The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined there was no relationship between plaintiff’s action seeking the assets of a joint venture and the ownership of the real property associated with the joint venture (to be used as an inn). Therefore defendants’ motion to cancel the lis pendens should have been granted:
“A notice of pendency may be filed in any action in a court of the state or of the United States in which the judgment demanded would affect the title to, or the possession, use or enjoyment of, real property” (CPLR 6501). Because the provisional remedy of a notice of pendency is an ” ‘extraordinary privilege’ ” … , the Court of Appeals has held that to be entitled to that remedy, there must be a “direct relationship” between the relief sought in the complaint and the title to or possession of the disputed property … . In making that determination, a court must use “a narrow interpretation,” and its “analysis is to be limited to the pleading’s face” … . …
Supreme Court erred in denying their motion insofar as it sought to cancel the notice of pendency because there was no direct relationship between title to or possession of the property and the relief sought by plaintiff. We therefore modify the order accordingly. Reviewing the complaint on its face, we conclude that plaintiff seeks merely to enforce her purported 50% share in the joint venture and does not assert an interest in the property itself. Indeed, the complaint alleges that title to the property was, at all relevant times, held by Properties LLC, of which plaintiff was not a member. It is well settled that ” ‘the legal consequences of a joint venture are equivalent to those of a partnership’ ” … , and thus a joint venturer’s interest in a joint venture constitutes an interest in only personal property, not real property, thereby precluding recourse to a notice of pendency … . Renfro v Herrald, 2022 NY Slip Op 03593, Fourth Dept 6-3-22
Practice Point: Partnership law applies to joint ventures. Here the joint venture was the operation of an inn. Plaintiff sought the assets of the joint venture, which involves only personal property, not real property. Plaintiff had no interest in the real property (the inn). Therefore the lis pendens filed by the plaintiff should have been cancelled.