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Posted: June 7, 2016

Supreme Court Lacked Jurisdiction to Award Statutory Interest in Action it Had Dismissed

On June 2, 2016, the Court of Appeals issued a decision in CRP/Extell Parcel I, L.P. v. Cuomo, 2016 NY Slip Op. 04251, holding that a trial court lacked jurisdiction to award statutory interest in an action it had dismissed, explaining:

In January 2012, Supreme Court denied CRP’s petition to annul the Attorney General’s determinations, directed the release and return of the down payments with accumulated escrow interest, and dismissed the action. CRP appealed to the Appellate Division, which affirmed Supreme Court’s judgment. In December 2012, CRP returned the down payments and accumulated escrow interest to the Purchasers.

While CRP was appealing Supreme Court’s judgment dismissing its action, some of the Purchasers filed a motion seeking an award of statutory interest under Civil Practice Law and Rules ยง 5001. Supreme Court granted the motion, and in August 2013, directed entry of a judgment of approximately $4.9 million, representing interest at the statutory rate. Upon appeal, the Appellate Division reversed; the court denied the Purchasers’ motion and vacated the statutory interest judgment.

We agree with the Appellate Division that Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction to award statutory interest on the January 2012 judgment that dismissed the petition. Contrary to the Purchaser’s contention, the January 2012 paper, denominated an “order,” was a final judgment dismissing the proceeding.

Once Supreme Court dismissed CRP’s petition and judgment was entered, the court was without jurisdiction to entertain the Purchaser’s post-judgment motion for statutory interest.

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

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