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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CPLR Amendments of Interest to Matrimonial Attorneys - September 21, 2011

Laws of 2011, Ch 473 , §1, amended CPLR 306-b, effective January 1, 2012, to provide that service be made within 120 days "after commencement of the action or proceeding." CPLR 306-b formerly required service of the summons and complaint, summons with notice, third-party summons and complaint, petition with notice of petition or order to show cause within 120 days after filing, with appropriate modifications where the statute of limitations is four months or less.

CPLR 306-b now provides:

§ 306-b. Service of the summons and complaint, summons with notice, third-party summons and complaint, or petition with a notice of petition or order to show cause. Service of the summons and complaint, summons with notice, third-party summons and complaint, or petition with a notice of petition or order to show cause shall be made within one hundred twenty days after the commencement of the action or proceeding, provided that in an action or proceeding, except a proceeding commenced under the election law, wherethe applicable statute of limitations is four months or less, service shall be made not later than fifteen days after the date on which the applicable statute of limitations expires. If service is not made upon a defendant within the time provided in this section, the court, upon motion, shall dismiss the action without prejudice as to that defendant, or upon good cause shown or in the interest of justice, extend the time for service.

Laws of 2011, Ch 473 , §2, amended CPLR 2101(f), effective January 1, 2012, to increase the time for raising objections to defects in form of a paper. The time in which an objection to a defect in form must be raised has been two days from receipt of the paper objected to. The period of time was amended from "two" to "fifteen" days.

CPLR 2101(f) now provides:

(f) Defects in form; waiver. A defect in the form of a paper, if a substantial right of a party is not prejudiced, shall be disregarded by the court, and leave to correct shall be freely given. The party on whom a paper is served shall be deemed to have waived objection to any defect in form unless, within fifteen days after the receipt thereof, the party on whom the paper is served returns the paper to the party serving it with a statement of particular objections.

Laws of 2011, Ch 473 , §3, amended CPLR 3025(b), effective January 1, 2012 , to require a party moving to amend its pleadings to attach a copy of the proposed amended pleading to its motion to amend that pleading, clearly showing the proposed changes to the pleading.

CPLR 3025(b) now provides:

(b) Amendments and supplemental pleadings by leave. A party may amend his or her pleading, or supplement it by setting forth additional or subsequent transactions or occurrences, at any time by leave of court or by stipulation of all parties. Leave shall be freely given upon such terms as may be just including the granting of costs and continuances. Any motion to amend or supplement pleadings shall be accompanied by the proposed amended or supplemental pleading clearly showing the changes or additions to be made to the pleading.

Laws of 2011, Ch 473 , §4, amended CPLR 3217(a)(1), effective January 1, 2012, to extend the time period in which, at the outset of a case, a voluntary discontinuance may be obtained without need for a court order or a stipulation of settlement. Formerly, a party alleging a cause of action in a complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim, or petition could only unilaterally discontinue it without court order or stipulation by serving and filing the requisite notice on all parties "at any time before a responsive pleading is served or within twenty days after service of the pleading asserting the claim, whichever is earlier..."CPLR 3217(a)(1). CPLR 3217(a)(1) was amended to permit a voluntary discontinuance without court order or stipulation before the responsive pleading is served or within 20 days after service of the pleading of the claim, whichever is later.

CPLR 3217(a)(1) now provides:

1. by serving upon all parties to the action a notice of discontinuance at any time before a responsive pleading is served or, if no responsive pleading is required, within twenty days after service of the leading asserting the claim and filing the notice with proof of service with the clerk of the court; or