Friday, January 6, 2017


DEUTSCHE BANK NATL. v. Oliver, 24 Misc. 3d 838 - NY: Dist. Court, Nassau County, 1st Dist. 2009:

"The court must reject the petitioner's contentions. CPLR 2201 broadly empowers the court to grant a stay of proceedings "in a proper case, upon such terms as may be just." The propriety of granting a stay in any given case is limited only by "the Court's own sense of discretion, prudence, and justice" (Matter of Joseph v Cheeseboro, 42 Misc 2d 917, 919 [1964, Greenfield, J.], revd on other grounds 43 Misc 2d 702 [1964]).

Contrary to petitioner's contention, the RPAPL does not constrain the court. Indeed, the provisions cited by petitioner (RPAPL 753) on their face apply only to proceedings "to recover the possession of premises in the city of New York" (RPAPL 753 [1]). A different section (RPAPL 751) once incorporated provisions relating to discretionary stays "outside the city of New York" (RPAPL 751 [4] [a]). The latter provisions, however, were effective "only until September first, nineteen hundred sixty-seven" (RPAPL 751 [e]). In any event, the provisions of section 751, like the provisions of section 753, literally apply only to stay applications "before a warrant is issued" (RPAPL 751; see Errigo v Diomede, 14 Misc 3d 988, 991 [2007]; New York City Hous. Auth. v Witherspoon, 12 Misc 3d 899, 905 [2006]).

Postwarrant stay applications accordingly are governed by the more general provisions of CPLR 2201 and traditional equitable principles (Canigiani v Deptula, 59 Misc 2d 401 [1969, Niehoff, J.]). This is not to suggest that there are no limits upon the exercise of the court's discretion. Both within and outside the City of New York, judges are cognizant that "there must be some limitations on their discretion to stay issuance and/or execution of a warrant" (see New York City Hous. Auth. v Witherspoon at 906). But it is equally well established that judges retain the equitable power to "mold ... relief to accord with the exigencies of the case" (see Newman v Sherbar Dev. Co., 47 AD2d 648 [2d Dept 1975], discussed in New York City Hous. Auth. v Witherspoon at 908).

Accordingly, the court rejects petitioner's contention that the court's authority is limited by the RPAPL. To the contrary, the court's power to act is firmly grounded in CPLR 2201 as made applicable under section 212 of the Uniform District Court Act (see Canigiani v Deptula, supra).

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