d 540 [2d Dept. 2020]

Here, the defendants failed to submit their certificate of incorporation. Contrary to the defendants’ contention, the computer printout they submitted in support of their motion from the website of the New York State Department of State, Division of Corporations was inadmissible, since it was not certified or authenticated, and it was not supported by a factual foundation sufficient to demonstrate its admissibility as a business record (see Werner v City of New York, 135 AD3d 740, 741 [2016]; Dyer v 930 Flushing, LLC, 118 AD3d 742, 742-743 [2014]).

 

4401 Judgment as a matter of law

Boriello v Loconte, 2020 NY Slip Op 02035 [2d Dept. 2020]

” A motion for judgment as a matter of law pursuant to CPLR 4401 may be granted where the trial court determines that, upon the evidence presented, there is no rational process by which the [trier of fact] could base a finding in favor of the nonmoving party'” (PAS Tech. Servs. v Middle Vil. Healthcare Mgt., LLC, 92 AD3d 742, 744, quoting C.K. Rehner, Inc. v Arnell Constr. Corp., 303 AD2d 439, 440). “In considering such a motion, the trial court must afford the party opposing the motion every inference which may properly be drawn from the facts presented, and the facts must be considered in light most favorable to the nonmovant'” (PAS Tech. Servs., Inc. v Middle Vil. Healthcare Mgt., LLC, 92 AD3d at 744, quoting Robinson v 211-11N., LLC, 46 AD3d 657, 658).

Here, the Supreme Court, in announcing its decision, stated that it expressly considered and relied on the defendants’ evidence. This was error, as it was improper for the court to consider, on a motion for a directed verdict made before the moving party had rested and the opposing party had an opportunity to present rebuttal evidence, the evidence introduced by the moving party (see Levine v Charlow, 254 App Div 416, 418; Dillon v Cortland Baking Co., 224 App Div 303, 305).

Thus, in the context of a motion for a directed verdict, the Supreme Court should not have accorded the defendants’ expert’s testimony more weight than that of the plaintiff’s expert. In determining a motion for a directed verdict, the trial court “must not engage in a weighing of the evidence, nor may it direct a verdict where the facts are in dispute, or where different inferences may be drawn or the credibility of witnesses is in question” (Hernandez v Pappco Holding Co., Ltd., 136 AD3d 981, 983 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Matter of David WW. v Laureen QQ., 42 AD3d 685, 686). Accordingly, the judgment must be reversed, the defendants’ motion for a directed verdict denied, the amended complaint reinstated, and the matter remitted to the Supreme Court, Kings County, for a new trial.

Not an appealable paper and waiver

US Bank N.A. v Calle, 2020 NY Slip Op 02075 [2d Dept. 2020]

The paper appealed from is designated “MEMORANDUM” and directs the parties to “[s]ettle order” (see Funk v Barry , 89 NY2d 364, 367). Thus, the paper appealed from constitutes a decision, not an order. The appeal from the decision must be dismissed, as no appeal lies from a decision (see CPLR 5512[a]; Schicchi v J.A. Green Constr. Corp ., 100 AD2d 509).

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Trupia, 2020 NY Slip Op 02085 [2d Dept. 2020]

The defendant waived her contention that the plaintiff lacked standing, since she failed to specifically raise that contention on the prior appeal (see Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Trupia, 150 AD3d 1049see also Candea v Candea, 173 AD3d 667, 669; Czernicki v Lawniczak, 103 AD3d 769, 770; Dimery v Ulster Sav. Bank, 82 AD3d 1034, 1034).

Res judicata requires a determination on the merits

1155 Nobo Assoc., LLC v New York Hosp. Med. Ctr. of Queens, 2020 NY Slip Op 02074 [2d Dept. 2020]

“Under the doctrine of res judicata, a final adjudication of a claim on the merits precludes relitigation of that claim and all claims arising out of the same transaction or series of transactions by a party or those in privity with a party” (Djoganopoulos v Polkes, 67 AD3d 726, 727; see Gramatan Home Invs. Corp. v Lopez, 46 NY2d 481, 485; Winkler v Weiss, 294 AD2d 428). “Where a dismissal does not involve a determination on the merits, the doctrine of res judicata does not apply” (Djoganopoulos v Polkes, 67 AD3d at 727; see Maitland v Trojan Elec. & Mach. Co.[*2]65 NY2d 614; Sclafani v Story Book Homes, 294 AD2d 559, 559-560). Here, there was no determination on the merits of the plaintiff’s claims for rent arrears or additional holdover damages in the District Court proceeding and, therefore, the doctrine of res judicata does not apply.

Appeal from judgment brings up…

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Davis, 2020 NY Slip Op 02053 [2d Dept. 2020]

Although no appeal lies from a judgment entered upon the default of an appealing party (see CPLR 5511; Development Strategies Co., LLC, Profit Sharing Plan v Astoria Equities, Inc., 71 AD3d 628Murphy v Shaw, 34 AD3d 657, 658), an appeal from such a judgment brings up for review those matters which were the subject of contest before the Supreme Court (see Geffner v Mercy Med. Center, 167 AD3d 571, 572; Bottini v Bottini, 164 AD3d 556, 558; Sarlo-Pinzur v Pinzur, 59 AD3d 607, 607-608; see also James v Powell, 19 NY2d 249, 256 n 3). The only issue the defendant raises on this appeal is whether the plaintiff established its standing to maintain the action. This issue was litigated at the inquest and was determined by the Supreme Court at the inquest. Thus, the issue of the plaintiff’s standing is properly before us.

CPLR 3203(a) Priority

Kunin v Guttman, 2020 NY Slip Op 02044 [2d Dept. 2020]

The defendant demonstrated her prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. “CPLR 5203(a) gives priority to a judgment creditor over subsequent transferees with regard to the debtor’s real property in a county where the judgment was docketed with the clerk of that county” (Matter of Smith v Ralph Dinapoli Landscaping, Inc., 111 AD3d 841, 841-842 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see CPLR 5203[a]; Matter of Accounts Retrievable Sys., LLC v Conway, 83 AD3d 1052, 1053). Pursuant to CPLR 5018(c), a judgment is docketed when the clerk makes an entry “under the surname of the judgment debtor, . . . consist[ing] of . . . the name and last known address of [the] judgment debtor” (CPLR 5018[c][1][i]; see Matter of Smith v Ralph Dinapoli Landscaping, Inc., 111 AD3d at 842; Matter of Accounts Retrievable Sys., LLC v Conway, 83 AD3d at 1053). ” Once docketed, a judgment becomes a lien on the real property of the debtor in that county'” (Matter of Smith v Ralph Dinapoli Landscaping, Inc., 111 AD3d at 842, quoting Matter of Accounts Retrievable Sys., LLC v Conway, 83 AD3d at 1053).

Here, the defendant demonstrated, prima facie, that the judgment was not docketed under the correct surnames of the title owners of the subject property—Alex Robinovich and George Guttmann—and that, therefore, no valid lien against the subject property was created (see CPLR 5018[c][1]; Matter of Smith v Ralph Dinapoli Landscaping, Inc., 111 AD3d at 842; We Buy Now, LLC v Cadlerock Joint Venture, LP, 46 AD3d 549, 550). Moreover, the defendant demonstrated, prima facie, that her purchase of the subject property was supported by fair consideration and made in good faith (see Phillips v Isaiah Owens Funeral Serv., Inc., 69 AD3d 822, 822-823). In opposition to the defendant’s prima facie showing, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact.

Referee failed to notice or to hold a hearing on the issues

Bank of N.Y. Mellon v Viola, 2020 NY Slip Op 01895[2d Dept. 2020]

It is undisputed that the referee failed to provide notice to the defendant pursuant to CPLR 4313, or to hold a hearing on the issues addressed in the referee’s report. However, as long as a defendant is not prejudiced by the inability to submit evidence directly to the referee, a referee’s failure to notify a defendant and hold a hearing is not, by itself, a basis to reverse a judgment of foreclosure and sale and remit the matter for a hearing and a new determination of amounts owed (see Excel Capital Group Corp. v 225 Ross St. Realty, Inc., 165 AD3d 1233, 1236; Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Zlotoff, 77 AD3d 702). Where, as here, a defendant had an opportunity to raise questions and submit evidence directly to the Supreme Court, which evidence could be considered by the court in determining whether to confirm the referee’s report, the defendant is not prejudiced by any error in failing to hold a hearing (see Excel Capital Group Corp. v 225 Ross St. Realty, Inc., 165 AD3d at 1236; Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Zlotoff, 77 AD3d at 702). Therefore, the defendant failed to establish that the court erred in confirming the referee’s report and awarding the plaintiff a judgment of foreclosure and sale on the ground that the referee failed to provide notice of a hearing or hold a hearing.

Preliminary injunction should not grant ultimate relief requested

Berman v TRG Waterfront Lender, LLC, 2020 NY Slip Op 01902 [2d Dept. 2020]

“[A]bsent extraordinary circumstances, a preliminary injunction will not issue where to do so would grant the movant the ultimate relief to which he or she would be entitled in a final judgment” (SHS Baisley, LLC v Res Land, Inc., 18 AD3d 727, 728; accord Zoller v HSBC Mtge. Corp [USA], 135 AD3d 932, 933; see Board of Mgrs. of Wharfside Condominium v Nehrich, 73 AD3d 822, 824). Here, as TRG and Hansen contend, the Supreme Court should not have, in effect, granted the ultimate relief requested in Berman’s complaint, which was the return of the down payment. In ordering Hansen to return the down payment to Berman, the court, in effect, treated Berman’s motion as one for summary judgment (see CPLR 3212; St. Paul Fire & Mar. Ins. Co. v York Claims Serv., 308 AD2d 347, 349), which was improper, as issue had not been joined (see CPLR 3212[a]; City of Rochester v Chairella, 65 NY2d 92, 101; St. Paul Fire & Mar. Ins. Co. v York Claims Serv., 308 AD2d at 349).

Moreover, Berman failed to demonstrate his entitlement to temporary injunctive relief pursuant to CPLR 6301, as he failed to establish any of the three required elements for such relief: (1) likelihood of ultimate success on the merits, (2) irreparable injury absent granting of a preliminary injunction, (3) and a balancing of equities in his favor (see Keller v Kay, 170 AD3d 978, 981; Carroll v Dicker, 162 AD3d 741, 742; St. Paul Fire & Mar. Ins. Co. v York Claims Serv., 308 AD2d at 348).