Matter of Imperato, 149 A.D.3d 1072 (2d Dep’t 2017)

Appellate Practice – Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Property Turnover Proceedings – Statutes of Limitations

Our firm’s Surrogate’s Court Litigation group represents both fiduciaries and beneficiaries in Property Turnover Proceedings, and statutes of limitations issues frequently arise in such cases. Here, James K. Landau, who is also a member of our Appellate Practice and Commercial Litigation  groups, convinced the Appellate Division, Second Department, to reverse the Surrogate’s Court order that had granted the executor’s motion for summary judgment against Mr. Landau’s client in an action alleging conversion, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and the imposition of a constructive trust and denied Mr. Landau’s client’s cross-motion for summary judgment dismissing the petition. In reversing, the Second Department agreed with Mr. Landau’s argument that petitioner had failed to meet her prima facie burden of establishing her entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on the causes of action alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and seeking the imposition of a constructive trust. The Second Department also agreed with Mr. Landau’s argument that his client’s cross-motion to dismiss the conversion cause of action in the petition should have been granted because it was not commenced within three years of the alleged conversion.