Plaintiff executor sued defendant, Delaine, under conversion, replevin and unjust enrichment theories for artwork which decedent, Arthur, was allegedly entitled to but which decedent never picked up from the warehouse where it was stored. The First Department determined the conversion, replevin and unjust enrichment causes of action were time-barred:
Under CPLR 214(3), the statutory period of limitations for conversion and replevin claims is three years from the date of accrual. The date of accrual depends on whether the current possessor is a good faith purchaser or bad faith possessor. An action against a good faith purchaser accrues once the true owner makes a demand and is refused … . This is “because a good-faith purchaser of stolen property commits no wrong, as a matter of substantive law, until he has first been advised of the plaintiff’s claim to possession and given an opportunity to return the chattel” … . By contrast, an action against a bad faith possessor begins to run immediately from the time of wrongful possession, and does not require a demand and refusal … . Thus, “[w]here replevin is sought against the party who converted the property, the action accrues on the date of conversion” … .
Here, plaintiff alleges that Delaine is a wrongful possessor of the Artwork by virtue of her retention thereof in defiance of this Court’s 1993 order. Accordingly, since Delaine was holding the Artwork in bad faith, the demand and return rule does not apply and the three-year limitations period commenced as of the date of the wrongful taking, which occurred when Delaine retained the Artwork after the issuance of our March 18, 1993 order. Thus, plaintiff’s conversion and replevin claims, filed in 2012, are untimely … . * * *
Unjust enrichment occurs when a defendant enjoys a benefit bestowed by the plaintiff without adequately compensating the plaintiff … . The statute of limitations for unjust enrichment generally accrues upon “the occurrence of the alleged wrongful act giving rise to restitution” … . Here, any alleged “enrichment” took place when Delaine retained possession of the Artworks following our 1993 decision. Accordingly, plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim is also time-barred. Swain v Brown, 2016 NY Slip Op 00574, 1st Dept 1-28-16
CRIMINAL LAW (COURT PROPERLY REFUSED TO DISQUALIFY A JUROR WHO STATED SHE COULD NOT DELIBERATE FURTHER BECAUSE SHE WAS EMOTIONALLY OVERWHELMED)/JURIES (COURT PROPERLY REFUSED TO DISQUALIFY A JUROR WHO STATED SHE COULD NOT DELIBERATE FURTHER BECAUSE SHE WAS EMOTIONALLY OVERWHELMED)/DISQUALIFICATION OF JUROR (COURT PROPERLY REFUSED TO DISQUALIFY A JUROR WHO STATED SHE COULD NOT DELIBERATE FURTHER BECAUSE SHE WAS EMOTIONALLY OVERWHELMED)