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Posted: July 21, 2016

Actions Dismissed on Standing Grounds May be Refiled Pursuant to CPLR 205

On July 7, 2016, the First Department issued a decision in U.S. Bank N.A v. DLJ Mortgage Capital, Inc., 2016 NY Slip Op. 05440, analyzing whether an action dismissed on standing grounds can be refiled pursuant to CPLR 205. The court explained:

This action was originally commenced within the statute of limitations period by Federal Housing Finance Agency, in its role as conservator for Freddie Mac, a certificateholder in each of the HEAT Trusts. However, pursuant to the “no action” provision in the PSAs, which limits the circumstances under which a certificateholder may commence suit under those agreements, FHFA lacked standing to sue. FHFA later substituted the Trustee as plaintiff.

Because FHFA commenced this action within the limitations period, the original claims were timely. Moreover, the fact that FHFA sued before meeting the condition precedent to suit by serving repurchase notices on DLJ, does not, in and of itself, render the claims time-barred. Rather, they would be subject to refiling by a proper plaintiff pursuant to CPLR 205(a), if they were not time-barred on standing grounds.

Generally, actions dismissed on standing grounds may be refiled pursuant to CPLR 205(a). However, here, the Trustee is not entitled to refile the claims under CPLR 205(a), because it is not a “plaintiff” under that statute. Moreover, the Trustee may not rely on relation-back (CPLR 203[f]) to save its refiled claims, because there was no “valid preexisting action” to relate back to. Because the Trustee cannot benefit from either CPLR 203(f) or 205(a), the refiled claims are time-barred on standing grounds.

(Internal citations omitted).

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