The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in lieu of complaint (CPLR 3213) based upon a promissory note should not have been granted. The note was not demonstrated to be an instrument for the payment of money only:
Pursuant to CPLR 3213, a plaintiff demonstrates its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law with respect to a promissory note if it shows “the existence of a promissory note, executed by the defendant, containing an unequivocal and unconditional obligation to repay, and the failure by the defendant to pay in accordance with the note’s terms” … . “Where the instrument requires something in addition to defendant’s explicit promise to pay a sum of money, CPLR 3213 is unavailable” … . Once the plaintiff has established its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, “the burden then shifts to the defendant to submit evidence establishing the existence of a triable issue with respect to a bona fide defense” … .
Here, the plaintiffs failed to establish, prima facie, that the subject promissory note was an instrument for the payment of money only … . In support of their motion, the plaintiffs submitted the promissory note, which refers to the asset sale/purchase agreement and provides the defendants with “an absolute right of set-off against the entire unpaid principal balance of [the] Note based upon any and all provisions of the Asset Sale/Purchase Agreement.” Under the circumstances, “outside proof” was required, “other than simple proof of nonpayment,” to establish the plaintiffs’ prima facie case … . Express Valentine Auto Repair Shop, Inc. v New York Taxi 2, Inc., 2020 NY Slip Op 03644, Second Dept 7-1-20