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News & Announcements


FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENTS 
AND INFORMAL NOTICES
OF INTEREST



JUILLIARD SCHOOL CONCERTS

Students from the Juilliard School will perform two concerts of classical music this winter in the rotunda of the Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County. The dates of these concerts are November 30th and December 14th, both Wednesdays. The concerts will take place from 1 PM to 2 PM. The performances are open to the public and are free of charge. All are welcome.

November 10, 2016

 



COURT RECESS AND WITHDRAWAL OF MOTIONS

The General Clerk’s Office of Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County brings the following two items regarding motion practice to the attention of the Bar.

1. Court Recess: In addition to the usual holidays, there will be a court recess between Christmas and New Year’s Day this year. Specifically, the Christmas holiday will be observed on Monday, December 26, 2016, and the recess will take place from Tuesday, December 27 through Friday, December 30, 2016. The court will be closed on Monday, January 2, 2017, in observance of the New Year’s Day holiday. The Motion Submission Part Courtroom (Room 130) will be closed for the entirety of the week beginning December 26 and on January 2. No motions should be made returnable in Room 130 on these days. No motions pending in Room 130 should be adjourned to any of these dates. In the event that a motion is made returnable during the period when Room 130 operations are on hiatus, or an attempt is made to adjourn a pending motion to a date during this period, the court will reschedule the motion for a subsequent date on which the court is in session. Room 130 will reopen for normal operations on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

2. Motions That Are Being Withdrawn: The Clerk will mark motions that are pending in the Motion Submission Part Courtroom withdrawn only upon the submission of a writing from counsel so requesting. In cases in the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System, counsel must e-file a stipulation, letter, or other writing requesting that a motion in Room 130 be marked withdrawn. In cases that are proceeding in hard copy format, counsel must submit to the Clerk in Room 130 on the morning of the return date a stipulation, letter, or other writing in hard-copy form requesting that a motion on the calendar that day be marked withdrawn. As an alternative, counsel may submit the writing by e-mail to nymotcal@nycourts.gov by 4:00 PM of the day before the return date. If no writing is e-filed or submitted as required, the Clerk will not mark a motion withdrawn based upon an oral request, but will mark the motion submitted and transmit it to the assigned Justice. Counsel will then be obliged immediately to address the status of the matter directly with the Justice assigned, before the Justice begins work on the motion.

Counsel are reminded that they can obtain information on the scheduling and adjournment of motions in Room 130 and the withdrawal of motions on the calendar thereof through the e-Track application. This application provides e-mail notification of the fixing of motion dates in Room 130 by the court, the adjournment of such dates, and the withdrawal of such motions. Counsel may register a single case with e-Track or as many cases as they may wish. There is no charge for this service. To register, go to the following address

:

https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcivil/etrackLogin

November 3, 2016
Revised November 9, 2016

 



REVISED RULES ON REFERENCES

The rules governing references, i.e. the Rules of the Special Referees’ Part (Part SRP) and the Uniform Rules of the Judicial Hearing Officers and the Special Referees, have been revised. The rules now provide that the referring Justice, in his or her discretion, may include in the Order of Reference a provision directing that a conference be held before the assigned JHO/Special Referee prior to the date of the commencement of the hearing. Cases are assigned to a JHO/Referee at the first appearance of the matter in the Special Referees Part and, except in cases in which the Order of Reference has directed that a prehearing conference be held, the hearing will commence on the date of the initial appearance. If a prehearing conference has been directed, the date of the hearing will be fixed at that conference.

A revised Information Sheet has been issued to conform to these changes.

The revised rules and Information Sheet are accessible on the website under "References."

September 21, 2016

 



RULES FOR SPECIAL ELECTION PART

Proceedings brought by Orders to Show Cause to validate or to invalidate designating petitions for the September 13, 2016 State and Local Offices Primary Election, required to be commenced on or before Thursday, July 28, 2016, shall be returnable before the Honorable Arthur F. Engoron, Justice of the Supreme Court on Monday, August 1, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., in IA Part 37, Room 328, located at 80 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013. The calendar call must be answered either by counsel or by the self-represented litigant(s) if not represented by an attorney, who must be ready for assignment on the return date. Non-lawyer "Representatives" of the parties are not permitted to answer the calendar. The parties must comply with the filing requirements of CPLR 304.

On the return date, all counsel and parties appearing self-represented shall advise either the Clerk of the Part, or the Special Referee, of their addresses and telephone numbers. Proof of Service of the Order to Show Cause, as well as any interposed Counterclaims or Answers, shall be filed either with the Clerk of the Part or the Special Referee (not the County Clerk) on that date.

Specifications of objections to a designating or a nominating petition previously served and filed, pursuant to the Rules of the Board of Elections, need not be filed with the Clerk of the Part.

Specifications of objections not previously served and filed with the Board of Elections shall be served upon all opposing parties and filed with the Clerk of the Part, no later than 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. Failure to serve and file any such specifications of objections shall be considered and deemed a waiver, and further proof or evidence of such specifications shall be precluded

In any proceeding by an aggrieved candidate to invalidate a designating or nominating petition, a bill of particulars as to the specifications of objections shall be served upon all opposing parties and filed with the Clerk of the Part, no later than 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. Failure to serve and file a bill of particulars shall be considered and deemed a waiver, and further proof or evidence of the specifications shall be precluded.

In any proceeding or matter alleging a question of residency of a candidate, a complete written offer of proof shall be served upon all opposing parties and filed with the Clerk of the Part or the Special Referee on the return date. The written offer of proof shall specify: [i] the reasons the petitioner believes the address where the candidate actually resides, or that the candidate does not reside at the address stated in the designating/nominating petition; and [ii] the names of any witnesses which the party intends to call to testify regarding the residency issue. Failure to serve and file this offer of proof shall be considered and deemed a waiver, and further proof or evidence of residency shall be precluded.

A complete written offer of proof, in all matters alleging a question of fraud, including a statement as to the number of witnesses expected to be called, the identification of each such witness (by name, address, volume, page and line) and the status of each such witness (e.g., candidate, signatory, subscribing witness, notary public, etc.), shall be served upon all opposing parties and filed with the Clerk of the Part no later than 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. Failure to serve and file such offer of proof shall be considered and deemed a waiver, and further proof or evidence of fraud shall be precluded.

Proceedings brought by Order to Show Cause to validate a designating or nominating petition, required to be commenced within three (3) business days of a determination of its invalidity by the Board of Elections, shall be returnable either on Monday August 8, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 328, located at 80 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013, or at such other time and place as required by the date on which the Board of Elections made its determination.

In preparing their proposed Order to Show Cause, petitioners are directed to refrain from drafting proposed language directing the Board of Elections to produce in court, on the return date, all of the petition volumes, specifications of objections, and prima facie findings. Rather, petitioners are directed to draft proposed language calling for the Board of Elections to produce in court, on the return date, only the necessary documents. The balance of the Board of Elections documents can be produced at a later stage of the litigation.

July 14, 2016

 



JUDICIAL ASSIGNMENTS AND REASSIGNMENTS

As of the new year 2016, a number of changes occurred in the judicial assignments in Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County, which are summarized as follows.

Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, Hon. Arlene P. Bluth, and Hon. Arthur F. Engoron, previously Acting Supreme Court Justices in the court, were elected to the Supreme Court bench this past November. Justice Engoron's assignment is unchanged. Justice Kennedy has assumed a new assignment handling guardianship matters in Part 18, which is located in Courtroom 490 at 111 Centre Street (646-386-5908). Justice Kennedy's Chambers are located in Room 326 at 111 Centre Street (646-386-5739).

Justice Kennedy, previously the Supervising Judge of Civil Court, New York County, has been succeeded in that role by Justice Anthony Cannataro. Justice Cannataro has also taken over Part 40B and Part MFP, previously assigned to Justice Kennedy. The former is a Trial Part and the latter handles mortgage foreclosure matters. Part 40 B is located in Courtroom 419 at 111 Centre Street (646-386-3264). Part MFP shall be located in Room 300 at 60 Centre Street (646-386-3752). Justice Cannataro's Chambers are located in Room 838 at 111 Centre Street (646-386-5429).

Justice Bluth, previously assigned to the Motor Vehicle Part (Part 22), has been assigned to Part 32 in the Center for Complex Litigation. In addition to complex litigation, this Part handles a General IAS Part inventory consisting of pre-note-of-issue matters that had previously been assigned to Hon. George J. Silver (Part 10) and to Hon. Carol Huff, now retired. The Courtroom for Part 32 is located in Room 308 at 80 Centre Street (646-386-5607). Justice Bluth's Chambers are located in the same suite (646-386-5725).

The Motor Vehicle Part (Part 22) is now assigned to Justice Leticia M. Ramirez, who had been assigned as the Judge presiding at the Harlem Courthouse. Part 22 is located in Room 136 at 80 Centre Street (646-386-3271). Justice Ramirez's Chambers are located in Room 138 at 80 Centre Street (646-386-3218).

In addition, three Acting Supreme Court Justices who previously had served as Hybrid Justices have been assigned full-time to Parts in the court. Justice David B. Cohen has been assigned to IAS General Assignment Part 4, which is located in Courtroom 1164A at 111 Centre Street (646-386-3338). The inventory of Part 4 is at present made up of trial-ready non-jury matters. Justice Cohen's Chambers are located in Room 457 at 111 Centre Street (646-386-3320).

Justice Gerald Lebovits has taken over IAS General Assignment Part 7, which had previously been assigned to Justice Paul Wooten, who has returned to Brooklyn Supreme Court. This Part is located in Courtroom 731 at 111 Centre Street (phone number unchanged at 646-386-3746). Justice Lebovits' Chambers are located in Room 929 at 111 Centre Street (646-386-3074).

Justice Michael L. Katz has taken over General Assignment Part 58, which had previously been assigned to Justice Donna Mills, who has returned to Bronx Supreme Court. This Part is located in Courtroom 574 at 111 Centre Street (646-386-3347)(location and number unchanged). Justice Katz's Chambers are located in Room 536 at 111 Centre Street (646-386-3103).

In the inventories that have been reassigned, dates previously fixed for conferences or argument on motions shall remain in effect unless otherwise directed by the court.

The following Judges have been assigned to the court as Hybrid Justices, dividing their time between Civil Court matters and Supreme Court matters: Acting Supreme Court Justices Erika M. Edwards, Carol Ruth Feinman, Paul Allan Goetz, W. Franc Perry, and Alexander M. Tisch. The matters to which these Justices will be assigned in this court are at present hospital hearings and uncontested matrimonial cases.

The Bar is reminded that this fall certain changes were made to procedures governing the assignment of trial-ready cases for trial. Justice George J. Silver now presides over the Judicial Mediation Part (Part J-Med), located in Room 422 (646-386-3722), where he conducts settlement discussions in post-note cases otherwise ready for trial. Settlement conferences are conducted in post-note Transit Authority cases in the Transit Authority Settlement Part (Part TASP, Hon. Sherry Klein Heitler and Steven Helfont, Esq., Room 321, 60 Centre Street). Early Settlement Conferences are conducted after the filing of the note of issue in various cases in Part ESC-1 (Miles Vigilante, Esq., Room 106, 80 Centre Street) and Part ESC-2 (Samuel Wilkenfeld, Esq., Room 103, 80 Centre Street). Trial-ready cases that are not settled in Part J-Med and Part TASP will be sent to the Administrative Coordinating Part (Part 40TR) (Hon. William Leibovitz, JHO, Administrative Coordinating Judge, Room 300 (646-386-3095)) for an appearance for jury selection and trial assignment on a firm date selected by the Judge presiding in Part J-Med or Part TASP. Cases that are not settled in either ESC Part will be sent to Part J-Med for a final conference and, if settlement is not reached, selection of a firm trial date in Part 40TR.

Additional information on the reassignment of cases and scheduled appearances therein can be obtained as follows. Information on cases in Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County is available in the Supreme Court Records On-Line Library (Scroll), an application which is accessible at no charge on the website of the Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County at the ACase Information@ link at the following address:

www.nycourts.gov/supctmanh

In prior years, the court provided notification of certain appearances to counsel by mail, but ceased to do so in summer 2012. Instead, counsel have since then been advised to sign up for the court system's E-Track service, which provides notification by e-mail of all appearances recorded in the court's electronic case history program upon their recording therein, as well as other developments recorded therein, such as the reassignment of cases and the issuance of decisions and long-form orders. E-Track allows counsel to list with the service some or all of the firm's cases that are pending in the Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County, and in other counties as well, which will permit counsel to receive e-mail notification regarding all court developments in those cases. E-Track can also provide appearance reminders should counsel wish to avail themselves of that capability. To sign up for E-Track, counsel should go to the following address:

http://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcivil/etrackLogin

There is no charge for the E-Track service.

January 21, 2016

 



CHANGES TO THE PROCESSING OF CERTAIN POST NOTE OF ISSUE CIVIL CASES
Revised (6th paragraph) November 13, 2015

The processing of certain post-Note-of-Issue civil cases in New York County Supreme Court is being changed to ensure the cases' just and efficient disposition. The cases will come from the following Parts: Individual Assignment, City, Motor Vehicle, and Transit.

Effective immediately, Honorable George J. Silver will preside over a newly created Judicial Mediation Part (J-Med). The purpose of the J-Med Part is to facilitate expeditious settlement and identify trial-ready cases. All counsel who attend J-Med conferences must have familiarity with all aspects of the case. A demand should be provided to the defendant(s) in advance of this conference. Counsel at J-Med conferences must either 1) have full authority to discuss settlement and to enter into settlement agreements, or 2) ensure that the client is present at the conferences or is immediately available by telephone. J-Med conferences will be held in Room 422.

Absent a settlement in the J-Med Part, the attorneys will be given an opportunity to select a mutually convenient, but firm, trial date in the near future. Counsel shall come to the conference knowing their future availability so that the court may take prior commitments into account when assisting counsel in fixing the firm trial date.

On the trial date, attorneys will appear in the Administrative Coordinating Part, Part 40TR (40 Trial Ready), before Honorable William Leibovitz, JHO, for immediate jury selection and trial assignment. There will be no settlement discussions before the JHO. The Administrative Coordinating Part will be relocated to Room 300 at 60 Centre Street. The calendars will be called at 9:30am to enable the attorneys to proceed to the jury assembly room as quickly as possible. Part 40 TR will commence on October 5, 2015.

Mediator Miles Vigilante, Esq. will continue to conduct Early Settlement Conferences (ESC- 1) in Room 106 of 80 Centre Street on newer post-Note-of-Issue cases, beginning with cases in which a note of issue was filed in 2015. The purpose of these conferences will be to effect early settlement. Only counsel fully familiar with and authorized to settle the action shall appear. Cases in which settlement is not achieved at the Early Settlement Conference will be scheduled for a subsequent date in J-Med.

Mediator Samuel Wilkenfeld, Esq. will continue to conduct settlement conferences (ESC 2) in Room 103 at 80 Centre Street in City and motor vehicles cases. City cases in which settlement is not achieved will be referred to Hon. George J. Silver in J-Med for a Last Clear Chance Conference. The Last Clear Chance Conference will be the last opportunity for settlement discussions in City cases under the aegis of the court. Motor vehicle cases in which settlement is not achieved will be referred to Hon. George J. Silver in the J-Med Part.

The Honorable Sherry Klein Heitler and Steven Helfont, Esq. will continue to conduct settlement conferences in the Transit Authority Settlement Part (40TASP) in Room 321 at 60 Centre Street. In order to assure meaningful settlement discussion at this conference, counsel attending the conference must have familiarity with all aspects of the case. If there is a desire to resolve the matter, a demand must be made by the plaintiff of the defendant(s) in advance of the conference. Please contact Ms. Khahaifa of the Transit Authority, in advance of the conference date, at (718) 694-3991 to convey your demand. Counsel must have full authority to discuss settlement, enter into settlement agreement and otherwise dispose of this action. In the absence of such authority, counsel must either bring the client to the conference or assure that the client is immediately available by telephone. If at the conclusion of this conference the case is not settled, the parties shall select a mutually convenient, firm trial date. Trial counsel must come to the conference knowing their future availability so that the court may take counsels' other commitments into account when assisting counsel in fixing the firm trial date.

September 23, 2015

 



POST-NOTE NON-JURY CASES

Beginning July 7, 2014, post-note-of-issue non-jury cases pending in Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County that bear calendar numbers issued in 2013 (not including Commercial Division cases) shall appear for a conference in a special Non-Jury Mediation Part. This Part will be conducted in Room 300 at 60 Centre Street in Manhattan two days each week, beginning in the morning at 9:30 AM and in the afternoon at 2:15 PM. Appearances will be staggered. Counsel will be informed of the date and time of an appearance scheduled in the Non-Jury Mediation Part by mail notice and by e-mail notification from the court system’s e-Track case notification service. Calendars for the Part will also appear in the New York Law Journal. Attorneys who do not have an e-Track account or whose non-jury cases are not recorded in the e-Track system may create an account and enter case information therein and enable themselves to receive an e-Track e-mail message by going to the following address:

https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcivil/etrackLogin

There is no charge to use the e-Track service.

Conferences in the Non-Jury Mediation Part will be conducted by Court Attorneys Dean Leslie, Esq. and Michelle Kern-Rappy, Esq. The Court Attorneys will review the status of each case and determine whether settlement discussions may be productive. If it is concluded that settlement discussions may prove fruitful, the case will be scheduled for a subsequent appearance in the Part for that purpose. After all proceedings in this Part have concluded, if a case has not been settled, its status will, without need for further appearance by counsel, be reviewed by the Administrative Judge, who will see to it that a date for trial in 2015 is assigned to the case.

June 25, 2014

 



COMMERCIAL DIVISION - MONETARY THRESHOLD

Chief Administrative Judge Prudenti has issued an Administrative Order that changes, effective February 17, 2014, the monetary threshold in the Commercial Division, New York County set by Uniform Rule 202.70 (a) from $ 150,000 to $ 500,000.

January 30, 2014

 



CHANGE OF NAME OF COURT OFFICE

Effective January 2, 2014, the name of the Motion Support Office (Room 119) will be changed to the “General Clerk’s Office.” This change is a matter of denomination only. The renamed Office will continue to operate in Room 119 and all of its functions and procedures will remain unaltered from what they have been since 2010. The Office will continue to operate the motion submission process, in what will continue to be called the Motion Submission Part Courtroom (Room 130). The Special Referee Clerk will remain in Room 119 M and the New York County E-Filing Department will continue to function in Room 119. There will be no change to the Commercial Division Support Office (Room 119 A) or to the statewide E-Filing Resource Center (Room 119 M). The Motion Support Office is being renamed because the new name more accurately reflects the functions it has carried out since 2010 and will continue to carry out in the future. In 2010, the counter functions of the Trial Support Office were moved to the Motion Support Office. As a result, many non-motion filings in hard-copy cases have since been made in Room 119, such as requests for a preliminary conference, notes of issue, jury demands, and notices of medical, dental, or podiatric malpractice action. The new name of the office will indicate to the Bar and the public that all filings in hard-copy cases, motion and non-motion alike, shall be made in the General Clerk’s Office (Room 119), except for those made in specialized cases or circumstances, such as various filings in guardianship matters (filed in Room 158), uncontested matrimonials (filed in Room 311), or hard-copy Commercial Division cases (filed in Room 119 A), or when the applications are proposed orders to show cause or ex parte applications in hard-copy general cases (non-Commercial Division cases)(filed in Room 315). Filings in e-filed cases shall be made through the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System (“NYSCEF”), as explained in the Protocol on Courthouse Procedures for Electronically Filed Cases (accessible on the website of the court at www.nycourts.gov/supctmanh), and will be routed by NYSCEF to the proper office.

December 2, 2013

 



EXPANSION OF MANDATORY E-FILING - - EFFECTIVE FEB. 19, 2013 (UPDATED NOTICE)

Pursuant to Administrative Order dated February 19, 2013 and effective the same date, in accordance with legislation in 2012 (L. 2012, c. 184), electronic filing through the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System (“NYSCEF”) has been expanded in Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County. E-filing is mandatory in all cases commenced in the court on and after February 19, 2013 (except for Art. 78, election law, matrimonial, and Mental Hygiene Law matters). All such cases must be commenced electronically and initiating documents will not be accepted in hard copy form. Personal jurisdiction shall be obtained by service of documents in hard copy form in the normal manner, except that the plaintiff/petitioner must also serve on the defendant/respondent a Notice of Commencement of Action Subject to Mandatory Electronic Filing (form available on the NYSCEF website (www.nycourts.gov/efile)). Subsequent documents must be e-filed as well.

Court fees are paid to the County Clerk by credit or bank card (Mastercard, Visa, or American Express) through NYSCEF. There are, however, no separate charges to use NYSCEF, file documents with it, serve documents through it, or print out hard copies from it.

Mandatory e-filing is governed by Uniform Rule 202.5-bb. The court has issued a Protocol on Courthouse Procedures for Electronically Filed Cases that explains how customary courthouse procedures, such as those regarding proposed orders to show cause, are applied in e-filed cases. The Protocol is posted on the court’s website (on the “E-Filing” page at www.nycourts.gov/supctmanh). Counsel are urged to familiarize themselves with the Rule and the Protocol.

A User’s Manual and FAQs are posted on the NYSCEF website. The NYSCEF application includes a training utility, which allows attorneys to practice filing documents in fictitious cases for as often and as long as counsel may desire.

Live training is also available for attorneys and support staff who may feel the need for it. A two-hour training course is offered, with two CLE credits awarded to attorneys at no charge. The course is presented weekly at Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County at 60 Centre Street. Advance registration is required. For further information about training and to register for the course, go to the Training Resources tab on the NYSCEF website.

For additional information about e-filing in New York County, see the NYSCEF website or contact the New York County E-Filing Department, which can be reached at 646-386-3610 or newyorkefile@nycourts.gov.

Please note this important reminder:  The following nine Justices do not require submission of working copies of motion papers except when specifically requested by the Justice in regard to a particular motion: Freed, J. (Pt. 5), Lobis, J. (Pt. 6), Jaffe, J. (Pt. 12), Rakower, J. (Pt. 15), Scarpulla, J. (Pt. 19), Edmead, J. (Pt. 35), Engoron, J. (Pt. 37), Chan, J. (Pt. 52), and Wright, J. (Pt. 62).  Other Justices participating in the e-filing program, however, require that working copies of papers on all motions be submitted, as explained in the Protocol.  It is imperative that such copies be submitted in these working copy Parts and with regard to all motions assigned to such Parts that are returnable in the Motion Support Office Courtroom (Room 130).  Failure to submit working copies will delay the processing of motions and interfere with orderly procedures in the court.  If any required working copy is missing on a motion returnable in Room 130, the motion will be placed on the three-day calendar to await submission of the working copy.  If the copy is still not submitted, the motion file will be transmitted to the Justice assigned for such action as the Justice deems appropriate.

Attorneys who wish to follow developments (e.g., scheduling of a conference or argument, adjournment of a motion) in cases pending in the Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County are reminded to register their cases with the court system's case tracking program, e-Track, which issues an e-mail notification whenever a court clerk records a development in a registered case in the court's case history database. There is no charge for the e-Track service.  To sign up, please go to the following address:

http://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcivil/etrackLogin

Notifications of various developments and scheduling in pending cases are no longer sent by the court by regular mail.

Feb. 6, 2013 - Revised Feb. 20, 2013

 



HON. STANLEY S. OSTRAU

The Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County notes with great sorrow the passing this past weekend of the Honorable Stanley S. Ostrau, former Administrative Judge of the court and Presiding Justice of the Appellate Term, First Department.

Justice Ostrau served as a judge for almost 25 years. He was appointed to the Civil Court of the City of New York in 1973 and was elected to that court the following year. He was designated an acting Supreme Court Justice and served in that capacity for almost a decade. He was elected to Supreme Court in 1984. In 1987, together with his duties in New York County, he served as Surrogate of Bronx County.

Prior to his judicial service, Justice Ostrau had been a trial lawyer in private practice and with the office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York. He also served as Law Secretary to Justices Edward T. McCaffrey and Alvin Klein.

On the bench in New York County, Justice Ostrau handled a wide variety of assignments, from trial parts, to conference and assignment parts, to matrimonial parts. His trial experience, skill at settlement, upbeat demeanor, and passion for fairness made him exceptionally successful at every task given him. And these gifts led to his designation as Administrative Judge of the court, in which capacity he served from 1991 to 1996.

As Administrative Judge, Judge Ostrau was ever on the lookout for ways to improve the operations of the court. He made many important innovations, which continue to serve the court, litigants and the Bar to this day. For instance, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Commercial Parts in 1993 and then, working closely with the Central Administration, the Commercial Division in 1995, which effort has been judged by the commercial Bar an outstanding success. He established a variety of refinements that improved the operation of the Individual Assignment System, which had transformed a central calendar system in 1986. He created the Motion Submission Part (Courtroom 130), which reduced motion calendars in the Parts dramatically, conserved the time of Justices, and saved attorneys from having to make appearances in the very many Parts of the court to submit motion papers and obtain adjournments and freed them from having to keep track of many different motion days and locations. He promoted alternative dispute resolution as part of court operations. He led the court to incorporate orders into opinions on motions, changing long-standing practice in the court in a way that simplified and expedited proceedings for the Bar and litigants. He established a team of matrimonial Parts in place of a single matrimonial motion and trial Part, understanding the importance of providing effective and expeditious adjudication of these challenging cases, particularly those in which children were involved.

Throughout his tenure as Administrative Judge, Judge Ostrau maintained a full workload as the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Term, where he served from 1986 to 1996. Under his leadership, this court was at the forefront of a very significant evolution in landlord and tenant law, a jurisprudence critical to life in New York City.

Justice Ostrau was an exceptional administrator, a fair-minded judge, a great colleague, and an always-friendly and cheerful leader of the staff. The court and the County of New York were fortunate to have had him here for so many years and will long remain in his debt.

Board of Justices,
Supreme Court, Civil Branch
New York County

December 12, 2012

 



NOTICE REGARDING CERTAIN COURT NOTIFICATIONS

In recent years, the Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County has transmitted certain notices to counsel by mail. One notice advises counsel regarding the date and time that has been fixed for a preliminary conference in response to the filing of a request for a preliminary conference. Second, in City and Motor Vehicle cases, in which Case Scheduling Orders are issued by the court without need for an appearance for a preliminary conference, a copy of the order has been sent to counsel. The third form of notice advises counsel of the date of argument on certain motions that have been marked “submitted” in the Motion Support Office Courtroom (Room 130). The motions in question are those in Parts in which the Justice directs that argument be had on a motion-by-motion basis. If a Justice requires an appearance in the Part on all motions marked submitted in Room 130, notations of the argument date are recorded in the calendar that is printed daily in the New York Law Journal reporting the actions taken in Room 130. Fourth, a notice has been mailed to counsel advising of the scheduling of an initial appearance in the Neutral Evaluation Program (informally known as “Mediation”).

Counsel are hereby informed that, beginning July 16, 2012, the court will no longer transmit these four kinds of notice. Counsel are advised to sign up for the Unified Court System’s case information notification service, called e-Track. By doing so and recording in e-Track all of counsel’s cases pending in the Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County, counsel will be able to receive expeditious automated notification of the events covered by these notices, as well as all other developments in those cases that are recorded in the court’s case history program, the Civil Case Information System (“CCIS”), such as the issuance of a decision on a motion, the scheduling of compliance or status conferences, or the issuance of a long form order. As soon as a preliminary conference date or a Mediation appearance date is scheduled in CCIS, a Case Scheduling Order is issued, or an argument is scheduled in CCIS for a Part, e-Track will transmit a notification of the event by e-mail. This form of notice is quicker and more reliable than notices sent by mail and the designated recipients can be tailored by counsel to each case and the needs and procedures of the office. There is no charge to use the e-Track service. For additional information about e-Track and to sign up for the service, please go to the following address:

http://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcivil/ecourtsMain

or click on “E-Courts” on the home page of the Unified Court System at www.nycourts.gov.

In addition, for information on the status of individual cases, attorneys may consult the Supreme Court Records On-Line Library (Scroll), a joint project of the County Clerk of New York County, Hon. Norman Goodman, and the Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County. Scroll provides information, on a case-by-case basis, as to all appearances scheduled for motions and conferences. Scroll also makes available other information and copies of important documents. Attorneys who are advised by e-mail from e-Track that a Case Scheduling Order has been issued in a City or Motor Vehicle action can obtain a copy of the order from Scroll. Scroll can be consulted at any time. Scroll is available at no charge on the website of Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County at “Case Information” at www.nycourts.gov/supctmanh.

Scroll does not provide e-mail notification to attorneys about developments in cases. Therefore, e-Track may well prove more useful for those who wish to follow for, and receive alerts regarding, developments in cases of interest on an on-going basis.

The court system’s e-filing program, the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System, provides immediate e-mail notification whenever a document in an e-filed case is filed with that system, though it does not provide notice whenever an appearance is scheduled in CCIS.

Certain commercial attorney’s services also provide e-mail notification of scheduled appearances.

July 2, 2012

 



COMMERCIAL DIVISION ASSIGNMENT PROCESS

Attorneys who seek assignment of an action to the Commercial Division must submit a Request for Judicial Intervention (UCS 840, 2011 version) marked to reflect that the case involved is a commercial one, together with a completed Commercial Division RJI Addendum (UCS 840C) certifying that the case meets the requirements of the Division set forth in Uniform Rule 202.70 (a), (b), and (c). Uniform Rule 202.70 (d). In a hard-copy case a copy of the pleadings shall be submitted as well. If the Commercial Division Addendum is not submitted, the clerk will assign the case at random to a non-Division Part.

The monetary threshold in the New York County Commercial Division, which is generally applicable, is an amount in controversy of $ 500,000 or more (exclusive of punitive damages, interest, costs, disbursements, and counsel fees). If the case is designated a commercial one and the Addendum is submitted, the clerk will review the pleadings to determine whether the amount in controversy in the case meets the monetary threshold or whether an exception to the threshold applies. There are two categories of exception. First, the threshold is not applicable and the case may be assigned to the Division if it seeks equitable or declaratory relief. Uniform Rule 202.70 (b). Second, the threshold is not applicable and the case may be assigned to the Division if the action is a shareholder derivative action or a commercial class action, seeks dissolution of a corporation or other business entity, or seeks to stay or compel arbitration or affirm or disaffirm an arbitration award or seeks related injunctive relief. Uniform Rule 202.70 (b) (4), (5), (11), (12). In this review the clerk will not consider whether the case is otherwise the type of matter eligible for assignment to the Division, as provided in Rule 202.70 (b) and (c), which shall be a question for the Division Justice. If the clerk’s review determines that the threshold is not met and the matter does not fall within one of the exceptions, the clerk will assign the case at random to a General Assignment Part. If the threshold is met or if an exception applies, the clerk will assign the case at random to a Commercial Division Justice, who will review the case to ensure that it is one that properly belongs in the Division as provided by Rule 202.70 (b) and (c). See Subd. (f) (1).

The rules provide for application to the Administrative Judge to review certain assignment determinations. Any such application must be made in a timely manner. Uniform Rule 202.70 (e) and (f) (2). Rulings of the Administrative Judge have been posted on the Division website (under “Decisions Online” on the New York County home page).

February 17, 2012
Updated May 5, 2015

 



CITY CASES

The Bar is reminded that cases assigned to a Justice in one of the City Parts (Parts 5, 52, and 62) shall be placed on a Differentiated Case Management (“DCM”) Track upon the filing of the Request for Judicial Intervention (“RJI”). See Uniform Rule 202.19. All such cases shall be designated as proceeding on the “standard” pre-note track (note of issue to be filed within 12 months from filing of the RJI). Further, these cases shall be subject to an automated DCM process. That is, upon the filing of an RJI in a City case accompanied by a request for a preliminary conference or a disclosure motion, the court will automatically generate a case scheduling order without the need for an appearance by the parties. In order, however, that an EBT date can be arrived at for inclusion in the order, the City must have been previously supplied with a bill of particulars; the EBT date shall be consistent with the completion of all disclosure within the DCM track deadline, as shall be specified in the case scheduling order. Counsel in these cases are advised to provide the City with a bill of particulars forthwith, if one has not already been served. Once a case scheduling order has been signed by the Justice assigned to the case, a copy will be posted in the Supreme Court Records On-Line Library (“SCROLL”), which is accessible on the court’s website (“Case Information” at www.nycourts.gov/supctmanh). Counsel must consult SCROLL to obtain a copy of the order as a copy will no longer be mailed to counsel. All relevant deadlines, including the date for a compliance conference, will be set forth in the case scheduling order. Attorneys may obtain, at no charge, e-mail notification regarding issuance of the scheduling order and all other developments in their City cases and other cases by listing their cases with “E-Track,” the court system’s case tracking service, which is accessible at: http://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcivil/etrackLogin or by means of the “E-Courts” link at www.nycourts.gov.

October 28, 2011

 



NOTICE TO THE BAR REGARDING NEW FORM OF RJI
(Revised January 2012)

New Form of RJI

The Unified Court System has issued a new form of Request for Judicial Intervention (“RJI”), addenda thereto, and revisions to related Uniform Rules. The new form of RJI and addenda are accessible on the website of the Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County, on the “Forms” link on the home page at www.nycourts.gov/supctmanh. Only the new form of RJI is accepted by this court The addenda that have been promulgated consist of a general addendum, which is used to identify additional parties or related cases; a matrimonial addendum, which is used when there are children under the age of 18 who are subject to the matrimonial action; a foreclosure addendum, which is used in mortgage foreclosure actions where the property is a one-to-four family owner-occupied residential property or an owner-occupied condominium; and a Commercial Division Addendum, which is used when the filer seeks an assignment of a case to the Commercial Division.

Commercial Division Assignments

In commercial cases in which the filer wishes an assignment to the Commercial Division, the filer must (i) submit the new form of RJI and, as appropriate, mark the case as a “Commercial” case, a dissolution matter (under “Other Matters”), or an Article 75 proceeding and (ii) attach a completed Commercial Division Addendum certifying that the case meets the requirements for assignment to the Commercial Division. See Uniform Rule 202.70 (d) (amended May 25, 2011). A local rule shall be promulgated requiring that a copy of the pleadings shall also be submitted. If the Commercial Division Addendum is not submitted, the clerk will assign the case at random to a General Assignment Part.

Pre-Note Time Frames

The previous RJI form contained a question regarding the pre-note-of-issue time frame that, in the filer’s view, should be assigned to the case. This time frame is also known as the Differentiated Case Management (“DCM”) “track” or the pre-note standard and goal. See Uniform Rule 202.19. A designation of each case to a particular track is made by the clerk when the RJI is filed. The main tracks are: eight months - expedited; 12 months - standard; and 15 months - complex. The previous time frame question has been omitted from the new form of RJI. The time frames, however, remain in effect. The Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County will implement the following protocol in assigning cases to DCM tracks upon filing of the RJI. The following cases will be assigned to the following tracks:

Commercial (Commercial Division and non-Division) - - Complex
Medical/Dental/Podiatric Malpractice - - Complex
Mass Torts - - Ultra-Complex (20 months)
Tax Certiorari - - Special time frame (48 months)
Matrimonial - - Special time frame (six months)
Motor Vehicle - - Expedited
All Other Cases - - Standard

Counsel may raise at the preliminary conference the question of whether a different track assignment should be made. If persuaded that the circumstances of the particular case are such that the case belongs on a shorter or longer track than the one to which the case was assigned in accordance with the foregoing protocol, the Justice may direct that the case be assigned by the clerk to another track, which will be done.

The DCM time frames or tracks constitute goals set by the Unified Court System for the expeditious processing of cases pre-note. (There is also a separate post-note standard and goal, generally of 15 months.) A note of issue should be filed within the pre-note DCM time frame recorded for the case in accordance with Uniform Rule 202.19 or else the case will be deemed out of compliance with standards and goals. The orders of the assigned Justice, however, will control when specific steps in the discovery process in any individual case must be completed. See Rule 202.19.

Filing Requirement for New RJI Form

The Unified Court System has changed the procedures regarding the obligation to file an RJI. These are reflected in the new form of RJI. See also Uniform Rule 202.6 (b) (modified effective May 25, 2011 and Jan. 10, 2012). In sum, an RJI is now required to be filed with regard to most applications; in some instances, an RJI fee ($ 95) is required and in others the filing is to be without fee. Generally, an RJI must be filed and a fee must be paid whenever the nature of the application is such as to require that there be supervision and case management of a pending case by a Justice that will extend beyond addressing the papers submitted by the applicant and therefore that there be an ongoing assignment of the case to an IAS Justice made via the court’s computer system. Examples of instances of documents that will initiate continuing judicial involvement are notices of motion or petition, proposed orders to show cause, notes of issue, notices of medical, dental and podiatric malpractice action, statements of net worth, and requests for a preliminary conference. Where, on the other hand, the application being submitted is a discrete and self-contained one that will not require continuing involvement by an IAS Justice, the RJI shall be filed without fee and the matter shall not be assigned to a Justice, but rather shall generally be referred to an Ex Parte Justice. Any application not filed in an action or proceeding, a name change application, and an application for discovery in an out-of-state case are examples of discrete applications that now are to be filed accompanied by an RJI but for which no fee need be paid. Included in this group are uncontested matrimonial matters

New RJI Required (No Fee Payable) (No Ongoing Assignment of Justice)
Uncontested matrimonial application
Application not filed in an action or proceeding
Application for an order authorizing emergency surgery
Petition for sale or finance of religious/not-for-profit property
Name change application
Habeas corpus application
Application for discovery in out-of-state action (CPLR 3102 (e))
Other ex parte applications not requiring ongoing judicial assignment

 

New RJI Required with $ 95 Fee (Ongoing Assignment of IAS Justice)
Notice of motion or petition
Order to show cause
Note of issue
Notice of medical, dental or podiatric malpractice action
Statement of net worth
Request for preliminary conference
Other applications in a case to be assigned to an IAS Justice
Infant’s,incompetent’s, and wrongful death compromise orders (no action commenced)

 

October 18, 2011
Revised January 19, 2012

 



CHANGES TO CERTAIN OFFICES AND PROCEDURES

CHANGES TO CERTAIN MOTION PROCEDURES

Effective March 15, 2011, the following changes in procedures in the Motion Support Office (Room 119) and the Motion Support Office Courtroom (Room 130) will be implemented.

(1) An attorney seeking to submit to the Motion Support Office (Room 119) a motion or petition on notice in a hard copy case shall present only the original notice of motion or notice of petition, proof of service thereof, and any annexed Rule 202.7 affirmation/affidavit, together with one photocopy of those documents, which is used for scanning the documents into the Supreme Court Records On-Line Library (“Scroll” ) . Affirmations or affidavits in support of the motion and a memorandum of law will not be accepted at that time, but shall instead be submitted in the Motion Support Office Courtroom (Room 130) on the final return date of the motion. Proof of service of the affirmations, affidavits and memoranda, if separate from the proof of service of the notice of motion/petition, may be submitted with the former documents. An attorney whose office is located outside the County of New York may submit by mail or express delivery service the notice of motion/petition, proof of service and Rule 202.7 affidavit/affirmation and the photocopy thereof, together with the motion fee ($ 45) in the form of a money order or attorney’s check made payable to the New York County Clerk (personal checks not accepted), provided that the package arrives within the time set forth in the next paragraph.

(2) The original notice of motion/petition, proof of service, 202.7 affirmation/affidavit and one photocopy shall be presented to Room 119 no later than five business days before the original return date, but no earlier than 30 days prior to that return date. Any such submission presented more than 30 days prior to the return date will not be accepted at that time.

(3) Heretofore, when papers on a motion/petition have been submitted in Room 119 with a request for judicial intervention, the motion/petition has been placed on the “Initial Motion Calendar” in Room 130 for the original return date. A Justice has been assigned prior to the return date and, on the return date, the matter has been adjourned one week for submission of papers. As of March 15, 2011, the Initial Motion Calendar shall be abolished. All initial motions/petitions (motions/petitions accompanied by RJI) shall appear on the “Submissions Calendar” on the original return date. The motions/petitions will not be automatically adjourned. Attorneys shall submit all papers on the motion/petition on the return date or arrange for an adjournment in accordance with the procedures of the Motion Support Office Courtroom and submit all papers on the final return date. See “Motions/Proceedings on Notice” under the “Courthouse Procedures” link on the home page of the court’s website.

(4) Cross-motions, papers in opposition, and replies on a motion/petition on notice in a hard copy case shall be submitted to the Motion Support Office Courtroom (Room 130) on the final return date of the motion/petition and will not be accepted until that date.

(5) Documents in electronically filed cases in which a motion/petition on notice is made returnable in the Motion Support Office Courtroom (Room 130) may be e-filed at any time, as at present, except that the moving papers should be e-filed at least eight days prior to the return date to allow the staff time to process and calendar the motion. Unless the Justice assigned dispenses with such copies, attorneys must submit working copies of documents on the motion/petition in the Courtroom on the final return date, including copies of all opposition and reply documents, to each of which a copy of the Confirmation Notice shall be firmly affixed as stated above.

(6) Attorneys are reminded that motions/petitions on the calendar of the Motion Support Office Courtroom may be adjourned by e-mail where such adjournments are in conformity with the procedures of the Courtroom and provided that there are no more than three adjournments of the matter for a total of 60 days. See the link labeled “Motions/Proceedings on Notice” under “Courthouse Procedures” on the website of the court at the address listed above.

Feb. 8, 2011

 



NOTICE TO THE BAR REGARDING APPLICATIONS FOR
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS SUBMITTED TO
THE EX PARTE OFFICE

Pursuant to Uniform Rule 202.7 (f), upon an application for an order to show cause that seeks a temporary restraining order, the application must contain an affirmation demonstrating that there will be significant prejudice to the party seeking the restraining order by the giving of notice. In the absence of such prejudice, the affirmation must demonstrate that a good faith effort has been made to notify the party against whom the restraining order is sought of the time, date and place that the application will be made sufficient to permit the party an opportunity to appear in response to the application. It is the practice of this court that the applicant must notify the party against whom the restraining order is sought of the time and date that the application will be submitted to the Ex Parte Office. Further, counsel shall advise the adversary that he or she will inform the adversary of the place, date and precise time when the Justice will entertain the application. Once the papers have been submitted to the Ex Parte Office, applying counsel shall contact the Part of the Justice in question to determine when and where it will be convenient for the Justice to entertain the application. Counsel shall then promptly notify the adversary. Counsel shall not appear in the courtroom of the assigned Justice without having first made such an inquiry.

 

Dated: August 21, 2007

 


 

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