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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: November 30, 2019

Trustee Cannot Rely on CPLR 205 Relation Back When Trust Beneficiary, Not Trustee, Initially Brought Suit

On November 19, 2019, the First Department issued a decision in US Bank N.A. v. UBS Real Estate Sec., Inc., 2019 NY Slip Op. 08355, holding that an RMBS trustee could not rely on CPLR 205 relation back when a trust beneficiary, not the trustee, initially brought suit, explaining:

The dispositive issue in both appeals is whether the trustee of a residential mortgage-backed securities trust is a plaintiff” within the meaning of CPLR 205(a) when the prior action was commenced by the trust’s certificateholders. In U.S. Bank N.A. v DLJ Mtge. Capital, Inc. (141 AD3d 431 [1st Dept 2016], affd 33 NY3d 84 [2019] [“HEAT”]), we concluded that the trustee was not entitled to refile the claims pursuant to CPLR 205(a), because it was not a plaintiff under that statute. Our decision could not have been clearer, and that decision is still good law and binding upon us under principles of stare decisis. Plaintiff Ace Securities Corp.’s attempt to distinguish HEAT is unavailing. Neither plaintiff has demonstrated the compelling circumstances required to depart from stare decisis.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

It is not unusual for the statute of limitations to be an issue in complex commercial litigation. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at jlundin@schlamstone.com if you or a client have questions regarding whether a claim is barred by the statute of limitations.

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