Thursday, March 13, 2014

Compliance Conferences and the Impending Note of Issue

This week brought another Compliance Conference with a pro se litigant who refused to show up for the court appearance. Even though the litigant filed the case, he has refused to appear for court appearances because at the conferences there isn’t always a judge to hear his gripes and complaints about my client and the system.

As this was a New York conference, the Court has finally had it with his tactics, giving us a Note of Issue date and once again directing that the other party answer the discovery demands that had been served months ago. The Court’s own order includes the provision that if he fails to file the Note of Issue, the Court will dismiss the case for failure to prosecute the action. (N.Y. C.P.L.R. 3216)

The standard form also provides for other discovery to be completed and vacates any stays that may have been in force. (N.Y. C.P.L.R. 3211, 3212 & 3213) Even though the order was entered by the court and served upon the other party, when he received it, he immediately called me to tell me it was not an official and binding order upon him because he doesn’t believe it was signed by a judge. My only response was to wish him luck making that argument to the Court when he inevitably refuses to comply with the Order, the case is dismissed, and he attempts to appeal the dismissal to the AppellateDivision.

Unfortunately, while all of this process and delay goes on, my client is left with a case that has lingered far too long, even though it is meritless, and is just one more headache that he does not want to deal with.

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