NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A880
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the civil practice law and rules, in relation to motions
for summary judgment
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to solve what has become a vexing and frus-
trating problem encountered by many attorneys: how to determine which
deadline for a summary judgment motion applies to a given case.
CPLR 3212 (a) was amended by Chapter 492 of the Laws of 1996 in an
effort to curtail abusive motion practice, in which a motion for summary
judgment was often made immediately before trial, resulting in unwar-
A principal difficulty, which has now arisen as a result of the 1996
amendments, stems from the undefined term "the court." At present, devi-
ations from the 120-day post-Note-of-Issue ("NoI") default deadline may
be found in County rules, part rules, individual judge's rules, and
decisions within each case. The information, where published, is diffi-
cult to locate and may not be up-to-date.
Since the Court of Appeals' decision in Brill v City of New York, 2 NY3d
648 (2004) held that a failure to comply with the applicable rule
renders the motion fatally defective, absent "good cause" shown for the
delay, this legislation is needed to make identification of and compli-
ance with the appropriate deadline less burdensome. Indeed, the
confusion has already engendered inconsistent Appellate Division deci-
sions on whether confusion concerning the applicable rule is itself
"good cause" for missing the shorter deadline (contrast Crawford v Liz
Claiborne, Inc., 45 A.D.3d 284 1St Dept. 2007, with Gomez v Penmark
Realty Corp., 50 A.0.3d 607 1St Dept. 2008), and the Court of Appeals'
decision in Crawford v Liz Claiborne, Inc., 2008 NY Slip Op 07989
(10/23/08), had to parse the language of two conflicting rules to find
that Brill did not apply.
This amendment would limit the search for a deadline shorter than the
statutory default to one place: the prior Orders in the specific case.
It also serves the salutary function of allowing Judges more flexibility
in setting summary judgment deadlines, taking into account factors
unique to each case, such as its complexities, outstanding discovery,
number of parties, and the number of parties seeking summary judgment,
as well as considerations which may change with time, such as current
trial calendar congestion.
02/08/17 referred to codes 01/03/18 referred to codes
This bill would have no financial impact on the State.
This act shall take effect immediately upon its becoming law and shall
apply to all actions pending or commenced on and after such date.