Amendment CPLR 3025

D'Angelo v Kujawski, 2018 NY Slip Op 05750 [2d Dept 2018]

"[A]n amendment which would shift a claim from a party without standing to another party who could have asserted that claim in the first instance is proper since such an amendment, by its nature, does not result in surprise or prejudice to the defendants who had prior knowledge of the claim and an opportunity to prepare a proper defense" (JCD Farms v Juul-Nielsen, 300 AD2d 446, 446 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see United Fairness, Inc. v Town of Woodbury, 113 AD3d 754, 755; Matter of Highland Hall Apts., LLC v New York State Div. of Hous. & Community Renewal, 66 AD3d 678, 682; Plotkin v New York City Tr. Auth., 220 AD2d 653, 654).

The Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in granting the plaintiff leave to amend the complaint to substitute herself in her representative capacity as the plaintiff in place of herself in her individual capacity. The proposed amendment, which only sought to shift the causes of action from the plaintiff in her individual capacity to herself in her representative capacity, was proper since the allegations set forth in the complaint gave the appellants notice of the legal malpractice causes of action being asserted against them in the amended complaint (see United Fairness, Inc. v Town of Woodbury, 113 AD3d at 755; Matter of Highland Hall Apts., LLC v New York State Div. of Hous. & Community Renewal, 66 AD3d at 682; JCD Farms v Juul-Nielsen, 300 AD2d at 446; Plotkin v New York City Tr. Auth., 220 AD2d at 654). Moreover, the appellants' contention that they would be prejudiced by the amendment because the applicable statute of limitations had expired by the time the plaintiff sought leave to amend the complaint is without merit, since the original complaint was timely filed and gave the appellants notice of the transactions and occurrences pleaded in the amended complaint (see CPLR 203[f]; see also George v Mt. Sinai Hosp., 47 NY2d 170, 178; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Eitani, 148 AD3d 193, 202).

Amended complaint supercedes

Golia v Vieira, 2018 NY Slip Op 04537 [2d Dept 2018]

The original complaint in this action was superseded by an amended complaint (see Golia v Vieira, _____ AD3d _____ [Appellate Division Docket No. 2016-12969; decided herewith]). "The original complaint is no longer viable, inasmuch as the amended complaint takes the place of the original pleading'" (Taub v Schon, 148 AD3d 1200, 1201, quoting 100 Hudson Tenants Corp. v Laber, 98 AD2d 692, 692; see Pourquoi M.P.S., Inc. v Worldstar Intl., Ltd., 64 AD3d 551Land v Merchants Despatch Transp. Co., 255 App Div 929, 929). Thus, the appeal and cross appeal from the order entered February 1, 2016, which determined the plaintiff's motion, inter alia, for leave to renew his opposition to the prior motion of the defendant Long Island College Hospital pursuant to CPLR 3211(a) to dismiss the original complaint insofar as asserted against it, has been rendered academic (see Chalasani v Neuman, 64 NY2d 879, 880; Mannino v Wells Fargo Home Mtge., Inc., 155 AD3d 860, 864; CRAFT EM CLO 2006-1, Ltd. v Deutsche Bank AG, 139 [*2]AD3d 638, 638-639; Pourquoi M.P.S., Inc. v Worldstar Intl., Ltd., 64 AD3d at 551-552; DePasquale v Estate of DePasquale, 44 AD3d 606, 607).

 

CPLR 3025(c): Conform to the proof

Metropolitan Lofts of NY, LLC v Metroeb Realty 1, LLC, 2018 NY Slip Op 02319 [2d Dept 2018]

The Supreme Court improvidently exercised its discretion in denying the plaintiff's motion to conform its complaint to the proof at trial (see CPLR 3025[c]). "[A]bsent prejudice, courts are free to permit amendment even after trial" (Kimso Apts., LLC v Gandhi, 24 NY3d 403, 411). "The burden of establishing prejudice is on the party opposing the amendment" (id. at 411). "Prejudice, of course, is not found in the mere exposure of the defendant to greater liability. Instead, there must be some indication that the defendant has been hindered in the preparation of his case or has been prevented from taking some measure in support of his position" (Loomis v Civetta Corinno Constr. Corp., 54 NY2d 18, 23; see Kimso Apts., LLC v Gandhi, 24 NY3d at 411). Here, in opposition to the plaintiff's motion, the defendants failed to show that the amendment would hinder the preparation of their cases or prevent them from taking some measure in support of their positions at trial and, therefore, the plaintiff's motion to conform its complaint to the proof should have been granted.

 

“No evidentiary showing of merit is required under CPLR 3025(b)”

1259 Lincoln Place Corp. v Bank of N.Y., 2018 NY Slip Op 02177 [2d Dept 2018]

Here, the court denied leave to amend the answer based upon its determination that the defendant had failed to lay a proper foundation, under the business records exception to the hearsay rule, for the admission of a document which allegedly demonstrated that the defendant had paid real estate taxes on the subject property. However, "[n]o evidentiary showing of merit is required under CPLR 3025(b)" (Lucido v Mancuso, 49 AD3d at 229). Since the defendant's proposed counterclaim was not palpably insufficient or patently devoid of merit, and since no prejudice or surprise would result from granting leave to amend the answer, the branch of the defendant's cross motion seeking that relief should have been granted.

Late Amendment

Federal Ins. Co. v Lakeville Pace Mech. Inc., 2018 NY Slip Op 01544 [1st Dept 2018]

Defendant waited more than two years to move to amend its answer to include the statute of limitations defense, arguing that plaintiff's construction negligence claim, with a three-year statute of limitations (CPLR 214[4]), was untimely.

Moreover, defendant made its motion almost immediately after the expiration of the six-year limitations period (by defendant's calculation) in which plaintiff could have brought the same action as a breach of contract, even though all of the facts relied upon by defendant were known to it at the time it filed its original answer. Plaintiff, relying on defendant's waiver of any statute of limitations defense (CPLR 3211[e]), was prejudiced by the loss of the opportunity to interpose a timely breach of contract claim, which it could have done "had the original pleading contained what the [proposed] amended one wants to add" Armstrong v Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. , 150 AD2d 189, 190 [1st Dept 1989]).

The motion court properly concluded that these circumstances warranted denial of defendant's motion (see CPLR 3025[b]).

CPLR 3025 [mere lateness not a bar]

CPLR 3025(b)

Ciminello v Sullivan, 2014 NY Slip Op 06048 [2nd Dept. 2014]

Although the plaintiff delayed in making the motion for leave to amend, mere lateness is not a barrier to the amendment—it must be lateness coupled with significant prejudice to the other side (see Henry v MTA, 106 AD3d 874, 875; Aurora Loan Servs., LLC v Dimura, 104 AD3d 796, 797; U.S. Bank, N.A. v Sharif, 89 AD3d 723, 724). Brian C. Sullivan and Hartford cannot claim significant prejudice, since the proposed amendment arises out of the same facts as those set forth in the first amended complaint (see Koenig v Action Target, Inc., 76 AD3d 997, 997-998; Maloney Carpentry, Inc. v Budnik, 37 AD3d 558, 558).

Schelchere v Halls, 2014 NY Slip Op 05970 [2nd Dept. 2014]

Here, given the plaintiffs' extensive and unexplained delay in seeking to amend their complaint based on facts that were known to them since the onset of the litigation (see Heller v Louis Provenzano, Inc., 303 AD2d 20, 24; Whalen v 50 Sutton Place S. Owners, 276 AD2d 356, 357; Caruso v Anpro, Ltd., 215 AD2d 713, 714), the prejudice to the defendant that would result from the amendment, and the plaintiffs' improper submission of a portion of their request for leave to amend and supporting evidence for the first time in their reply papers on the motion (see Bjorke v Rubenstein, 38 AD3d 580, 581; Drake v Drake, 296 AD2d 566; Wright v Cetek Technologies., 289 AD2d 569, 570), the Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in denying the plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend the complaint.

CPLR 3025 mere fact of exposure to greater liability not prejudicial

CPLR 3025

87 Chambers, LLC v 77 Reade, LLC, 2014 NY Slip Op 01123 [1st Dept. 2014]

Appellants' motion was timely filed and respondents have not shown that they would be prejudiced by granting appellants' leave to assert the new claims. Among other things, appellants are not prejudiced by the mere fact of exposure to potentially greater liability in the form of punitive damages (see Loomis v Civetta Corinno Constr. Corp., 54 NY2d 18, 23 [1981]; Letterman v Reddington, 278 AD2d 868 [4th Dept 2000]).

3025

CPLR 3025

United Fairness, Inc. v Town of Woodbury, 2014 NY Slip Op 00343 [2nd Dept. 2014]

Under the circumstances presented herein, the Supreme Court should have decided, on the merits, that branch of the plaintiff's motion which was for leave to amend the complaint before the court decided the motions of the Town and the Village to dismiss the complaint (see generally Cooke-Garrett v Hoque, 109 AD3d 457). Leave to amend a pleading should be freely given absent prejudice or surprise to the opposing party, unless the proposed amendment is palpably insufficient or patently devoid of merit (see CPLR 3025[b]; Carroll v Motola, 109 AD3d 629; Finkelstein v Lincoln Natl. Corp., 107 AD3d 759, 761; Lucido v Mancuso, 49 AD3d 220, 227). Moreover, a court shall not examine the legal sufficiency or merits of a pleading unless such insufficiency or lack of merit is clear and free from doubt (see Lucido v Mancuso, 49 AD3d at 227). Here, the proposed amended complaint, which principally sought to shift the claims from the plaintiff to a party who could have asserted those claims in the first instance, is proper, since "such an amendment, by its nature, did not result in surprise or prejudice to the [defendants], who had prior knowledge of the claim[s] and an opportunity to prepare a proper defense" (Fulgum v Town of Cortlandt Manor, 19 AD3d 444, 446; see JCD Farms v Juul—Nielsen, 300 AD2d 446; New York State Thruway Auth. v CBE Contr. Corp., 280 AD2d 390). In addition, the proposed amended complaint was not palpably insufficient or patently devoid of merit.

Accordingly, that branch of the plaintiff's motion which was for leave to serve an amended complaint should have been granted. Additionally, since the proposed amended complaint rectified the plaintiff's lack of standing, the Supreme Court should not have granted the motions to dismiss the complaint on the basis of lack of standing.

Emphasis mine.