DEMAND FOR A JURY TRIAL, MADE ONE DAY LATE, SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED, THE DENIAL OF THE ORAL APPLICATION FOR A JURY TRIAL IS PROPERLY CONSIDERED ON APPEAL FROM THE FINAL JUDGMENT, EVEN THOUGH NO FORMAL MOTION ON NOTICE WAS MADE (FOURTH DEPT).

The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, over an extensive dissent, determined (1) defendants’ oral application requesting a jury trial, made one day late, should have been granted, and (2) the appeal from a final judgment allows an appeal of the denial of the late application for a jury trial, even though no formal motion on notice was made. The dissent argued the denial was not appealable because there was no formal motion on notice:

An appeal from a final judgment “brings up for review . . . any non-final judgment or order which necessarily affects the final judgment” (CPLR 5501 [a] [1]). The parties do not dispute that the order denying defendants’ application for leave to file a late demand for a jury trial necessarily affected the final judgment. …

… [T]he State Constitution provides for a right to a jury trial in civil cases (see NY Const, art I, § 2 … ). Although that right may be waived through the failure to demand it in a timely fashion (see CPLR 4102 [a]), the court “may relieve a party from the effect” of such waiver “if no undue prejudice to the rights of another party would result” (CPLR 4102 [e]). While “[t]he decision . . . to relieve a party from failing to timely comply with CPLR 4102 (a) lies within the sound discretion of the trial court” … , we conclude that the court’s denial of defendants’ application was an abuse of discretion. Braun v Cesareo, 2019 NY Slip Op 01962, Fourth Dept 3-15-19

 

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