From Casetext: Smarter Legal Research

Casa Wales Hous. Dev. Fund Corp. v. City of N.Y.

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.
Jun 4, 2015
129 A.D.3d 451 (N.Y. App. Div. 2015)

Summary

affirming dismissal of claims for breach of contract and promissory estoppel because, "where there is a lack of authority on the part of agents of a municipal corporation to create a liability, except by compliance with well-established regulations, no liability can result unless the prescribed procedure is complied with and followed"

Summary of this case from NRP Holdings LLC v. City of Buffalo

Opinion

15308, 14277/06

06-04-2015

CASA WALES HOUSING DEVELOPMENT FUND CORP., et al., Plaintiffs–Appellants, v. The CITY OF NEW YORK, Defendant–Respondent.

Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP, Woodbury (Matthew J. Minero of counsel), for appellants. Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel, New York (Julie Steiner of counsel), for respondent.


Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP, Woodbury (Matthew J. Minero of counsel), for appellants.

Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel, New York (Julie Steiner of counsel), for respondent.

TOM, J.P., SWEENY, MOSKOWITZ, DeGRASSE, RICHTER, JJ.

Opinion

Order, Supreme Court, Bronx County (John A. Barone, J.), entered February 19, 2013, which granted defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

Supreme Court properly found that because the contract at issue never met the requirements of the Procurement Policy Board and Chapter 13 of the New York City Charter, it was not a final and legally binding contract, and thus both plaintiffs' contractual, and noncontractual-based causes of actions, including the claim of promissory estoppel, should be dismissed.

It is well settled that “where there is a lack of authority on the part of agents of a municipal corporation to create a liability, except by compliance with well-established regulations, no liability can result unless the prescribed procedure is complied with and followed” (Lutzken v. City of Rochester, 7 A.D.2d 498, 501, 184 N.Y.S.2d 483 [4th Dept.1959] ). Consequently, those dealing with municipal agents must ascertain the extent of the agents' authority, or else proceed at their own risk (see Emerman v. City of New York, 34 A.D.2d 901, 312 N.Y.S.2d 288 [1st Dept.1970] ).

The courts of this state have long held that “no implied contract to pay for benefits furnished by a person under an agreement which is invalid because it fails to comply with statutory restrictions and inhibitions can create an obligation or liability of the city” (Seif v. City of Long Beach, 286 N.Y. 382, 387, 36 N.E.2d 630 [1941] ; see also Henry Modell & Co. v. City of New York, 159 A.D.2d 354, 552 N.Y.S.2d 632 [1st Dept.1990], appeal dismissed 76 N.Y.2d 845, 560 N.Y.S.2d 129, 559 N.E.2d 1288 [1990] ).

Estoppel can be invoked against a municipality or municipal agency only in “the rarest cases” (see Matter of Parkview Assoc. v. City of New York, 71 N.Y.2d 274, 282, 525 N.Y.S.2d 176, 519 N.E.2d 1372 [1988], cert. denied 488 U.S. 801, 109 S.Ct. 30, 102 L.Ed.2d 9 [1988] ) and this is not one of those cases. Plaintiffs were well aware of the requirements for a binding contract with the City, and these statutory requirements was expressly set forth in the proposed contract. Accordingly, they proceeded with certain expenditures at their own risk.

We have considered plaintiff's remaining claims and find them unavailing.


Summaries of

Casa Wales Hous. Dev. Fund Corp. v. City of N.Y.

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.
Jun 4, 2015
129 A.D.3d 451 (N.Y. App. Div. 2015)

affirming dismissal of claims for breach of contract and promissory estoppel because, "where there is a lack of authority on the part of agents of a municipal corporation to create a liability, except by compliance with well-established regulations, no liability can result unless the prescribed procedure is complied with and followed"

Summary of this case from NRP Holdings LLC v. City of Buffalo

affirming dismissal of "contractual, and noncontractual-based causes of action, including claim of promissory estoppel" where "the contract at issue never met the requirements of the Procurement Policy Board and Chapter 13 of the New York City Charter"

Summary of this case from Cummings v. City of N.Y.
Case details for

Casa Wales Hous. Dev. Fund Corp. v. City of N.Y.

Case Details

Full title:Casa Wales Housing Development Fund Corp., et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants…

Court:Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

Date published: Jun 4, 2015

Citations

129 A.D.3d 451 (N.Y. App. Div. 2015)
11 N.Y.S.3d 31
2015 N.Y. Slip Op. 4744

Citing Cases

Michael R. Gianatasio, PE, P.C. v. City of N.Y.

The NYC Defendants correctly contend that, ordinarily, “where there is a lack of authority on the part of…

NRP Holdings LLC v. City of Buffalo

"Municipal contracts which violate express statutory provisions are invalid," even if the purported contracts…