Posted by: Patricia Salkin | February 1, 2020

NY Appellate Court Holds Relation-Back Doctrine Did Not Permit Property Owner to be Joined as Respondent in Challenge Over Site Plan Approval

This post was authored by Matthew Loeser, Esq.
Respondent Primo Sports applied to the Town of Chester Planning Board for site plan approval allowing the construction of a sports complex on property owned by the respondent Chill Factor Cooling, LLC. The Planning Board granted the application, and the petitioner commenced this CPLR article 78 proceeding against Primo Sports and the Planning Board, seeking annulment of the Planning Board’s determination. Primo Sports and the Planning Board separately moved to dismiss the petition on the ground that the petitioner failed to join Chill Factor, a necessary party. After Chill Factor was joined as a respondent, the respondents then separately moved to dismiss the petition on the ground that the statute of limitations had expired with respect to Chill Factor. The Supreme Court granted the motions and denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding.
On appeal, the court noted that the applicable statute of limitations had expired with respect to Chill Factor, and the petitioner could therefore have joined Chill Factor only if the relation-back doctrine applied. The relation-back doctrine did not apply in this case, however, since Chill Factor was not united in interest with Primo Sports. Specifically, the respective interests of Primo Sports and Chill Factor were not such that they “stand or fall together and that judgment against one will similarly affect the other.” Additionally, the petitioner failed to demonstrate a mistake as to the identity of the proper party or parties at the time of the original pleading. The court therefore affirmed the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the petition for failure to timely join the landowner, Chill Factor.
Germain v. Town of Chester Planning Board, 178 A.D.3d 926 (2 Dept. 2019)


Responses

  1. Nice to see Law of the Land continue to be informative and helpful. Best wishes.


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