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).

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.


CVM Partners 1, LLC v Adams, 173 AD3d 971 [2d Dept. 2019]

No appeal lies from an order or judgment granted upon the default of the appealing party (see CPLR 5511; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Gervais, 168 AD3d 692, 693 [2019]; HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v Simms, 163 AD3d 930, 932 [2018]; Adotey v British Airways, PLC, 145 AD3d 748, 749 [2016]). Although “an appeal from such a judgment brings up for review those matters which were the subject of contest before the Supreme Court” (Geffner v Mercy Med. Ctr., 167 AD3d 571, 572 [2018] [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Bottini v Bottini, 164 AD3d 556, 558 [2018]; Alam v Alam, 123 AD3d 1066, 1067 [2014]), the defendant here defaulted at every stage of the proceedings, beginning with his failure to appear or answer the complaint, continuing with his failure to appear on the return dates of his two motions, brought on by orders to show cause, one of which sought to vacate his default in failing to appear at a scheduled court conference, and ending with his failure to oppose the motions that led to the amended judgment of foreclosure and sale appealed from. Accordingly, since there were no “matters which were the subject of contest before the Supreme Court” (Geffner v Mercy Med. Ctr., 167 AD3d at 572 [internal quotation marks omitted]), the appeal must be dismissed in its entirety.

Equity Inv. & Mtge. Co. v Smith, 173 AD3d 690 [2d Dept. 2019]

Although courts have discretionary power to relieve a party from a judgment or order “for sufficient reason and in the interest[ ] of substantial justice” (Woodson v Mendon Leasing Corp., 100 NY2d 62, 68 [2003]; see Katz v Marra, 74 AD3d 888, 890 [2010]), “[a] court’s inherent power to exercise control over its judgment[ ] is not plenary, and should be resorted to only to relieve a party from judgments taken through [fraud,] mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect” (Matter of McKenna v County of Nassau, Off. of County Attorney, 61 NY2d 739, 742 [1984] [internal quotation marks omitted]; see HSBC Bank USA v Josephs-Byrd, 148 AD3d 788, 790 [2017]). Here, the arguments advanced by the City in support of its motion did not constitute grounds for relief, either under CPLR 5015 (a) or pursuant to the Supreme Court’s inherent discretionary power to vacate the judgment for sufficient reason and in the interest of substantial justice (see Matter of McKenna v County of Nassau, Off. of County Attorney, 61 NY2d at 742; HSBC Bank USA v Josephs-Byrd, 148 AD3d at 790; Alexander v New York City Tr. Auth., 35 AD3d 772 [2006]).

Diamond v Leone, 173 AD3d 686 [2d Dept. 2019]

The Supreme Court improvidently exercised its discretion in finding that the plaintiff did not demonstrate a reasonable excuse for her failure to appear on November 28, 2017. In an affirmation in support of the motion, the plaintiff’s attorney submitted a detailed and credible explanation of the law office failure which caused the default in appearing. The plaintiff’s attorney affirmed that an entry in the “Comments” field for the subject appearance date on the “eLaw” website had created confusion as to whether the scheduled appearance had been adjourned from November 28 to November 30, and that the attorney’s law office had repeatedly attempted to contact the Part Clerk on November 27 and November 28 for clarification and had left a voicemail message. The attorney affirmed that when his law office finally communicated directly with the Part Clerk at approximately 11:30 a.m. on November 28, his law office was advised that the case had been dismissed due to the plaintiff’s failure to appear. The attorney’s affirmation was supported by, among other things, printouts from the “eLaw” website. Therefore, the plaintiff provided a reasonable excuse for failing to appear (see 555 Prospect Assoc., LLC v Greenwich Design & Dev. Group Corp., 154 AD3d 909 [2017]; Hobbins v North Star Orthopedics, PLLC, 148 AD3d 784 [2017]; Polsky v Simon, 145 AD3d 693 [2016]). The plaintiff also demonstrated a potentially meritorious cause of action (see 555 Prospect Assoc., LLC v Greenwich Design & Dev. Group Corp., 154 AD3d at 910). Accordingly, the court should have granted the plaintiff’s motion to vacate the “order on default” dated November 28, 2017, and to restore the action to the trial calendar.

Bank of N.Y. Mellon v Ruci, 168 AD3d 799 [2d Dept. 2019]

The appellant’s vague and unsubstantiated claim of law office failure by an unidentified attorney was insufficient to establish a reasonable excuse for her default (see LaSalle Bank, N.A. v LoRusso, 155 AD3d 706, 707 [2017]; U.S. Bank N.A. v Barr, 139 AD3d 937, 938 [2016]; M & T Bank v Morris, 138 AD3d 939 [2016]). Since the appellant failed to establish a reasonable excuse for her default, it is not necessary to determine whether she demonstrated a potentially meritorious defense to the action (see LaSalle Bank, N.A. v LoRusso, 155 AD3d at 706; Bank of N.Y. Mellon v Colucci, 138 AD3d 1047, 1048 [2016]; M & T Bank v Morris, 138 AD3d at 940). 

EMC Mtge. Corp. v Walker, 2019 NY Slip Op 06474 [2d Dept. 2019]

Here, when the plaintiff moved, in effect, to vacate the May 2013 order and to restore the action to the calendar, it failed to proffer a reasonable excuse for its default in appearing at the scheduled court conference, and merely alleged that “there was no missed appearance, and as such 22 NYCRR 202.27 does not apply.” Moreover, the plaintiff failed to articulate any basis for the more than 2½-year delay in moving to vacate the order of dismissal (see id. at 1252; Wright v City of Poughkeepsie, 136 AD3d 809). In light of the lack of a reasonable excuse, it is unnecessary to determine whether the plaintiff demonstrated the existence of a potentially meritorious cause of action (see Wright v City of Poughkeepsie, 136 AD3d at 809; Selechnik v Law Off. of Howard R. Birnbach, 120 AD3d 1220). Thus, we disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to hold a traverse hearing on June 22, 2016, and its subsequent determination granting the plaintiff’s motion, in effect, pursuant to CPLR 5015(a)(1) to vacate the May 2013 order and to restore the action to the calendar, and that branch of the plaintiff’s separate motion which was to extend the time to serve Walker in the interest of justice.

LaSalle Bank, N.A. v Delice, 2019 NY Slip Op 06485 [2d Dept. 2019]

Most importantly, the plaintiff did not provide any explanation as to why it delayed more than five years before filing its motion to vacate, apart from the vague assertion that it hired new counsel because, at some point, the law firm that represented the plaintiff at the time of the January 2011 order subsequently closed. The plaintiff’s contention that the delay was justified because its subsequent counsel expended extensive efforts to comply with Administrative Orders 548/10 and 431/11 of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts is raised for the first time on appeal and not properly before us (cf. U.S. Bank N.A. v Ahmed, 137 AD3d 1106, 1108-1109). The plaintiff’s lengthy delay in moving to vacate, failure to adequately explain the delay, and failure to pursue other available avenues of relief support the court’s determination not to exercise its discretion to vacate the dismissal order in the interests of substantial justice (seeHSBC Bank USA v Josephs-Byrd, 148 AD3d at 790; cf. U.S. Bank N.A. v Ahmed, 137 AD3d at 1108-1109).

no appeal from a default

Matter of Fatima K. v Ousmane F., 2018 NY Slip Op 08431 [1st Dept., 2018]

The court correctly considered the father’s untimely appearance at the custody hearing, without explanation, and entered its order on default (see Matter of Nyree S. v Gregory C., 99 AD3d 561, 562 [1st Dept 2012], lv denied 20 NY3d 854 [2012]; Matter of Anita L. v Damon N., 54 AD3d 630, 631 [1st Dept 2008]). As the father did not avail himself of the opportunity to vacate his default, and no appeal lies from an order entered upon the aggrieved party’s default, the appeal is dismissed (see CPLR 5511; Nyree S., 99 AD3d at 562).

Subpoenas and trial defaults and CPLR 5511

Bottini v Bottini, 2018 NY Slip Op 05665 [2d Dept 2018]

The Supreme Court properly determined that the plaintiff's conduct at trial was a knowing and willing default, as she attended the first day of trial and then voluntarily chose not to attend the remainder of the trial (see Sarlo-Pinzur v Pinzur, 59 AD3d 607, 607; Matter of Anita L. v Damon N., 54 AD3d 630, 631). Although no appeal lies from a judgment entered on the default of the appealing party (see CPLR 5511), an appeal from such a judgment brings up for review "those matters which were the subject of contest before the Supreme Court" (Sarlo-Pinzur v Pinzur, 59 AD3d at 607-608 [internal quotations omitted]; see James v Powell, 19 NY2d 249, 256 n 3; Alam v Alam, 123 AD3d 1066, 1067; Tun v Aw, 10 AD3d 651, 652). Here, contrary to the defendant's contention, the order dated March 28, 2016, in which the court granted the defendant's motion to quash to the extent of declining to so-order the 24 proposed subpoenas, is brought up for review.

As a pro se litigant, the plaintiff was unable to issue subpoenas on her own, and her subpoenas need to be so-ordered by the Supreme Court (see CPLR 2302; Hamilton v Touseull, 48 AD3d 520, 521). A subpoena duces tecum may not be used for the purposes of general discovery (see Matter of Terry D., 81 NY2d 1042, 1044; Wahab v Agris & Brenner, LLC, 106 AD3d 993, 994; Matter of Board of Educ. of City of N.Y. v Hankins, 294 AD2d 360, 360). Rather, the purpose of a subpoena duces tecum is " to compel the production of specific documents that are relevant and material to facts at issue in a pending judicial proceeding'" (Matter of Terry D., 81 NY2d at 1044, quoting Matter of Constantine v Leto, 157 AD2d 376, 378). Here, the plaintiff submitted the 24 proposed subpoenas to the court in February 2016, which was several months after the completion date for post-note of issue discovery. In addition to being overly broad, the subpoenas improperly sought the production of documents for the time period from 2007 through 2011, which was in violation of the court's prior orders. Under these circumstances, the court providently exercised its discretion by declining to so-order the 24 proposed subpoenas, thus effectively denying the plaintiff's ability to issue the subpoenas (see Wahab v Agris & Brenner, LLC, 106 AD3d at 994; Matter of Board of Educ. of City of N.Y. v Hankins, 294 AD2d at 360).

CPLR 5511

U.S. Bank, N.A. v Hossain, 2018 NY Slip Op 04593 [2d Dept. 2018]

This appeal was taken by notice of appeal dated February 18, 2016, and served on February 19, 2016. The notice of appeal was signed by an attorney from a law firm which identified itself as the attorneys for "Plaintiff's assignee," the assignee being identified as Wilmington Trust, National Association, not in its individual capacity but as Trustee for ARLP Securitization Trust Series 2015 (hereinafter Wilmington Trust). The brief filed in support of the appeal by Wilmington Trust characterizes Wilmington Trust as "Nonparty-Appellant." According to the brief, the subject mortgage was assigned by the plaintiff to Christiana Trust, a Division of Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB, not in its individual capacity but as Trustee of ARLP Trust 2 (hereinafter Christiana Trust), by assignment dated April 19, 2016, and recorded on July 18, 2016. Further, the brief asserts that the mortgage was assigned by Christiana Trust to Wilmington Trust by assignment dated May 18, 2016, and recorded on June 23, 2016.

The appeal must be dismissed as, according to the information provided by the appellant, it was neither a party to the action nor an assignee of a party at the time the appeal was taken (see CPLR 5511).

The bold is mine.

Hernstat v Anthony's Windows on the Lake, Inc., 2018 NY Slip Op 04311 [2d Dept. 2018]

The plaintiff commenced this personal injury action after she fell from an interior staircase at the defendants' premises. The defendants subsequently moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint based on spoliation of evidence. The defendants contended that their efforts to defend against the action by arguing that the high-heeled shoes worn by the plaintiff at the time of her accident caused or contributed to her fall were fatally compromised by the plaintiff's disposal of the shoes shortly after her accident. In opposition to the motion, the plaintiff contended that the sanction of dismissal was unwarranted, and proposed the imposition of the lesser sanction of an adverse inference charge to be given to the jury at trial. The Supreme Court denied the defendants' motion and imposed the lesser sanction of an adverse inference charge, as requested by the plaintiff. The plaintiff appeals.

The appeal must be dismissed, as the plaintiff is not aggrieved by the order appealed from, which denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment and imposed the lesser sanction of an adverse inference charge in accordance with the plaintiff's request (see CPLR 5511; Pillai v Pillai, 153 AD3d 1290).

Fix that appeal with CPLR § 5520 and othe good stuff

CPLR § 5520 Omissions; appeal by improper method

CPLR § 5512 Appealable Paper; entry of order made out of court

Republic Mtge. Ins. Co. v Countrywide Fin. Corp., 2011 NY Slip Op 06292 (1st Dept., 2011)

Initially, to reach the merits of plaintiffs' appeal, we exercise our discretionary authority, pursuant to CPLR 5520(c), to deem the inaccurate notice of appeal as valid to correct the procedural problem created here by plaintiffs' appeal from the order and not the judgment (Robertson v Greenstein, 308 AD2d 381 [2003], lv dismissed 2 NY3d 759 [2004]).

Clemons v Schindler El. Corp., 2011 NY Slip Op 06205 (1st Dept., 2011)

Purported appeals from decisions, Supreme Court, New York County (Judith J. Gische, J. and Ira Gammerman, J.H.O.), filed January 12, 2010, which, respectively, denied a motion to strike this matter from the trial calendar, and denied an application to adjourn the proceedings and directed dismissal of the complaint with prejudice for failure to prosecute, unanimously dismissed, with costs, as taken from nonappealable papers.

In December 2008, trial of this matter was adjourned to January 7, 2009 to accommodate the vacation plans of plaintiff's trial counsel. Several days later, plaintiff brought an order to show cause to remove the case from the trial calendar in order to permit amendment of her expert's report to assert an additional basis of liability. The motion was heard by Supreme Court (Judith J. Gische, J.) and denied in an order entered January 14, 2009. The unsigned transcript of the proceedings, reciting that it "constitutes the decision and order of the Court," was not filed until January 12, 2010.

After appearing before Justice Gische, the parties proceeded to the trial part, where plaintiff sought adjournment on the ground that trial counsel was on trial in another matter. After JHO Gammerman indicated his acquiescence to the extent of adjourning trial for a few days, plaintiff's counsel requested that the court go off the record. When the proceedings resumed, JHO Gammerman ruled that it was dismissing the matter for failure to prosecute, stating that "it is a dismissal with prejudice, and the Clerk is directed to enter appropriate judgment." The transcript of these proceedings, likewise unsigned, was also not entered until January 12, 2010.

The ruling sought to be reviewed on this appeal is indeterminate. The notice of appeal dated January 13, 2010 recites that the appeal is taken "from the order of [Supreme] Court duly entered in the office of the Clerk on January 12, 2010." While the notice fails to specify the individual judge or judicial hearing officer, plaintiff's pre-argument statement (McKinney's NY Rules of Court [22 NYCRR] § 600.17[a]) identifies the ruling appealed from as that of Justice Gische. Finally, plaintiff's brief designates the question to be decided as whether the trial court committed an abuse of discretion in denying the motion to mark the matter off the trial calendar, leading to an order dismissing the case, and concludes that "the orders [sic] appealed from should be reversed."

Although the transcript of proceedings before JHO Gammerman indicates that, upon signing, it may be presented to the Clerk for entry of judgment, it is not signed and no subsequent proceedings are reflected in the record. Particularly, there is no indication that judgment was ever entered.

Neither of the decisions filed on January 12, 2010 constitutes an appealable paper (CPLR 5512[a]), and this appeal must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction (Matter of Grosso v Slade, 179 AD2d 585, 586 [1992]). The ruling by Justice Gische was reduced to a short-form order duly entered on January 14, 2009 (CPLR 2219[a]) but not appealed from. The JHO's decision was never presented for signature by a Supreme Court Justice, and there is no record of any judgment having been entered thereon from which an appeal could be taken.

Singh v Lincoln Mgt., LLC, 2011 NY Slip Op 06484 (2nd Dept., 2011)

The appeal by the plaintiff from the order must be dismissed for failure to perfect the same in accordance with the rules of this Court (see 22 NYCRR 670.8[c], [e]). The appeal by the defendants third-party plaintiffs from the intermediate order must be dismissed because the right of direct appeal therefrom terminated with entry of the judgment in the action (see Matter of Aho, 39 NY2d 241, 248). The issues raised on the appeal by the defendants third-party plaintiffs from the order are brought up for review and have been considered on the appeal from the judgment (see CPLR 5501[a][1]).

However, the appeal by the defendants third-party plaintiffs from the judgment must be dismissed, as they are not aggrieved thereby. They received all the relief sought by them on their cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, the third-party defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment dismissing the third-party complaint was denied as academic, and the third-party complaint has not been dismissed by the Supreme Court (see CPLR 5511). That the order brought up for review on the appeal from the judgment may contain language or reasoning which the defendants third-party plaintiffs deem adverse to their interests does not furnish them with a basis for taking an appeal (see Pennsylvania Gen. Ins. Co. v Austin Powder Co., 68 NY2d 465, 472-473).

Deller v Mercy Med. Ctr., 2011 NY Slip Op 06365 (2nd Dept., 2011)

As a general rule, we do not consider an issue on a subsequent appeal which was raised or could have been raised in an earlier appeal which was dismissed for lack of prosecution, although the Court has the inherent jurisdiction to do so (see Rubeo v National Grange Mut. Ins. Co., 93 NY2d 750; Bray v Cox, 38 NY2d 350). The plaintiff appealed from a judgment entered January 12, 2009, which upon, inter alia, an order of the Supreme Court, Nassau County, entered October 4, 2005, denying the plaintiff's motion to restore the action to the trial calendar, dismissed the complaint pursuant to CPLR 3404. That appeal was dismissed by decision and order on motion of this Court dated August 4, 2010, for failure to perfect in accordance with the rules of this Court, and that dismissal constituted an adjudication on the merits with respect to all issues which could have been reviewed on that appeal (see Bray v Cox, 38 NY2d at 355). Under the circumstances of this case, we decline to exercise our discretion to determine the merits of the instant appeal from the amended judgment, which raises the same issues as could have been raised on the prior appeal (see Bray v Cox, 38 NY2d 350; Graziano v Graziano, 66 AD3d 835; Blue Chip Mtge. Corp. v Stumpf, 50 AD3d 936; Matter of Talt v Murphy, 35 AD3d 486; Hepner v New York City Tr. Auth., 27 AD3d 418).

CPLR § 5511 and CPLR § 5701

CPLR § 5511 Permissible appellant and respondent

Santos v County of Westchester, 2011 NY Slip Op 01013 (App. Div., 2nd 2011)

The appeal by the County defendants must be dismissed. Since they did not oppose the City's cross motion before the Supreme Court, they are not aggrieved by the order appealed from (see CPLR 5511).

CPLR § 5701 Appeals to appellate division from supreme and county courts

Wright v Stam, 2011 NY Slip Op 01020 (App. Div., 2nd 2011)

ORDERED that the appeal from so much of the order as granted that branch of the motion which was to appoint a guardian ad litem on the plaintiff's behalf only to the extent of directing a hearing on that issue is dismissed, as no appeal lies as of right from an order directing a hearing to aid in the determination of a motion, and we decline to grant leave to appeal (see CPLR 5701[a][2]; Zoref v Glassman, 44 AD3d 1036); and it is further,

ORDERED that the appeal from so much of the order as, sua sponte, directed the plaintiff to undergo a psychological evaluation is dismissed, as no appeal lies as of right from an order which does not determine a motion made on notice, and we decline to grant leave to appeal (see CPLR 5701[a][2]; Ciprijan v Stone, 65 AD3d 659); and it is further,

The bold is mine.

The NYLJ has something special for you.

My week started off with the littlest child breaking my glasses into two.  As you can see, I fixed it with a mix of crazy glue and sewing thread.  Now when I wear them I look like Sloth and it makes my vision all crazy like.  And today, while I was walking home I walked past an electronics store with a Pickachu statute on the outside and I swear, it looked like it was flipping me the bird.  I blame that on my lack of sleep.  What I can't explain is that for second, I was genuinely pissed at Pickachu.1

And onto the law.  Yesterday's Law Journal had one of those special fancy pants pull out sections: Court of Appeals and Appellate Practice.  One of the sections, indeed, the most important section is, Civil Practice: Substantive Impact of the CPLR.  Sure, there are other sections, but you didn't come here for them.  You can here to see if I would actually fight a statue of a cartoon character and read about the CPLR.

The section covers, among other things CPLR CPLR § 205(a), CPLR § 5511, CPLR § 5304, CPLR § 901(a).

The discussion of CPLR 205(a) revolved around Matter of Goldstein v New York State Urban Dev. Corp.13 NY3d 511 (Ct. App., 2009), a case I posted way back when.  Next is CPLR 5511.  The author, Thomas F. Gleason, starts with Batavia Turf Farms v. County of Genesee, 91 NY 2d 906 (Ct. App. 1998), a remarkably terse decision.  From there he moves to Adams v Genie Indus., Inc., 14 NY3d 535 (Ct. App. 2010), a case I didn't post.  Adams, Mr. Gleason writes, rejected the "more restrictive premise of Batavia, viz., "a stipulation on one issue (such as damages) would foreclose an appeal on other unrelated issues, because a party who had consented to an order could not claim to be aggrieved by any part of it within the meaning of CPLR 5511."2

 In his discussion of class actions, namely CPLR 901(a), he refers to City of New York v Maul, 14 NY3d 499 (Ct. App. 2010), another case I managed to miss.

There's more. But you have to go read it for yourself.

Norman A. Olch, blogger and appellate guru, provides a several book reviews, including Making Your Case, by Scalia and Garner.  Everyone should read it.  You shouldnt need him to tell you to, but, if it that's what it takes, then fine.

Harry Steinberg has a must read section on how not to completely screw up your appeal.  Part of it involves preserving the issues for appeal.  A decision came out today on just that issue: Arrieta v Shams Waterproofing, Inc., 2010 NY Slip Op 06508 (App. Div., 1st 2010). 

I might add some more later.



1.  I'm recycling facebook updates today.

2.  For more cases discussing what it means to be "aggrieved" click HERE.  I think all of them are from the Appellate Division, Second Department.  Mixon v TBV, Inc., 2010 NY Slip Op 05521 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010) is the most recent and probably the most useful.


Mixon v TBV, Inc., 2010 NY Slip Op 05521 (App. Div., 2nd, 2010)

The threshold issue raised by these facts is whether the limousine defendants are aggrieved by the dismissal of the complaint against the van defendants. The requirement that an appellant be aggrieved by a judgment or order appealed from is contained in CPLR 5511, which states:

"§ 5511. Permissible appellant and respondent. An aggrieved party or a person substituted for him may appeal from any appealable judgment or order except one entered upon the default of the aggrieved party. He shall be designated as the appellant and the adverse party as the respondent" (emphasis added).

When the revisers of the laws on civil practice were in the process of creating the CPLR, they were unable to formulate a definition for the word "aggrievement" and they determined to leave that definition to case law (see Revisers' Notes in McKinney's Cons Laws of NY, Book 7B, CPLR 5511, at 129). At that time, the classic attempt at a broad definition of aggrievement was found in the case of Matter of Richmond County Socy. for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (11 AD2d 236, affd 9 NY2d 913, cert denied sub nom. Staten Island Mental Health Soc., Inc. v Richmond County Soc. For Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 368 US 290), in which it was said that "the test [of aggrievement] is whether the person seeking to appeal has a direct interest in the controversy which is affected by the result and whether the adjudication has a binding force against the rights, person or property of the party or person seeking to appeal" (id. at 239). Experience with that definition has shown that while legally correct, it does not provide a clear test which is relatively easy to apply with consistency.


For an analysis of the decision, head over to Full Court Pass.  I'm too busy winning awards and shit.