ALTHOUGH THE LACK OF STANDING DEFENSE TO A FORECLOSURE ACTION IS WAIVED IF NOT ASSERTED IN THE ANSWER OR A PRE-ANSWER MOTION TO DISMISS, IT MAY BE ADDED TO AN ANSWER AMENDED BY LEAVE OF COURT (SECOND DEPT).
The Second Department, in the context of a foreclosure action, determined that, although the lack of standing defense is waived if not asserted in the answer or a pre-answer motion to dismiss, the defense can be added in an answer amended by leave of court:
“[A]n argument that a plaintiff lacks standing, if not asserted in the defendant’s answer or in a pre-answer motion to dismiss the complaint, is waived pursuant to CPLR 3211(e)” … . “Defenses waived under CPLR 3211(e) can nevertheless be interposed in an answer amended by leave of court pursuant to CPLR 3025(b), as long as the amendment does not cause the other party prejudice or surprise resulting from the delay, and is not palpably insufficient or patently devoid of merit”… . “The decision of whether to allow an amendment is committed almost entirely to the [motion] court’s discretion'” … .
Here, in opposition to that branch of the defendant’s motion which was for leave to amend his answer to add the affirmative defense of lack of standing, the plaintiff failed to demonstrate the existence of any prejudice or surprise that would result from the amendment, or that the proposed affirmative defense was palpably insufficient or patently devoid of merit … . U.S. Bank Trust, N.A. v Carter, 2018 NY Slip Op 05618, Second Dept 8-1-18