New York. The years passed by and Mr. Zacarias and the City met from time to time, engaged in appearances in court, and gently waltzed about each other. The record, the Appellate Division relates, “demonstrates that the inordinate delays in this case . . . are attributable to plaintiffs and their counsel[.]” Unlike most cases in Supreme Court, Bronx County, this case obviously did not involve either the court or the City, since neither, it would seem, bears any blame for 28 years of adjourned dates.
At any rate, the City now moves to dismiss—after 28 years—alleging that its “ability to mount a defense has been significantly prejudiced,” In 28 years the City hasn’t managed to investigate the claim? Whose laches is it anyway? The bottom line is the only party to this dance (though it takes at least two to do the Hustle, at least in 1984) is the plaintiff, who has his case dismissed based on laches. Perez v. City of New York, 2014 NY Slip Op 00578 (1st Dep’t 1/30/14).
It’s been awhile, but we recall that for someone to invoke laches he must be able to show that there was nothing he could do to ameliorate the situation. After 28 years, we doubt there was such a showing by the City here. The moral, however, is the same: Don’t wait. Make the motion, serve the notice, sleep better for it.