S.A.B. Enterprises, Inc. v. Stewart's Ice Cream Co., Inc.

242 A.D.2d 845, 662 N.Y.S.2d 614 (1997)

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S.A.B. Enterprises, Inc. v. Stewart’s Ice Cream Co., Inc.

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
242 A.D.2d 845, 662 N.Y.S.2d 614 (1997)

Facts

S.A.B. Enterprises, Inc. (S.A.B.) (plaintiff) formerly owned property located in Greene County (county) (defendant). In 1974, the county acquired the property through a tax foreclosure. The county eventually sold the property to Stewart’s Ice Cream Company, Inc. (Stewart’s) (defendant). S.A.B. brought suit against the county and Stewart’s to invalidate the tax sale, but, in 1990, the jury ruled against S.A.B, and the appellate division affirmed. In 1996, S.A.B. moved, pursuant to Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) § 5015(a), to vacate the judgment against it. S.A.B. contended that the judgment should be vacated based on newly discovered evidence: that the tax notice for S.A.B.’s property used different type print than the notices the county sent to other property owners whose properties were foreclosed on or around the same time. Per S.A.B., this suggested that the notice allegedly sent to S.A.B. really was fraudulently prepared after the foreclosure. However, although S.A.B. had access to the relevant records since at least 1993 and the records were publicly available, S.A.B. did not explain why it did not make its motion to vacate until 1996. The county responded that, among other things, different people using different typewriters prepared tax notices during the relevant time period. The supreme court denied S.A.B.’s motion to vacate. S.A.B. appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Casey, J.)

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