The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff’s failure to schedule a 50-h hearing after adjourning it twice required dismissal (without prejudice) of certain causes of action in this defamation suit against a county executive:
Supreme Court erred in denying the motion insofar as it sought to dismiss the first through fourth causes of action on the ground that plaintiff failed to comply with defendant’s demand for an oral examination pursuant to General Municipal Law § 50-h (1), and we therefore modify the order accordingly. “[A] plaintiff who has not complied with General Municipal Law § 50—h (1) is precluded from maintaining an action against a municipality” … . Here, plaintiff adjourned the examination on two separate occasions and failed to respond to defendant’s subsequent request that she choose from a list of dates when she would be available for examination. Under the circumstances, plaintiff bore the burden of rescheduling the examination … , and because plaintiff failed to reschedule, she was barred by statute from commencing an action … .
“Although compliance with General Municipal Law § 50—h (1) may be excused in ‘exceptional circumstances’ ” … , there were no such circumstances here. Contrary to defendant’s contention, however, the first through fourth causes of action should be dismissed without prejudice … .Landa v Poloncarz, 2022 NY Slip Op 04490, Fourth Dept 7-8-22
Practice Point: Here plaintiff twice adjourned the 50-h hearing and then did not respond to defendant’s attempt to schedule a third. Under those circumstances it was plaintiff’s responsibility to schedule a hearing. Failure to do so required dismissal of the relevant causes of action (without prejudice).