The Second Department determined Supreme Court properly stayed a civil matter after the defendant was indicted in a related criminal matter and indicated he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent if the civil matter went forward:
A motion pursuant to CPLR 2201 to stay a civil action pending resolution of a related criminal action is directed to the sound discretion of the trial court … . “Factors to consider include avoiding the risk of inconsistent adjudications, [duplication] of proof and potential waste of judicial resources. A compelling factor is a situation where a defendant will invoke his or her constitutional right against self incrimination” … . “Although the pendency of a criminal proceeding does not give rise to an absolute right under the United States or New York State Constitutions to a stay of a related civil proceeding . . . there is no question but that the court may exercise its discretion to stay proceedings in a civil action until a related criminal dispute is resolved” … .
Here, this action and the criminal proceeding against Samuel arise from the same facts. While a stay may cause inconvenience and delay to the plaintiffs, the failure to grant the stay would cause Samuel to “suffer the severe prejudice of being deprived of a defense” … . Moreover, a prior determination in the criminal proceeding could have collateral estoppel effect in this action, thereby simplifying the issues … . Mook v Homesafe Am., Inc., 2016 NY Slip Op 08054, 2nd Dept 11-30-16
CIVIL PROCEDURE (CIVIL MATTER PROPERLY STAYED UNTIL RELATED CRIMINAL MATTER RESOLVED)/CRIMINAL LAW (CIVIL MATTER PROPERLY STAYED UNTIL RELATED CRIMINAL MATTER RESOLVED)