The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, in this foreclosure action, determined a deed made under false pretenses was void ab initio and therefore the related mortgage was invalid. The court noted that the law of the case doctrine does not prohibit it from reconsidering a matter where there is subsequent evidence affecting the prior determination:
It is undisputed that nonparty Rapsil Corporation conveyed the same property to two different recipients, first, defendant Rafael Pantoja (who obtained a mortgage from CitiMortgage), and, second, a bona fide entity that transferred it to the Salazar defendants. Although the deed that conveyed the property from Rapsil to Pantoja was unacknowledged, which ordinarily would render it only voidable, because Pantoja controlled Rapsil, the deed was made under false pretenses and was therefore void ab initio … . Accordingly, the CitiMortgage mortgage was invalid as well (Weiss v Phillips, 157 AD3d 1, 10 [1st Dept 2017]).
This determination is not inconsistent with our prior related decisions … . In any event, the law of the case doctrine does not limit our power to reconsider issues “where there are extraordinary circumstances, such as subsequent evidence affecting the prior determination” … . CitiMortgage, Inc. v Pantoja, 2019 NY Slip Op 05481, First Dept 7-9-19