The New York Supreme Court in New York County recently decided a case that provided a civil procedure lesson. In LAM Group v Anthony T. Rinaldi LLC, 2022 NY Slip Op 51302[U] (Sup Ct, NY County 2022), plaintiff, a commercial building owner, sued the architects, general contractor and subcontractor on a construction project for breach of contract and negligence resulting from alleged faulty installation of a stucco façade.[1]

After filing the summons and complaint and serving the same on the defendant corporations, plaintiff filed a motion for a default judgment according to CPLR 3215 against Bayport Construction Group (“Bayport”) and Nobutaka Ashihara Architect PC (“NAA”). Plaintiff served both of these domestic corporate defendants by delivering to the Secretary of State according to CPLR 311 and Business Corporation Law (“BCL”) § 306 (b). The affidavits of service were filed with the court.

This fact pattern seems perfect for filing a CPLR 3215 default motion …right? Plaintiff has filed its affidavits of service showing service per BCL, the complaint sets out the facts constituting the claim and both defendants have failed to appear.[2]

However, the plaintiff’s motion was denied for failure to submit proof of additional mailing. CPLR 3215(g)(4)(i) states: “When a default judgment based upon non-appearance is sought against a. .. corporation. .. served pursuant to [BCL § 306(b)], an affidavit shall be submitted that an additional service of the summons by first class mail has been made upon the defendant corporation at its last known address at least twenty days before the entry of judgment.”

This case highlights the importance of following procedural rules and requirements in legal proceedings, particularly when seeking default judgments. Even if the plaintiff appears to have met the basic requirements for filing a default motion, such as filing the initial summons and complaint and serving the defendants, there may be additional requirements that must be satisfied before a default judgment can be entered. In this case, the plaintiff failed to submit proof of additional mailing under CPLR 3215(g)(4)(i), resulting in the denial of their motion for default judgment.

At Yoars Law, we understand the importance of following New York procedural laws in legal proceedings. We are experienced and well-versed in the procedural rules and requirements that apply to various types of cases and are committed to ensuring that our clients’ cases are handled with the utmost care and attention to detail.

We recognize that strict compliance with procedural laws is essential to the success of any case. Failing to adhere to these rules can result in delays, additional costs, and even the dismissal of a case. That is why we prioritize staying up-to-date on the latest changes and updates to New York procedural laws and meticulously following these rules in all our cases.

If you need legal representation, you can trust Yoars Law to provide you with the highest level of legal services. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist your legal needs.


[1] Full text of Decision can be found here.

[2] CPLR 3215; LAM Group v Anthony T. Rinaldi LLC, 2022 NY Slip Op 51302[U], *2.

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