In an action stemming from the alleged breach of a joint venture agreement, the Second Department, in the context of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action, went through each cause of action and, where dismissal was appropriate, noted the pleading failure. The joint venture cause of action did not allege a mutual promise to share the losses. The constructive trust cause of action did not allege a confidential or fiduciary relationship. The fraud allegations were not collateral to the terms of the alleged joint venture and no out-of-pocket losses were alleged. The tortious interference with contract cause of action did not allege the intentional procurement of a breach of the joint venture agreement. The accounting cause of action did not allege that a demand for an accounting was made. The Second Department noted that the motion to amend the complaint to cure some of the defects should have been granted. With respect to the criteria for determining a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action where documentary evidence supporting the motion is submitted, the court explained:
“A motion pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(1) to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the action is barred by documentary evidence may be granted only where the documentary evidence utterly refutes the plaintiff’s factual allegations, thereby conclusively establishing a defense as a matter of law” … .
In considering a motion to dismiss a complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7), “the court must accept the facts as alleged in the complaint as true, accord plaintiffs the benefit of every possible favorable inference, and determine only whether the facts as alleged fit within any cognizable legal theory” … . A court may consider evidentiary material submitted by a defendant in support of a motion to dismiss pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) … . When evidentiary material is considered on a motion to dismiss a complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7), and the motion has not been converted to one for summary judgment, “the criterion is whether the [plaintiff] has a cause of action, not whether he [or she] has stated one, and, unless it has been shown that a material fact as claimed by the [plaintiff] to be one is not a fact at all and unless it can be said that no significant dispute exists regarding it . . . dismissal should not eventuate”… . Mawere v Landau, 2015 NY Slip Op 06317, 2nd Dept 7-29-15