Judiciary Law § 487 cases are unique, even odd. Izmirligil v Steven J. Baum, P.C. J2020 NY Slip Op 01052 Decided on February 13, 2020 Appellate Division, Second Department is even more so. Here, plaintiff borrowed $ 1.1M to buy a house. The mortgage was passed between banks. Plaintiff defaulted on the foreclosure case. Now, he sues the banks, the paper prep guys and the attorneys on the theory that the assignment was forged. The bank and the papers prep guys get out. The attorneys, no.
“With regard to the first cause of action, Izmirligil failed to state a cause of action under Real Property Law § 329 against the BNYM defendants and Chase (see CPLR 3211[a]; Leon v Martinez, 84 NY2d 83, 87-88). In considering a motion to dismiss a complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7), the court must accept the facts as alleged in the complaint as true, accord the plaintiff the benefit of every possible favorable inference, and determine only whether the facts as alleged fit within any cognizable legal theory (see Leon v Martinez, 84 NY2d at 87). However, “allegations consisting of bare legal conclusions as well as factual claims flatly contradicted by documentary evidence are not entitled to any such consideration” (Maas v Cornell Univ., 94 NY2d 87, 91 [internal quotation marks omitted]; see Myers v Schneiderman, 30 NY3d 1, 11). Bank of New York Mellon was not a party to the assignment, and thus, Izmirligil failed to state a cause of action pursuant to Real Property Law § 329 against it. Further, under the circumstances presented, Izmirligil’s conclusory allegations that the assignment was forged and fabricated were insufficient to state a cause of action under Real Property Law § 329 against BNYM as trustee and Chase (see generally Moffett v Gerardi, 75 AD3d 496, 498; Son Fong Lum v Antonelli, 102 AD2d 258, 260-261, affd 64 NY2d 1158).
Similarly, we agree with the Supreme Court’s determination to grant that branch of the motion of the BNYM defendants which was pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) to dismiss the second cause of action against BNYM as trustee (see Wood v Villanueva, 175 AD3d 1465; Zuniga v BAC Home Loans Servicing, L.P., 147 AD3d 882; Acocella v Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 139 AD3d 647, 649; Jahan v U.S.Bank N.A., 127 AD3d 926, 927).
Further, contrary to Izmirligil’s contention, the Supreme Court did not err in granting those branches of the separate motions which were to dismiss the RICO cause of action insofar as asserted against each of the moving defendants as time-barred. “The statute of limitations for civil RICO claims is four years” and “is deemed to have accrued when the plaintiff knew or should have known of his or her injury, regardless of when he or she discovered the underlying fraud'” (House of Spices [India], Inc. v SMJ Servs., Inc., 103 AD3d 848, 849-850, quoting Dempster v Liotti, 86 AD3d 169, 178; see Mitchell v Diji, 134 AD3d 779, 781). This cause of action accrued on November 30, 2009, when the foreclosure action was commenced. Accordingly, as Izmirligil did not commence the instant action until 2015, the RICO cause of action was time-barred (see Dempster v Liotti, 86 AD3d at 179).
However, we disagree with the Supreme Court’s determination with regard to the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth causes of action, alleging violations of Judiciary Law § 487 by the Baum defendants. Under Judiciary Law § 487, an attorney who “[i]s guilty of any deceit or collusion, or consents to any deceit or collusion, with intent to deceive the court or any party” is liable to the injured party for treble damages. “[V]iolation of Judiciary Law § 487 requires an intent to deceive, whereas a legal malpractice claim is based on negligent conduct” (Moormann v Perini & Hoerger, 65 AD3d 1106, 1108 [citation omitted]). Here, Izmirligil alleged that the Baum defendants violated Judiciary Law § 487 by, inter alia, colluding with others to forge an assignment and file a foreclosure action using a complaint containing false allegations to deceive the court and others. The evidentiary submissions of the Baum defendants did not show that the material facts claimed by Izmirligil to be facts were not facts at all and that no significant dispute exists regarding them (see Guggenheimer v Ginzburg, 43 NY2d 268, 275). Accordingly, the court should have denied that branch of the Baum defendants’ motion which was pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) to dismiss the causes of action alleging violations of Judiciary Law § 487 by them.”