The First Department, in a full-fledged opinion by Justice Renwick, reversing Supreme Court, over a two-justice dissent, determined Supreme Court did not have the discretion to grant leave to amend a complaint which had been dismissed by the First Department for lack of standing. After the appeal, plaintiff had cured the standing defect and Supreme Court allowed the amendment after the time-period to commence a new action (CPLR 205(a)) had expired:
This appeal raises the interesting question of whether a trial court has the discretion to grant a plaintiff leave to amend a complaint, pursuant to CPLR 3025 (b) … , after the Appellate Division has already ordered the complaint dismissed, with direction to enter judgment. We dismissed the complaint because plaintiffs, as non-managing members of a manager-managed Delaware limited liability company, lacked capacity … or standing to act on behalf of the Company when they obtained a Certificate of Revival of the Company before filing a second amended complaint. After plaintiffs purportedly remedied this deficiency of proper standing, they sought to revive the dismissed action by seeking leave to file a third amended complaint. As aforementioned, after we had already ordered the complaint dismissed, the motion court granted plaintiffs leave to file the third amended complaint. At the time plaintiffs sought leave to amend, the time to commence a new action had expired, including the six-month grace period provided by CPLR 205(a). … Under these circumstances, we find that the trial court lacked discretion to grant plaintiffs leave to amend a complaint that had already been dismissed by this Court. * * *
Given this Court’s outright dismissal of the claims based on a finding of lack of standing, there was no action pending when plaintiffs moved for leave to file the third amended complaint. Thus, the trial court lacked any discretion or authority to grant plaintiffs such leave, where we had properly dismissed the second amended complaint before plaintiffs filed the motion to amend … .Favourite Ltd. v Cico, 2022 NY Slip Op 03987, First Dept 6-21-22
Practice Point: Once the complaint was dismissed for lack of standing by the First Department, there was no pending action. Once the time for commencing a new action pursuant to CPLR 205(a) had expired plaintiff was out of luck. Supreme Court did not have the discretion to grant plaintiff’s motion to amend the complaint after it had been dismissed by the First Department.