The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the complaint stated a cause of action for breach of implied contract and the defendant’s motion to dismiss the breach of implied cause of action based on documentary evidence should not have been granted:
“Whether an implied-in-fact contract was formed and, if so, the extent of its terms, involves factual issues regarding the intent of the parties and the surrounding circumstances” … . Contrary to the court’s determination, whether plaintiff “can ultimately establish its allegations is not part of the calculus in determining a motion to dismiss” … and, here, plaintiff’s allegations sufficiently state a cause of action for breach of an implied contract arising from an implicit agreement to extend the brokerage contract … . Similarly, the complaint sufficiently alleges the elements of a claim for unjust enrichment … .
… “A motion to dismiss pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (1) will be granted if the documentary evidence resolves all factual issues as a matter of law, and conclusively disposes of the [plaintiff’s] claim[s]” … . Although contracts are among the types of documentary evidence that may be considered for purposes of CPLR 3211 (a) (1) … , we conclude that the contract submitted by defendants in support of their motion failed to “utterly refute . . . plaintiff’s allegations [that the contract was implicitly extended] or conclusively establish a defense as a matter of law” … . University Hill Realty, Ltd v Akl, 2023 NY Slip Op 01634, Fourth Dept 3-24-23
Practice Point: Here the breach of implied contract cause of action should not have been dismissed.
Practice Point: The motion to dismiss the breach of implied contract cause of action based on documentary evidence should not have been granted. Although a contract can be the type of evidence which qualifies as “documentary evidence” here the contract did not utterly refute the allegation the contract was extended.