The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff bank’s motion to vacate the default in this foreclosure action should have been granted. Supreme Court had, sua sponte, dismissed the complaint without affording plaintiff an opportunity to be heard:
Following the plaintiff’s failure to move for an order of reference … , the Court Attorney Referee found … that the plaintiff failed to show good cause for its failure to move for the order of reference as directed and recommended that the action be dismissed. … Supreme Court directed dismissal of the action.
“A court’s power to dismiss a complaint, sua sponte, is to be used sparingly and only when extraordinary circumstances exist to warrant dismissal” … . As no such extraordinary circumstances were present in this case, we disagree with the Supreme Court’s determination to sua sponte direct dismissal of the complaint, without affording the plaintiff notice and opportunity to be heard … , which “amounted to a denial of the plaintiff’s due process rights” … . Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted those branches of the plaintiff’s motion which were to vacate the October 4, 2016, order and to restore the action to active status … . Deutsche Bank Natl. Trust Co. v Winslow, 2020 NY Slip Op 01325, Second Dept 2-26-20