On May 2, 2019, the First Department issued a decision in Levine v Singal, 2019 NY Slip Op. 03438, holding that joining a co-defendant’s motion to dismiss tolled a party’s time to answer, explaining:
Defendant’s time to answer the complaint was extended by virtue of its serving a notice of motion, together with its co-defendants, seeking dismissal of the causes of action asserted against the co-defendants, pursuant to CPLR 3211(f). Generally, a CPLR 3211(a) motion to dismiss made against any part of a pleading extends the time to serve a responsive pleading to all of it. Here, Advisors did not default, but appeared by joining in defendants’ motion to dismiss the causes of action asserted against the individual named defendants, thereby extending its time to answer the complaint. Thus, Advisors had ten days from service upon it of notice of entry of the order deciding the partial motion to dismiss, to answer the causes of action against it, pursuant to CPLR 3211(f).
(Internal citations omitted).
The rules regarding when and how to respond to a complaint generally are clear, but as this decision shows, the nuances can confuse litigants. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or a client have a question regarding when and how you must respond to a complaint.
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