Reidel v. Ryder Trs, Inc., 4617N.

CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division
Citation2004 NY Slip Op 09370,13 A.D.3d 170,786 N.Y.S.2d 487
Decision Date16 December 2004
PartiesEMILY REIDEL et al., Appellants, v. RYDER TRS, INC., et al., Defendants, and GEORGE FINNEGAN, Doing Business as FINNEGANS MOVING CO., et al., Respondents.
Docket Number4617N.
13 A.D.3d 170
786 N.Y.S.2d 487
2004 NY Slip Op 09370
EMILY REIDEL et al., Appellants,
v.
RYDER TRS, INC., et al., Defendants, and GEORGE FINNEGAN, Doing Business as FINNEGANS MOVING CO., et al., Respondents.
4617N.
Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Department.
December 16, 2004.

[13 A.D.3d 171]

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Milton A. Tingling, J.), entered June 8, 2004, which denied plaintiffs' motion to strike the answers of defendants Finnegan and Zoccolo, and directed the parties to appear for a discovery conference, unanimously reversed, on the law, the facts and in the exercise of discretion, with costs, and the motion to strike granted, unless said defendants appear at the courthouse for depositions within 30 days from the date of service of a copy of this order with notice of entry.


Although actions should be resolved on the merits whenever possible (see Catarine v Beth Israel Med. Ctr., 290 AD2d 213 [2002]), a court may strike a pleading as a sanction against a party who refuses to obey an order for disclosure (see CPLR 3126 [3]). A court may strike an answer only when the moving party establishes "a clear showing that the failure to comply is willful, contumacious or in bad faith" (Palmenta v Columbia Univ., 266 AD2d 90, 91 [1999]). The burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to demonstrate a reasonable excuse (Furniture Fantasy v Cerrone, 154 AD2d 506, 507 [1989]; see Williamson v City of New York, 249 AD2d 248 [1998]).

Here, the disobeying of three successive court orders by Finnegan and Zoccolo, directing them to appear for depositions "constituted precisely the sort of dilatory and obstructive, and thus contumacious, conduct warranting the striking of their answers" (Kutner v Feiden, Dweck & Sladkus, 223 AD2d 488, 489 [1996], lv denied 88 NY2d 802 [1996]; accord Varvitsiotes v Pierre, 260 AD2d 297 [1999]). At no time did these two defendants offer a reasonable excuse for their repeated failure to appear for court-ordered depositions. The fact that their whereabouts are unknown is no bar to plaintiffs' requested sanction (see Rocco v KCL Protective Servs., 283 AD2d 317 [2001]). Counsel's bald statement that reasonable good faith efforts had been made to locate these two defendants, including the hiring of an investigator to assist in the search, is devoid of detail and therefore insufficient. Counsel failed to submit an affidavit from the purported investigator detailing what...

To continue reading

Request your trial
42 practice notes
  • Hann v. Black
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • June 8, 2012
    ...whereabouts are unknown is no bar to plaintiffs' requested sanction” of striking defendants' answer ( Reidel v. Ryder TRS, Inc., 13 A.D.3d 170, 171, 786 N.Y.S.2d 487), and in any event J & R Schugel “offered insufficient proof of a good faith effort to locate” Black ( Mason v. MTA N.Y. City......
  • Verizon N.Y., Inc. v. Consol. Edison, Inc., No. 101981/07.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • June 30, 2014
    ...N.Y.S.2d 75 (1st Dept.2012) ; Figdor v. City of New York, 33 A.D.3d 560, 823 N.Y.S.2d 385 (1st Dept.2006) ; Reidel v. Ryder TRS, Inc., 13 A.D.3d 170, 786 N.Y.S.2d 487 (1st Dept.2004). The court orders issued in this case spanned more than two years, the most recent being dated nearly seven ......
  • Rawlings v. Gillert
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 9, 2010
    ...67 A.D.3d 880, 881, 891 N.Y.S.2d 414; Goldstein v. CIBC World Mkts. Corp., 30 A.D.3d 217, 817 N.Y.S.2d 19; Reidel v. Ryder TRS, Inc., 13 A.D.3d 170, 171, 786 N.Y.S.2d 487). The defendant's remaining contention is without...
  • Edoo-Rajotte v. Kendall, Index 616906/2018
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • December 6, 2019
    ...Sladkus, 223 A.D.2d 488, 489 [1st Dept. 1998]; see CDR Creances S.A. v Cohen, 104 A.D.3d 17 (1st Dept. 2012); Reidel v. Ryder TRS, Inc., 13 A.D.3d 170 [1st Dept. 2004]). Absent a showing that a "defendant's failure to comply with disclosure was the result of willful, contumacious and delibe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
42 cases
  • Hann v. Black
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • June 8, 2012
    ...whereabouts are unknown is no bar to plaintiffs' requested sanction” of striking defendants' answer ( Reidel v. Ryder TRS, Inc., 13 A.D.3d 170, 171, 786 N.Y.S.2d 487), and in any event J & R Schugel “offered insufficient proof of a good faith effort to locate” Black ( Mason v. MTA N.Y. City......
  • Verizon N.Y., Inc. v. Consol. Edison, Inc., No. 101981/07.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • June 30, 2014
    ...N.Y.S.2d 75 (1st Dept.2012) ; Figdor v. City of New York, 33 A.D.3d 560, 823 N.Y.S.2d 385 (1st Dept.2006) ; Reidel v. Ryder TRS, Inc., 13 A.D.3d 170, 786 N.Y.S.2d 487 (1st Dept.2004). The court orders issued in this case spanned more than two years, the most recent being dated nearly seven ......
  • Rawlings v. Gillert
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 9, 2010
    ...67 A.D.3d 880, 881, 891 N.Y.S.2d 414; Goldstein v. CIBC World Mkts. Corp., 30 A.D.3d 217, 817 N.Y.S.2d 19; Reidel v. Ryder TRS, Inc., 13 A.D.3d 170, 171, 786 N.Y.S.2d 487). The defendant's remaining contention is without...
  • Edoo-Rajotte v. Kendall, Index 616906/2018
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • December 6, 2019
    ...Sladkus, 223 A.D.2d 488, 489 [1st Dept. 1998]; see CDR Creances S.A. v Cohen, 104 A.D.3d 17 (1st Dept. 2012); Reidel v. Ryder TRS, Inc., 13 A.D.3d 170 [1st Dept. 2004]). Absent a showing that a "defendant's failure to comply with disclosure was the result of willful, contumacious and delibe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT