Rely-On-Us, Inc. v. Torres

Decision Date03 October 2018
Docket Number2016–02337,Index No. 501482/15
Parties RELY–ON–US, INC., appellant, v. Antonio TORRES, et al., respondents, et al., defendants.
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division

Michael M. Premisler, Carle Place, NY, for appellant.

John J. Leen, White Plains, NY, for respondents.

JOHN M. LEVENTHAL, J.P., JEFFREY A. COHEN, SYLVIA O. HINDS–RADIX, FRANCESCA E. CONNOLLY, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

In an action, inter alia, to foreclose a mortgage, the plaintiff appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Wavny Toussaint, J.), dated January 22, 2016. The order, insofar as appealed from, granted that branch of the motion of the defendants Antonio Torres and Carmen Torres which was pursuant to CPLR 3211(a) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them, and denied the plaintiff's cross motion, inter alia, for leave to amend the complaint and to reform the note.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed insofar as appealed from, with costs.

The plaintiff, Rely–On–Us, Inc., commenced this action, inter alia, to foreclose a mortgage and to reform a note and mortgage. The factual and procedural background is set forth more fully in this Court's decision and order on a related appeal (see Torres v. Rely On Us, Inc., ––– A.D.3d ––––, ––– N.Y.S.3d ––––, 2018 WL 4762517 [decided herewith] ). As pertinent to this appeal, the defendants Antonio Torres and Carmen Torres (hereinafter together the defendants) moved, inter alia, pursuant to CPLR 3211(a) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them, and the plaintiff cross-moved, inter alia, for leave to amend the complaint and to reform the note. In an order dated January 22, 2016, the Supreme Court, inter alia, granted that branch of the defendants' motion which was pursuant to CPLR 3211(a) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against them, and denied the plaintiff's cross motion. The plaintiff appeals.

Contrary to the plaintiff's contention, although a dismissal for lack of capacity to sue is not a dismissal on the merits (see Matter of United Envtl. Techniques v. State of N.Y. Dept. of Health, 88 N.Y.2d 824, 825, 643 N.Y.S.2d 959, 666 N.E.2d 552 ; Robles v. Brooklyn–Queens Nursing Home, Inc., 131 A.D.3d 1032, 1033, 16 N.Y.S.3d 275 ), "[a] judgment of default which has not been vacated is conclusive for res judicata purposes, and encompasses the issues which were raised or could have been raised in the prior action" ( Tromba v. Eastern Fed. Sav. Bank, FSB, 148 A.D.3d 753, 754, 48 N.Y.S.3d 501 ; see Albanez v. Charles, 134 A.D.3d 657, 658, 20 N.Y.S.3d 567 ; 83–17 Broadway Corp. v. Debcon Fin. Servs., Inc., 39 A.D.3d 583, 585, 835 N.Y.S.2d 602 ; Martins v. Wood, 251 A.D.2d 465, 675 N.Y.S.2d 544 ). Consequently, the dismissal, on default, of a prior action to foreclose the mortgage, as well as the default judgment taken in the action pursuant to RPAPL 1501(4) (see Torres v. Rely On Us, Inc., ––– A.D.3d ––––, ––– N.Y.S.3d ––––, 2018 WL 4762517 [decided herewith] ), bar the plaintiff's cause of action to foreclose the mortgage (see Trisingh Enters. v. Kessler, 249 A.D.2d 45, 671 N.Y.S.2d 70 ).

Further, "[a] cause of action seeking reformation of an instrument on the ground of mistake, including an alleged scrivener's error, is governed by the six-year statute of limitations pursuant to CPLR 213(6), which begins to...

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