The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the action should not have been dismissed for failure to file a note of issue because a valid 90-day notice had not been issued or served. The certification order issued by Supreme Court directing plaintiff to file a note of issue within 90 days did not meet the criteria for a 90-day notice required by CPLR 3216:
… [T]he record shows that neither the Supreme Court nor any of the defendants served, pursuant to CPLR 3216, a 90-day demand to file a note of issue on the plaintiff. … [A]lthough the court issued a certification order … directing the plaintiff to file the note of issue within 90 days of the order, it did not constitute a valid 90-day demand because it did not contain any language warning that the plaintiff’s failure to file the note of issue within 90 days would result in dismissal pursuant to CPLR 3216 … . Additionally, the … certification order did not set forth specific conduct by the plaintiff constituting neglect … . Since the plaintiff was never served with a 90-day demand, the court should not have dismissed the complaint due to the plaintiff’s failure to file the note of issue … .
… [T]he Supreme Court could not rely upon CPLR 3126 as a basis upon which to dismiss the complaint as the plaintiff’s failure to timely file the note of issue or to move to extend the time to file the note of issue did not constitute disobedience of an “order for disclosure” (CPLR 3126 … ).
We also disagree with the Supreme Court’s determination denying the plaintiff’s cross motion, pursuant to CPLR 2004, to extend her time to file the note of issue. Discovery is complete and the defendants failed to establish that they were prejudiced by the plaintiff’s failure to timely file the note of issue and her delay in moving for an extension of time to do so … . Tolkoff v Goldstein, 2020 NY Slip Op 04341, Second Dept 7-29-20