Commercial Division Blog

Posted: February 10, 2020 / Categories Commercial, Contracts

Court Dismisses Declaratory Judgment Claim as Duplicative of Contract Claim

On January 7, 2020, Justice Borrok of the New York County Commercial Division issued a decision in Cityside Archives LLC v. Greenspoon Marder LLP, 2020 NY Slip Op. 30154(U), dismissing a declaratory judgment claim as duplicative of the plaintiff's breach of contract claim, explaining:

Cityside seeks a declaration that Greenspoon Marder is bound by the Agreement and is liable for any failures on its part to comply with the obligations arising thereunder. Pursuant to CPLR § 3001, the supreme court may render a declaratory judgment having the effect of a final judgment as to the rights and other legal relations of the parties to a justiciable controversy whether or not further relief is or could be claimed. . . . .

Declaratory relief is generally reserved for those cases in which the plaintiff is unable to find among the traditional kinds of action one that will enable her to bring it to court. In other words, declaratory judgment is usually unnecessary where a full and adequate remedy is already provided by another well-known form of action and where there is no necessity for resorting to the declaratory judgment it should not be employed. Here, Cityside has adequate remedies under its contract and quasi contract causes of action. Accordingly, the first cause of action for declaratory judgment is dismissed.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).