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Civil Practice Law & Rules 3211
CPLR 3211: Motion to dismiss



CPLR 3211

Motion to dismiss

(a) Motion to dismiss cause of action.

A party may move for judgment dismissing one or more causes of action asserted against him on the ground that: 1. a defense is founded upon documentary evidence; or 2. the court has not jurisdiction of the subject matter of the cause of action; or 3. the party asserting the cause of action has not legal capacity to sue; or 4. there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause of action in a court of any state or the United States; the court need not dismiss upon this ground but may make such order as justice requires; or 5. the cause of action may not be maintained because of arbitration and award, collateral estoppel, discharge in bankruptcy, infancy or other disability of the moving party, payment, release, res judicata, statute of limitations, or statute of frauds; or 6. with respect to a counterclaim, it may not properly be interposed in the action; or 7. the pleading fails to state a cause of action; or 8. the court has not jurisdiction of the person of the defendant; or 9. the court has not jurisdiction in an action where service was made under section 314 or 315; or 10. the court should not proceed in the absence of a person who should be a party. 11. the party is immune from liability pursuant to section seven hundred twenty-a of the not-for-profit corporation law. Presumptive evidence of the status of the corporation, association, organization or trust under section 501 (c) (3) of the internal revenue code may consist of production of a letter from the United States internal revenue service reciting such determination on a preliminary or final basis or production of an official publication of the internal revenue service listing the corporation, association, organization or trust as an organization described in such section, and presumptive evidence of uncompensated status of the defendant may consist of an affidavit of the chief financial officer of the corporation, association, organization or trust. On a motion by a defendant based upon this paragraph the court shall determine whether such defendant is entitled to the benefit of section seven hundred twenty-a of the not-for-profit corporation law or subdivision six of section 20.09 of the arts and cultural affairs law and, if it so finds, whether there is a reasonable probability that the specific conduct of such defendant alleged constitutes gross negligence or was intended to cause the resulting harm. If the court finds that the defendant is entitled to the benefits of that section and does not find reasonable probability of gross negligence or intentional harm, it shall dismiss the cause of action as to such defendant.


(b) Motion to dismiss defense.

A party may move for judgment dismissing one or more defenses, on the ground that a defense is not stated or has no merit.


(c) Evidence permitted; immediate trial; motion treated as one for summary judgment.

Upon the hearing of a motion made under subdivision (a) or (b), either party may submit any evidence that could properly be considered on a motion for summary judgment. Whether or not issue has been joined, the court, after adequate notice to the parties, may treat the motion as a motion for summary judgment. The court may, when appropriate for the expeditious disposition of the controversy, order immediate trial of the issues raised on the motion.


(d) Facts unavailable to opposing party.

Should it appear from affidavits submitted in opposition to a motion made under subdivision (a) or (b) that facts essential to justify opposition may exist but cannot then be stated, the court may deny the motion, allowing the moving party to assert the objection in his responsive pleading, if any, or may order a continuance to permit further affidavits to be obtained or disclosure to be had and may make such other order as may be just.


(e) Number, time and waiver of objections; motion to plead over.

At any time before service of the responsive pleading is required, a party may move on one or more of the grounds set forth in subdivision (a), and no more than one such motion shall be permitted. Any objection or defense based upon a ground set forth in paragraphs one, three, four, five and six of subdivision (a) is waived unless raised either by such motion or in the responsive pleading. A motion based upon a ground specified in paragraphs two, seven or ten of subdivision (a) may be made at any subsequent time or in a later pleading, if one is permitted; an objection that the summons and complaint, summons with notice, or notice of petition and petition was not properly served, is waived if, having raised such an objection in a pleading, the objecting party does not move for judgment on that ground within sixty days after serving the pleading, unless the court extends the time upon the ground of undue hardship. The foregoing sentence shall not apply in any proceeding under subdivision one or two of section seven hundred eleven of the real property actions and proceedings law. The papers in opposition to a motion based on improper service shall contain a copy of the proof of service, whether or not previously filed. An objection based upon a ground specified in paragraphs eight or nine of subdivision (a) is waived if a party moves on any of the grounds set forth in subdivision (a) without raising such objection or if, having made no objection under subdivision (a), he does not raise such objection in the responsive pleading. Where a motion is made on the ground set forth in paragraph seven of subdivision (a), or on the ground that a defense is not stated, if the opposing party desires leave to plead again in the event the motion is granted, he shall so state in his opposing papers and may set forth evidence that could properly be considered on a motion for summary judgment in support of a new pleading; leave to plead again shall not be granted unless the court is satisfied that the opposing party has good ground to support his cause of action or defense; the court may require the party seeking leave to plead again to submit evidence to justify the granting of such leave.


(f) Extension of time to plead.

Service of a notice of motion under subdivision (a) or (b) before service of a pleading responsive to the cause of action or defense sought to be dismissed extends the time to serve the pleading until ten days after service of notice of entry of the order.


(g) Standards for motions to dismiss in certain cases involving public petition and participation.

A motion to dismiss based on paragraph seven of subdivision (a) of this section, in which the moving party has demonstrated that the action, claim, cross claim or counterclaim subject to the motion is an action involving public petition and participation as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section seventy-six-a of the civil rights law, shall be granted unless the party responding to the motion demonstrates that the cause of action has a substantial basis in law or is supported by a substantial argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law. The court shall grant preference in the hearing of such motion.


(h) Standards for motions to dismiss in certain cases involving licensed architects, engineers, land surveyors or landscape architects.

A motion to dismiss based on paragraph seven of subdivision (a) of this rule, in which the moving party has demonstrated that the action, claim, cross claim or counterclaim subject to the motion is an action in which a notice of claim must be served on a licensed architect, engineer, land surveyor or landscape architect pursuant to the provisions of subdivision one of section two hundred fourteen of this chapter, shall be granted unless the party responding to the motion demonstrates that a substantial basis in law exists to believe that the performance, conduct or omission complained of such licensed architect, engineer, land surveyor or landscape architect or such firm as set forth in the notice of claim was negligent and that such performance, conduct or omission was a proximate cause of personal injury, wrongful death or property damage complained of by the claimant or is supported by a substantial argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law. The court shall grant a preference in the hearing of such motion.




This section of the Civil Practice Law and Rules is provided as part of a free educational service by J. Douglas Barics, attorney at law for reference only. Statutes and codes such as CPLR 3211 are frequently amended, and no representation is made that the above version of CPLR 3211 is current. Updated statutes and codes may be available at the New York State Legislature Website. No statute should be relied on without understanding controlling case law which may further interpret it. An attorney should be consulted for legal advice.


If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Mr. Barics at lawyer@jdbar.com or (631) 864-2600. For more articles and information, please visit www.jdbar.com.


J. Douglas Barics, Esq. – Divorce, family, matrimonial lawyer in Long Island, New York



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