MacQueen Realty Co. v. Emmi

58 Misc. 2d 54, 294 N.Y.S.2d 566 (1968)

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MacQueen Realty Co. v. Emmi

New York Supreme Court
58 Misc. 2d 54, 294 N.Y.S.2d 566 (1968)

Facts

Anthony Emmi and others (Emmi) (defendants) agreed to pay a $20,000 real estate brokerage commission to MacQueen Realty Co. (MacQueen) (plaintiff). As required by the agreement, Emmi made an initial $10,000 payment in 1966. However, Emmi refused to pay the two remaining $5,000 installments due to the claim by Daniel Owen (defendant) that Owen was entitled to the remaining $10,000. Owen was a MacQueen employee when MacQueen and Emmi signed the agreement, but Owen was not a licensed real estate broker at the time. After MacQueen sued Emmi seeking payment of the $10,000, Emmi, which conceded that it owed the $10,000 to someone, moved under Civil Procedure Law and Rules (CPLR) § 1006(f) to be discharged as a stakeholder (i.e., for interpleader) and for costs and disbursements, including attorney’s fees due to the competing claims by MacQueen and Owen to the $10,000. MacQueen opposed Emmi’s motion and moved for summary judgment against Emmi. Per MacQueen, Emmi did not face competing claims to the $10,000 because Owen’s claim was not colorable due to New York’s prohibition against non-licensed persons receiving real estate brokerage commissions. Thus, MacQueen argued, Owen’s only remedy, if any, would have to come directly from MacQueen. Owen answered Emmi’s interpleader complaint but Owen’s answer contained no affirmative allegations and did not deny that Owen was not a licensed real estate broker at the relevant time.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, J.)

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