The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined that Supreme Court should not, sua sponte, have granted relief which was not requested by a party. Petitioner allegedly was injured trying to board a subway train. Before filing a notice of claim petitioner commenced a CPLR 3102 (c) proceeding to obtain discovery before starting the action. The court granted the petition and, sua sponte, gave the petitioner permission to amend the notice of claim, which had not yet been filed, within 30 days of filing the note of issue. The Second Department noted that a sua sponte order is not appealable and exercised its discretion to grant leave to appeal (CPLR 5701[a]; [c]):
Turning to the merits, “[p]ursuant to CPLR 2214(a), an order to show cause must state the relief demanded and the grounds therefor'” . “However, the court may grant relief that is warranted by the… facts plainly appearing on the papers on both sides, 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, the Supreme Court strayed from this principle when, in addition to granting, in effect, that branch of the petition which was for an order preserving material related to the accident, it also sua sponte granted a nearly unlimited prospective right to the petitioner to amend a notice of claim that had not yet been served. This sua sponte relief was dramatically different from the pre-action discovery that was the subject of the petition … . Furthermore, the papers before the court did not support the award of such additional relief, since the absence of a notice of claim rendered it impossible to determine whether the future notice of claim or any amendments thereto would be in compliance with General Municipal Law § 50-e. We also agree with the appellants that they were prejudiced insofar as the court set a permissive timeline for amending the notice of claim that potentially could be, inter alia, beyond the statute of limitations and after the completion of discovery. Matter of Velez v City of New York, 2019 NY Slip Op 05781, Second Dept 7-24-19