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Nassau County

Former Guidelines for Assignment of Cases to the Commercial Parts

In general, the Commercial Parts of the Supreme Court, Nassau County, entertain complex commercial and business disputes in which a party seeks compensatory damages totaling $ 75,000 or more. Due to caseload considerations, the Justices are empowered to transfer out of the Division cases which, in their judgment, do not fall within this category notwithstanding that a party has described the case as "commercial" on the RJI. The principles set out below will guide the exercise of this authority. Parties should adhere to these principles when designating a case type on the RJI. (See Paragraph (c) for documentation which should accompany the RJI).

(a) The following will presumptively be transferred out of the Division even if the monetary threshold is met:

(1) Suits to collect professional fees;

(2) Cases seeking a declaratory judgment as to insurance coverage for a personal injury or non-commercial property damage action;

(3) Residential real estate disputes, including landlord-tenant matters;

(4) Proceedings to enforce a judgment regardless of the nature of the underlying case;

(5) First-party insurance claims and actions by insurers to collect premiums or rescind policies; and

(6) Attorney malpractice actions.

(b) Actions in which the principal claims involve the following will presumptively be retained in the Division provided that the money threshold is met:

(1) Breach of contract or fiduciary duty, fraud, misrepresentation, business tort (e.g., unfair competition), or statutory violation arising out of business dealings (e.g., sales of assets or securities, corporate structurings, partnership, shareholder, joint venture, and other business agreements, trade secrets and restrictive covenants);

(2) Transactions governed by the Uniform Commercial Code(exclusive of those concerning individual coop units);

(3) Transactions involving commercial real property;

(4) Shareholder derivative actions and commercial class actions;

(5) Commercial bank transactions;

(6) Internal affairs of business organizations or liability to third parties of officials thereof;

(7) Malpractice by accountants or actuaries;

(8) Environmental insurance coverage litigation; and

(9) Corporation or Partnership dissolutions.

(c) The determination as to whether a case should be retained in a Commercial Part will be made as soon as a matter is assigned to a Justice. For this purpose, counsel must annex a brief sworn statement justifying the Commercial designation, and a copy of the summons and complaint or summons with notice, if any, to any submission accompanying an RJI. Retained cases will remain in the Commercial Part.

(d) Special proceedings (including applications pursuant to CPLR 3102(c) and (e) relating to CPLR Article 75) and foreclosures are randomly assigned among all Justices in the Supreme Court, Nassau County. Even when parties believe that a special proceeding or foreclosure has a "commercial" character, the "special proceedings" or "foreclosure" portion of the RJI should be completed by the filing party, not the "commercial" section. However, prior to the actual assignment of the matter to a Justice, a party to a commercial special proceeding may apply to the Administrative Judge to override the computer and designate the matter as "commercial" for treatment if it raises issues of extraordinary complexity..

(e) An order of transfer issued by a Justice of a Commercial Part is an administrative matter. A party claiming to have been aggrieved by such an order may seek review by letter application (two pages maximum, with a copy to all parties) to the Administrative Judge. Any such application that is not made promptly after the issuance of the transfer order will be denied as untimely irrespective of its merits. The order of the Administrative Judge is final and subject to no further review or appeal.

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