In the context of a foreclosure proceeding, the Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, explained that a general prayer for relief cannot justify relief dramatically different from that requested in the motion, and reply papers cannot be used to raise new arguments:
The court may grant relief that is warranted pursuant to a general prayer for relief contained in a notice of motion if the relief granted is not too dramatically unlike the relief sought, the proof offered supports it, and there is no prejudice to any party … . Here, [defendant’s] application to vacate the final judgment of foreclosure and sale, as well as the related relief awarded, sua sponte, by the Supreme Court, was “dramatically unlike” the relief sought in Ivette’s motion, which only sought to stay the impending foreclosure sale based on her pending contempt motion in the matrimonial action.
The function of reply papers is to address arguments made in opposition to the position taken by the movant and not to permit the movant to introduce new arguments in support of, or new grounds or evidence for, the motion … . Here, [defendant’s] reply papers included new arguments in support of the motion, new grounds and evidence for the motion, and expressly requested relief that was dramatically unlike the relief sought in her original motion. Accordingly, those contentions, and the grounds and evidence in support of them, were not properly before the Supreme Court. Similarly, the court erred in, sua sponte, awarding related relief not requested by the parties … . USAA Fed. Sav. Bank v Calvin, 2016 NY Slip Op 08223, 2nd Dept 12-7-16
CIVIL PROCEDURE (GENERAL PRAYER FOR RELIEF WILL NOT JUSTIFY RELIEF DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT FROM THAT REQUESTED IN THE MOTION, REPLY PAPERS CANNOT BE USED TO ADVANCE NEW ARGUMENTS)/MOTION PAPERS (CIVIL, GENERAL PRAYER FOR RELIEF WILL NOT JUSTIFY RELIEF DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT FROM THAT REQUESTED IN THE MOTION, REPLY PAPERS CANNOT BE USED TO ADVANCE NEW ARGUMENTS)/REPLY PAPERS (CIVIL, REPLY PAPERS CANNOT BE USED TO ADVANCE NEW ARGUMENTS)