The Second Department determined the statement in a summons with notice alleging a mortgage was obtained by fraud was protected by judicial-proceedings privilege:
Generally, statements made at all stages of a judicial proceeding in communications among the parties, witnesses, counsel, and the court are accorded an absolute privilege, as long as the statements may be considered in some way “pertinent” to the issue in the proceeding … . This privilege, or “immunity” … , applies to statements made in or out of court, on or off the record, and regardless of the motive with which they were made … .
The test of pertinency to the litigation is extremely liberal, so as to embrace anything that may possibly or plausibly be relevant or pertinent … . The purpose of the privilege is to allow the parties, witnesses, and attorneys in a litigation to communicate freely without fear of defamation litigation … . Weinstock v Sanders, 2016 NY Slip Op 07947, 2nd Dept 11-23-16
DEFAMATION (STATEMENT IN SUMMONS WITH NOTICE ABSOLUTELY PRIVILEGED)/PRIVILEGE (DEFAMATION, STATEMENT IN SUMMONS WITH NOTICE ABSOLUTELY PRIVILEGED)/IMMUNITY (DEFAMATION, STATEMENT IN SUMMONS WITH NOTICE ABSOLUTELY PRIVILEGED)