Discovery

O’Halloran v Metropolitan Transp. Auth., 2019 NY Slip Op 01318 [1st Dept. 2019]

The court providently exercised its discretion in granting in part plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery and ordering defendants to run searches of electronic mailboxes of defendants’ employees and to produce those documents responsive to plaintiffs’ requests (CPLR 3101[a]; 148 Magnolia, LLC v Merrimack Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 62 AD3d 486, 487 [1st Dept 2009]; see also Andon v 302-304 Mott St. Assoc., 94 NY2d 740, 745 [2000]; GoSMILE, Inc. v Levine, 112 AD3d 469 [1st Dept 2013]). The record demonstrates that plaintiff’s requests seek material and necessary information, and that her search terms, all of which were to be combined with her name or nickname or the name or nickname of a coworker she alleges was discriminated or retaliated against on similar grounds, would result in the disclosure of relevant evidence, and are reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant information.

Plaintiff’s second Supplemental Request for Production of Documents, dated November 30, 2017, seeking all complaints, discrimination-related or not, involving defendant George Menduina’s conduct from 2010 to present, sought information material and necessary to this particular lawsuit because such information was relevant not only to whether Menduina, plaintiff’s supervisor, discriminated against plaintiff, but also to whether Menduina was more qualified than plaintiff to hold the very position that plaintiff alleges she was denied for discriminatory reasons.

Fowler v Buffa, 2019 NY Slip Op 01306 [1st Dept. 2019]

The trial court did not err in precluding a disability insurance form alleged to contain a statement against interest from defendant Anurag Shrivastava, M.D. The imposition of sanctions for discovery misfeasance is a matter better left to the sound discretion of the trial court (see Gomez v New York City Hous. Auth., 217 AD2d 110, 114 [1st Dept 1995]). CPLR 3101 provides that there shall be full disclosure of all matter material and necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action, including a party’s own statements (see also Sands v News Am. Publ., 161 AD2d 30, 42 [1st Dept 1990]). Plaintiff’s disclosure of the document less than two days prior to trial was an unfair surprise for which no reasonable excuse was proffered (see Curbean v Kibel, 12 AD3d 206, 207 [1st Dept 2004]; Ward v Mehar, 264 AD2d 515, 516 [2d Dept 1999]).

Cannot establish prima facie case in reply

GMP Fur Trade Fin., LLC v Brenner, 2019 NY Slip Op 00858 [2d Dept. 2019]

Additionally, the plaintiff could not sustain its prima facie burden by relying on unauthenticated bank records submitted through an attorney affirmation for the first time with its reply papers (see Poole v MCPJF, Inc., 127 AD3d 949, 949-950; DiLapi v Saw Mill Riv., LLC, 122 AD3d 896, 900; Daguerre, S.A.R.L. v Rabizadeh, 112 AD3d 876, 879; Damas v Valdes, 84 AD3d 87, 96).

3216 and mailing / personal knowledge

Bank of Am. v Guillaume, 2019 NY Slip Op 00845 [2d Dept. 2019]

“CPLR 3216 is the general statutory authority for neglect-to-prosecute dismissals” (Baczkowski v Collins Constr. Co., 89 NY2d 499, 502). Pursuant to CPLR 3216, a court may dismiss an action for want of prosecution only after the court or the defendant has served the plaintiff with a written demand requiring the plaintiff “to resume prosecution of the action and to serve and file a note of issue within [90] days after receipt of [the] demand,” and also stating that the failure to comply with the demand will serve as a basis for a motion to dismiss the action.

Notably, the time within which the plaintiff must act runs from the receipt, and not the service of the demand (see Vasquez v City of New York, 5 AD3d 672Kun Tiam Seow v Yu Dan Li, 1 AD3d 570, 571; 176-60 Union Turnpike v Klinger, 284 AD2d 380). Once the 90-day demand is received, “the plaintiff [is] required to comply with it by filing a note of issue or move before the default date to vacate the demand or extend the 90-day period” (Kushmakova v Meadow Park Rehabilitation & Health Care Ctr., LLC, 56 AD3d 434, 436; see CPLR 3216[c],[e]).

“Generally, proof that an item was properly mailed gives rise to a rebuttable [*2]presumption that the item was received by the addressee'” (New York & Presbyt. Hosp. v Allstate Ins. Co., 29 AD3d 547, 547, quoting Matter of Rodriguez v Wing, 251 AD2d 335, 336). “The presumption may be created by either proof of actual mailing or proof of a standard office practice or procedure designed to ensure that items are properly addressed and mailed” (Residential Holding Corp. v Scottsdale Ins. Co., 286 AD2d 679, 680).

Contrary to the defendant’s contention, she failed to establish that the 90-day demand was sent by certified mail and received by the plaintiff or anyone acting on its behalf. In his affirmation in support of the defendant’s motion, the defendant’s counsel asserted that on July 28, 2017, his office sent a 90-day demand to plaintiff’s counsel by certified mail. However, the defendant’s counsel does not state that he had personal knowledge of the mailing of the 90-day demand or describe his office’s standard practices of mailing litigation papers to opposing counsel. Additionally, even though the certified mail receipt bears a postmark date of July 28, 2017, there was no evidence that the 90-day demand was mailed under that certified mail receipt number (see Mid City Constr. Co., Inc. v Sirius Am. Ins. Co., 70 AD3d 789, 790; New York & Presbyt. Hosp. Allstate Ins. Co., 29 AD3d at 547-548). Therefore, the defendant’s submissions were insufficient to raise a presumption that the plaintiff received the 90-day demand. Accordingly, we agree with the Supreme Court’s denial of the defendant’s motion pursuant to CPLR 3216 to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against her for failure to prosecute.

A judgment without jurisdiction is void

Board of Mgrs. of 50 W. 127th St. Condominium v Kidd, 2019 NY Slip Op 00973 [1st Dept. 2019]

Defendant did not waive the defense of lack of jurisdiction. Before her incoming counsel filed a notice of appearance without mentioning the defense, she had already presented an order to show cause seeking to vacate the judgment based on lack of personal jurisdiction, and she moved to vacate based on improper service shortly after new counsel appeared. In contrast, in the cases relied on by plaintiff and City West, the defendant’s counsel filed a notice of appearance without preserving any objection to jurisdiction after the time to move or answer had elapsed, and did not move to vacate for years afterwards, indicating an intentional abandonment of the defense (see e.g. Wilmington Sav. Fund Socy., FSB v Zimmerman, 157 AD3d 846, 846-847 [2d Dept 2018], lv denied 31 NY3d 1135 [2018]; Capital One Bank, N.A. v Farraco, 149 AD3d 590, 590 [1st Dept 2017]). Defendant’s communications with plaintiff’s managing agent in which she arranged to pay her arrears, cannot be construed as an appearance in the action, much less a waiver of her defense of lack of jurisdiction.

Because the judgment was entered without jurisdiction over defendant, City West is not entitled to restitution as an alternative remedy to vacatur of the foreclosure sale, as “[a] judgment rendered without jurisdiction is void” and “a deed [] issued in execution upon such a void judgment . . . is similarly void” (U.S. Bank, N.A. v Bernhardt, 88 AD3d 871, 872 [2d Dept 2011]).

3126 commensurate…and no further

Han v New York City Tr. Auth., 2019 NY Slip Op 00975 [1st Dept. 2019]

CPLR 3126 provides that if a party “refuses to obey an order for disclosure or wilfully fails to disclose information which the court finds ought to have been disclosed . . . , the court may make such orders with regard to the failure or refusal as are just.” It is within the motion court’s discretion to determine the nature and degree of the penalty (see Kihl v Pfeffer, 94 NY2d 118, 122 [1999]), and the sanction will remain undisturbed unless there has been a clear abuse of discretion (see Those Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London v Occidental Gems, Inc., 11 NY3d 843, 845 [2008]). The sanction should be “commensurate with the particular disobedience it is designed to punish, and go no further than that” (Patrick M. Connors, Practice Commentaries, McKinney’s Cons Laws of NY, Book 7B, CPLR C3126:8 at 497; see also Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. v Global Strat Inc., 22 NY3d 877, 880 [2013]).

Court should not grant motions based on grounds not addressed in the papers

Patel v Sharma, 2019 NY Slip Op 00452 [2d Dept. 2019]

The Supreme Court should not have granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on a ground not raised in the defendant’s motion (see Singletary v Alhalal Rest., 163 AD3d 738Mew Equity, LLC v Sutton Land Servs., LLC, 144 AD3d 874, 877; Quizhpe v Luvin Constr., 70 AD3d 912, 914). “[O]n a motion for summary judgment, the court is limited to the issues or defenses that are the subject of the motion before the court” (Matter of Pritchett, 128 AD3d 836, 837; see Dunham v Hilco Constr. Co., 89 NY2d 425, 429-430; Philogene v Duckett, 163 AD3d 1015). The plaintiff had no opportunity to address the issue regarding the allegedly defective summons, and this “lack of notice and opportunity to be heard implicates the fundamental issue of fairness that is the cornerstone of due process” (Rosenblatt v St. George Health & Racquetball Assoc., LLC, 119 AD3d 45, 54; see Frank M. Flower & Sons, Inc. v North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Assn, Inc., 150 AD3d 965, 966; Matter of Meighan v Ponte, 144 AD3d 917, 918).

Stop denying with leave to renew

Corvino v Schineller, 2019 NY Slip Op 00259 [2d Dept. 2019]

The defendant’s contention that the plaintiff’s motion should have been denied without leave to renew is not properly before this Court. However, we note our concern that, where a motion for summary judgment has been made prematurely, granting leave to renew upon completion of discovery may only encourage the making of premature motions, resulting in successive motion practice and, in turn, successive appeals, thus increasing the burdens on this Court. Motion courts should therefore exercise their discretion with care in deciding whether to give advance permission to a movant to make a successive motion for summary judgment.

Amended complaint was the operative pleading

Delmaestro v Marlin, 2019 NY Slip Op 00260 [2d Dept. 2019]

As a threshold matter, the plaintiff is correct that the amended complaint, which was served as of right while the defendants’ renewed motion was pending (see CPLR 3025[a]; 3211[f]), superseded the original complaint and was the operative pleading in this action (see Taub v Schon, 148 AD3d 1200, 1201; D’Amico v Correctional Med. Care, Inc., 120 AD3d 956, 957). Nevertheless, that branch of the defendants’ renewed motion which sought dismissal of the cause of action alleging promissory estoppel was not rendered academic by the filing of the amended complaint, which was substantially similar to the original pleading, except that it omitted the cause of action for specific performance (see e.g. Sim v Farley Equip. Co. LLC, 138 AD3d 1228, 1228 n 1; Calcagno v Roberts, 134 AD3d 1292, 1292 n). The amended complaint did not substantively alter the original promissory estoppel cause of action, which was the only remaining cause of action being pursued by the plaintiff. Accordingly, under the circumstances of this case, any error by the Supreme Court in disregarding the amended complaint does not constitute grounds for reversal (see e.g. Sim v Farley Equip. Co. LLC, 138 AD3d at 1228 n 1; Calcagno v Roberts, 134 AD3d at 1292 n).

SJ generally

Moscatiello v Wyde True Value Lbr. & Supply Corp., 2019 NY Slip Op 00269 [2d Dept. 2019]

The proponent of a summary judgment motion bears the burden of making a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by tendering sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of material issues of fact (see e.g. Alvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320, 324). Only after this showing has been made does the burden shift to the party opposing the motion to produce evidentiary proof in admissible form sufficient to establish the existence of material triable issues of fact (see id. at 324).

***

The plaintiff’s contention that Mid-Atlantic’s motion for summary judgment was untimely, and therefore should not have been considered by the Supreme Court, is without merit (see CPLR 2211; Lennard v Khan, 69 AD3d 812, 814; Rivera v Glen Oaks Vil. Owners, Inc., 29 AD3d 560, 561).

A motion is made when it is served.

Standing

Cenlar FSB v Lanzbom, 2019 NY Slip Op 00092 [2d Dept. 2019]

“On a motion for summary judgment, the burden is on the moving defendant to establish, prima facie, the plaintiff’s lack of standing, rather than on the plaintiff to affirmatively establish its standing in order for the motion to be denied'” (Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Homar, 163 AD3d 522, 523, quoting Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Ams. v Vitellas, 131 AD3d 52, 59-60; see Citicorp Mtge. v Adams, 153 AD3d 779, 780). “To defeat a defendant’s motion, the plaintiff has no burden of establishing its standing as a matter of law” (Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Ams. v Vitellas, 131 AD3d at 60; see Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Homar, 163 AD3d at 523). Here, the defendant merely pointed to alleged gaps in the plaintiff’s case and failed to meet her burden of establishing, prima facie, the plaintiff’s lack of standing as a matter of law (see Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Homar, 163 AD3d at 523-524).

This one is too long to quote. You’re on your own.

US Bank N.A. v Nelson, 2019 NY Slip Op 00494 [2d Dept. 2019].

The short version is that standing was waived.