Justia Real Estate & Property Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in New York Court of Appeals
Nemeth v. K-Tooling
The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the appellate division affirming the judgment of Supreme Court granting Respondents' motions to dismiss Petitioners' amended N.Y. C.P.L.R. 78 petition as time-barred, holding that the relation back doctrine applied.In 2012, Petitioners secured an injunction barring Respondents from using part of their property for nonresidential purposes. Thereafter, Respondents sought a variance from the Village of Hancock Board of Appeals (ZBA), which was granted. Petitioners later commenced a CPLR article 78 proceeding seeking annulment of the use variation. The appellate division granted the request and reversed. In 2016, Respondents sought a variance, which the ZBA granted. Petitioners subsequently commenced this CPLR article 78 proceeding seeking annulment of the ZBA's decision. This time, however, Petitioners omitted Respondent Rosa Kuehn. Supreme Court granted Respondents' motion to dismiss, concluding that the petition was time-barred against Rosa and that the claims against the remaining respondents must be dismissed for lack of a necessary party. The appellate division affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the relation back doctrine is not limited to cases where the amending party's omission results from doubts regarding the omitted party's identity or status. View "Nemeth v. K-Tooling" on Justia Law
St. Lawrence County v. City of Ogdensburg
The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the appellate division affirming the judgment of Supreme Court denying the County of St. Lawrence's action seeking a declaratory judgment that Local Law No. 2-2021 of the City of Ogdensburg was inconsistent with N.Y. Real. Prop. Tax Law (RPTL) 1150 or otherwise unconstitutional under the home rule article of the New York State Constitution, holding that there was no error.The law at issue in this case repealed a prior local law validly opting out of the application of RPTL article 11. The County commenced this proceeding arguing that the law was not in accord with state law and impaired the rights of the County and the County Treasurer. Supreme Court denied the petition and declared the law to be valid and enforceable. The appellate division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the law did not violate the statutory and constitutional protections at issue in this case but effectuated a power granted by the legislature to cities wishing to revoke their opt-out from article 11. View "St. Lawrence County v. City of Ogdensburg" on Justia Law
James B. Nutter & Co. v. County of Saratoga
The Court of Appeals reversed the order of the Appellate Division affirming the decision of Supreme Court granting summary judgment against Plaintiff and dismissing its complaint alleging that Saratoga County erroneously failed to serve upon it a tax foreclosure petition, holding that Plaintiff was permitted to raise a question of fact regarding whether the taxing authority complied with the statutory notice requirements contained in N.Y. Real Prop. Law (RPTL) 1125(1)(b).The County allegedly mailed, via certified and first class mail, a notice of foreclosure and notice of commencement of the tax foreclosure proceeding to Plaintiff's address. Later, a default judgment entered in favor of the County. The County sold the property at auction. Plaintiff brought this action seeking vacatur of the default judgment and the deeds conveying the property, alleging that the County failed to serve upon it the tax foreclosure petition, in violation of RPTL 1125. Supreme Court granted summary judgment for the County, and the Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that an interested party is permitted to establish that a taxing authority failed to comply with the notice requirements set forth in RPTL 1125(1)(b) even when proof is submitted that notice that was allegedly sent by both certified and first class mail is not returned. View "James B. Nutter & Co. v. County of Saratoga" on Justia Law
Bank of America, N.A. v. Kessler
The Court of Appeals held that the inclusion of concise and relevant additional information does not void an otherwise proper notice to borrowers sent pursuant to N.Y. Real. Prop. Acts. Law (RPAPL) 1304 and thus does not bar a subsequently filed foreclosure action.Borrower obtained a loan secured by a mortgage on his home and later defaulted on the loan. Bank sent Borrower notice of default pursuant to RPAPL 1304 and then brought this foreclosure action. Borrower filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the inclusion of two paragraphs in his notice not found in RPAPL 1304 violated the statute. Supreme Court agreed and granted the motion to dismiss. The appellate division affirmed, determining that including in the envelop sent to the borrower any language not required by the statute violates the statute's separate envelope provision. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) section 1304 does not prohibit the inclusion of additional information that may help borrowers avoid foreclosure and is not false or misleading; and (2) the additional information in this case was not false or misleading and should not render the notice void. View "Bank of America, N.A. v. Kessler" on Justia Law
Worthy Lending LLC v. New Style Contractors, Inc.
The Court of Appeals held that, for purposes of New York's Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) 9-406, an "assignee" includes the holder of a presently exercisable security interest in an assignor's receivables.New Style Contractors, Inc. engaged Checkmate Communications LLC as a subcontractor. Pursuant to a promissory note and security agreement, Checkmate could borrow up to $3 million from Worthy Lending LLC. Checkmate granted Worthy a security interest in its assets, and Worthy filed a UCC-1 financing statement against Checkmate perfecting its secured position regarding Checkmate's assets. Worthy then sent New Style a notice of its security interest and collateral assignment in the New Style accounts. When Checkmate defaulted on the note and filed for bankruptcy. Worthy brought this action against New Style pursuant to UCC 9-607, alleging that Worthy was entitled to recover all amounts New Style owed to Checkmate after New Style's receipt of the notice of assignment. Supreme Court dismissed the complaint. The Appellate Division affirmed, concluding that Worthy did not have an independent cause of action against New Style pursuant to UCC 9-607 because the statute does not authorized a secured creditor as distinct from an assigned, to recover from a nonparty debtor like New Style. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the language of the statute required reversal. View "Worthy Lending LLC v. New Style Contractors, Inc." on Justia Law
DCH Auto v. Town of Mamaroneck
The Court of Appeals held that a grievance complaint filed with the assessor or board of assessment review at the administrative level by a net lessee who is contractually obligated to pay real estate taxes on the property at issue satisfies N.Y. Real Prop. Law (RPTL) 524(3) such that the net lessee may properly commence an article 7 proceeding upon rejection of its grievance.DCH Auto leased a parcel of property in the Town of Mamaroneck upon which it operated a car dealership. DCH's lease with the owner was a net lease requiring DCH to pay the real estate taxes associated with the property, in addition to the rent. DCH challenged certain tax assessments by filing grievance complaints with the town's board of review. The board denied the challenges, after which DCH petitioned for judicial review. Supreme Court dismissed the petitions on the ground that only an owner may file the initial grievance complaints under RPTL 524(3). The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that DCH was included within the meaning of "the person whose property is assessed" under RPTL 524(3). View "DCH Auto v. Town of Mamaroneck" on Justia Law
ACE Securities Corp. v. DB Structured Products, Inc.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Division affirming Supreme Court's judgment dismissing HSBC Bank USA, National Association's claim against the sponsor of an underlying transaction seeking to "revive" an earlier action filed by two certificateholders pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. 205(a), holding that there was no error.Defendant, as sponsor of a residential mortgage-backed securities trust transaction, purchased thousands of mortgage loans and sold them to ACE Securities Corp. pursuant to an agreement in which the sponsor made various representations and warranties. ACE Securities deposited the loans in the trust, and the loans served as collateral for $500 million in certificates issued by the trust. Those certificates paid principal and interest to certificateholders based on funds generated by the mortgages. After two certificateholders brought an action against the sponsor HSBC filed a complaint on behalf of the trust purporting to substitute as plaintiff for the certificateholders. Supreme Court denied sponsor's motion to dismiss the complaint as untimely. The Appellate Division reversed, concluding that the action was time-barred. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that HSBC could not invoke C.P.L.R. 205(a) to avoid dismissal of this time-barred claim. View "ACE Securities Corp. v. DB Structured Products, Inc." on Justia Law
Batavia Townhouses, Ltd. v. Council of Churches Housing Development Fund Co.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the order of the Appellate Division affirming as modified the order of Supreme Court ruling that the underlying action to foreclose on a mortgage was time-barred pursuant to N.Y. C.P.L.R. 213(4) and that the six-year statute of limitations had not been tolled or revived under N.Y. Gen. Oblig. 17-105, holding that there was no error.Plaintiffs brought this derivative action against Defendant seeking a declaration that the underlying mortgage was unenforceable because the six-year limitations period for commencing a foreclosure action had expired. Supreme Court granted summary judgment for Plaintiffs seeking to cancel and discharge the mortgage. The Appellate Division affirmed as modified. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) N.Y. Gen. Oblig. 17-105, not section 17-101, governs whether the statute of limitations has been tolled or revived in an action pursuant to N.Y. Real. Prop. Acts. & Proc. Law 1501(4); and (2) the Appellate Division correctly concluded that Defendant did not meet the requirements of section 17-105(1) in order to toll or revive the statute of limitations. View "Batavia Townhouses, Ltd. v. Council of Churches Housing Development Fund Co." on Justia Law
U.S. Bank National Ass’n v. DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc.
In this residential mortgage-backed securities case, the Court of Appeals held that the contractual "sole remedy repurchase protocol" required that a trustee (Plaintiff) provide loan-specific pre-suit notice in order to invoke a sponsor's (Defendant) repurchase obligation and satisfy the contractual prerequisite to suit. Defendant moved for partial summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims, arguing that the trustee could not pursue recovery for loans not specifically identified in pre-suit letters to the extent the trustee relied on a notice rather than an independent discovery theory. Defendant further sought summary judgment with respect to the method of calculation of the repurchase price. Supreme Court denied the motion, and the appellate division affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) Plaintiff could not seek recovery on the subject loans to the extent it asserted that Defendant's repurchase obligation was triggered by notice; (2) Plaintiff could not rely on the relation back doctrine to avoid the consequences of its failure to comply with the contractual condition precedent with respect to the loans in question before commencing this action; and (3) interest recoverable on liquidated loans was limited to interest that accrued prior to liquidation. View "U.S. Bank National Ass'n v. DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc." on Justia Law
Estate of Kainer v. UBS AG
In this action involving a dispute over ownership of the proceeds of the sale of an Edgar Degas painting that was stolen from Margaret Kainer in the 1930s the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of Supreme Court granting Defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint in this case on forum non conveniens grounds, holding that Supreme Court did not abuse its discretion.Plaintiff commenced this action asserting numerous claims against several defendants, including conversion, unjust enrichment, and conspiracy based on the 2009 sale of the painting and seeking damages. Supreme Court granted the motions to dismiss against two defendants. The appellate division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that Supreme Court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the complaint on grounds of forum non conveniens. View "Estate of Kainer v. UBS AG" on Justia Law