The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the defendant’s failure to file a notice of claim required dismissal of its counterclaim (anticipatory repudiation of contract) against the village:
Pursuant to CPLR 9802, “no action shall be maintained against the village upon or arising out of a contract of the village . . . unless a written verified claim shall have been filed with the village clerk within one year after the cause of action shall have accrued.” “‘[S]tatutory requirements conditioning suit [against a governmental entity] must be strictly construed'” … . This is true even when the municipality “‘had actual knowledge of the claim or failed to demonstrate actual prejudice'” … . …
… [T]he plaintiff’s exchanging of discovery and participation in the depositions of witnesses did not estop it from raising a defense pursuant to CPLR 9802, as mere participation in litigation does not constitute action calculated to mislead or discourage the defendant from filing a notice of claim … . Incorporated Vil. of Freeport v Freeport Plaza W., LLC, 2022 NY Slip Op 03713, Second Dept 6-8-22
Practice Point: In a contract action against a municipality, here an anticipatory-repudiation-of-contract counterclaim, a notice of claim must be filed (CPLR 9802). No notice of claim was filed here and the counterclaim should have been dismissed. The fact that the municipality participated in discovery did not give rise to the estoppel doctrine because there was no intent to mislead the defendant with respect to the notice-of-claim requirement.