New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

HUANG v. THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK and BARUCH COLLEGE, #2004-016-004, Claim No. 104774, Motion No. M-67666


Synopsis


Case Information

UID:
2004-016-004
Claimant(s):
SHI XIA HUANG as ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF YAN KUN HUANG and SHI XIA HUANG individually
Claimant short name:
HUANG
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK and BARUCH COLLEGE
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
104774
Motion number(s):
M-67666
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
Bournazos & Matarangas, P.C.By: Dennis S. Matarangas, Esq.
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Gail Pierce-Siponen, Esq., AAGNo Appearance
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
February 17, 2004
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

This is the motion of the law firm of Bournazos & Matarangas, P.C. to withdraw as counsel for claimant. The underlying action is for wrongful death, brought by Shi Xia Huang as administrator of the estate of Yan Kun Huang, and individually; the claim alleges that Yan Kun Huang died after he "was caused to slip, trip, and/or fall out of a window" at Baruch College on March 8, 1999. There must be a showing of good cause and reasonable notice before an attorney will be permitted to terminate the attorney-client relationship. See, e.g., J. M. Heinike Associates, Inc. v Liberty Nat. Bank, 142 AD2d 929, 530 NYS2d 355 (4th Dept 1988). What constitutes good cause is not an objective determination, but rather lies within the sound discretion of the trial court. See, e.g., People v Salquerro, 107 Misc 2d 155, 433 NYS2d 711 (Sup Ct NY County 1980).

In this case, with regard to cause, counsel asserts that following service and filing of the claim, his firm made numerous attempts to communicate with claimant, but claimant failed to respond. Such attempts consisted of leaving telephone messages and of sending six letters to claimant between May 7, 2002 and September 24, 2003. See ¶¶6 and 7 of the October 27, 2003 affirmation of Dennis Matarangas and exhibit C thereto. As to notice, counsel has submitted an affidavit of service indicating that this motion was served on claimant by both regular mail and certified mail, return receipt requested.

In view of the foregoing, I find that there has been a showing of good cause and reasonable notice sufficient for counsel to be relieved.

Accordingly, having reviewed the submissions[1], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-67666 be granted to the extent that:
  1. Permission to withdraw is hereby granted to Bournazos & Matarangas, P.C., only upon satisfaction of the requirements of ¶2 hereof.
  2. Within fourteen (14) days of the filing of this Decision and Order, Bournazos & Matarangas, P.C. shall serve upon Shi Xia Huang a file-stamped copy of this Decision and Order by certified mail, return receipt requested. Within fourteen (14) days of obtaining the return receipt or of being notified by the United States Postal Service that the Order was either undeliverable or unclaimed, counsel shall file an affidavit of service with the Clerk of the Court, attaching such return receipt or notification from the United State Postal Service. Only upon the Clerk's receipt of such affidavit of service with applicable attachment shall Bournazos and Matarangas, P.C. be relieved from representation of claimant; and
  3. No further proceedings shall take place with respect to this claim until ninety (90) days after the filing of this Decision and Order, so as to permit Shi Xia Huang to retain new counsel or notify the Court that she wishes to represent herself. Shi Xia Huang shall, within 90 days of the filing of this Decision & Order, have new counsel file a notice of appearance, or, within such 90 days, notify the Clerk of the Court (New York State Court of Claims, Box 7344, Capitol Station, Albany, NY 12224) and the State of New York (Gail Pierce-Siponen, Esq., AAG, New York State Department of Law, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271) in writing of her intention to proceed without counsel (pro se).
  4. If Shi Xia Huang fails to so appear by new counsel or to notify the Clerk of the Court within such 90-day period, the claim herein will be deemed dismissed (22 NYCRR 206.15), and no further order of this Court will be required.

February 17, 2004
New York, New York

HON. ALAN C. MARIN
Judge of the Court of Claims





  1. [1]The Court reviewed claimant's counsel's notice of motion with affirmation in support and exhibits A-C. Neither claimant herself nor defendant made any submissions.