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The poor man’s DJ is no moreJune 29, 2017

Fresh Acupuncture, P.C. v Interboro Ins. Co., 2017 NY Slip Op 27214 (App. Term 2d Dept. 2017)

The Appellate Term about seven years ago gave us  Five Boro Psychological Servs., P.C. v AutoOne Ins. Co., 27 Misc.3d 89 (App. Term 2d Dept. 89), which broadly gave Civil Court DJ jurisdiction for matters involving insurance companies where the amount in dispute is less than $25,000.   Today, that Court took it away from us.  So goes the “poor man” DJ, i.e., $45 for an index number, no motion fee and no RJI fee.

As to a background on this, we obtained a judgment from Supreme Court that various providers were not entitled to no-fault benefits for whatever the reason was.  We never knew about Fresh Acupuncture.  Remembering Five Boro, I said, lets bring a poor man’s DJ in Manhattan.  Apparently, this new panel of judges believe CCA 212-a should be given a narrow reading.  Well, what can I say, they wear the robes; I am just a practitioner who keeps a blog and writes tons of motions and appeals.

But I think the real issue here is with the trial de-novos that rumor has certain firms like to bring in Civil New York.  It would seem like the smart practitioner would default on those and move to confirm the underlying arbitration award in Civil Court, Queens County.

I have no real opinion as to whether this decision is “right” or “wrong”.  I think practically, the lower courts should all have broad subject matter jurisdiction of matters that is within their monetary limits.  I also think the concept of a Village Court and Town Court should be abolished.  Term limits would be nice.  Thus, I am voting to hold a constitutional convention this election day.

7 Responses

  1. Nathan s says:

    I always thought the statute was quite clear and any suggestion that the Civil Court had jurisdiction for DJ actions or de novos was defective. I would never bring Them in civil Precisely because they would be vUlnerable to such jurisdictional attack upon appeal. I always expected the appellate Division to drop that hammer, but glad to see the Appellate Term is just as able to walk away From bad law.

  2. Sun says:

    Yup, the line of authority was always bizarre. I think this case further signals a trend that the term believes it previously went too far with providing the no-fault insurer bar ENTITLEMENTS that ended up incentivizing and expanding insurer MISCONDUCT.

    • jtlawadmin says:

      I do not disagree with the Court. Like many things in life, I wish it was on someone else’s cases 🙂

  3. Sun says:

    I’m sorry for your loss Jason. Well, actually, I’m not, generally speaking.

    • jtlawadmin says:

      I am not crying, really. I saw a hole in the system and I took advantage of it. The Court “fixed” its error. My thoughts notwithstanding, there needs to be a commission to rewrite portions of the CPLR and civil practice portion of the lower court acts. My proposed amendments may find their way on this blog one day.

  4. mATTHEW s says:

    While I think the Court correctly interpreted the statute, I am a bit surprised that they allowed what is essentially a collateral attack on the jurisdiction of the Court that issued the DJ Judgment. would the Court have done that if the judgment had been rendered in federal court, but the Appellate Term believed that the District Court lacks SMJ?

  5. mATTHEW s says:

    Parenthetically, something’s wrong with the caps on my post.

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