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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts
Posted: August 8, 2016

Failure Timely to Object to Discovery Demands Waives Objections

On August 1, 2016, Justice Singh of the New York County Commercial Division issued a decision in Stark v. Matchett, 2016 NY Slip Op. 31474(U), holding that a party had waived its objections to discovery by failing timely to make them, explaining:

This Court ordered plaintiff at the preliminary conference on July 21, 2015 to respond to interrogatories and discovery requests by August 8th, 2015. This deadline was later extended three times in accordance with the communications between the parties, ultimately to November 11, 2015. However, plaintiff failed to respond by that time and served her objections to the discovery requests on May 12, 2016. . . . The party who chooses to ignore a notice for discovery or inspection does so at his peril. The only permissible method for challenging a notice for discovery is to move for a protective order, within the time limitations. When the recipient of a demand for disclosure under CPLR § 3120 fails to respond within the time limitations in CPLR § 3122(a), that party significantly limits the grounds for objection. Objections pertaining to irrelevance under CPLR § 3101(a) or material prepared in anticipation of litigation under CPLR § 3101(d)(2) are no longer available. The party who failed to serve any response to a disclosure demand may object only on the grounds that the material requested is privileged under CPLR § 3122(a) or is palpably improper. Since the documents sought here relate to the specific subject matter of this litigation, they are not palpably improper.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted) (emphasis added).

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