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Arrest warrant not issuedJuly 17, 2017

Cadlerock Joint Venture, L.P. v Forde, 2017 NY Slip Op 05416 (2d Dept. 2017)

“Contrary to the plaintiff’s contention, the Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in denying the plaintiff’s motion pursuant to CPLR 2308(a), in effect, for the issuance of a warrant of arrest to bring the defendant before the Supreme Court, upon his alleged failure to comply with a postjudgment judicial subpoena duces tecum dated October 23, 2013, and an order of contempt of that court dated March 6, 2014 (see Rackowicz v Feldman, 22 AD3d 553, 553-554). CPLR 2308(a) sets forth the penalties applicable to the disobedience of a judicial subpoena. The available penalties include the issuance of “a warrant directing a sheriff to bring the witness into court” (CPLR 2308[a]). Here, the court declined to issue such a warrant, finding that the plaintiff could avail itself of “all other remedies pursuant to the CPLR to collect” a judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant. We find no basis in the record to disturb that determination.”

I am clearly no fan of debtors prisons and “locking up” people who simply cannot afford to pay their debts.  Yet, when someone wilfully ignores legal process, is held in contempt of court and fails to purge or attempt to purge, why is arrest not unreasonable?  All the Court did here is insulate a certain lack of respect that the debtors-bar have to the court system.

Plaintiff is now supposed to continuously issue information subpoenas and subpoena duce tecums, while Defendant knows there is minimal penalty for not responding.  It does not seem right.

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