4. SUPREME COURT ACTIONS & PROCEEDINGS

Question:
What Is A Preliminary Injunction?

Answer: 
A common request for relief from the Supreme Court (which, unlike the Civil Court, has equitable jurisdiction) is for injunctive relief. A preliminary injunction is sought when it appears that an adverse party threatens to or is about to perform some act in violation of a party's rights which, if permitted, would render any judgment ultimately obtained by the threatened party ineffectual. The party moving for the preliminary injunction must show that it has no adequate legal remedy, it will suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted, it has a clear right to the ultimate relief sought, and that the balance of the equities weighs in its favor. Generally, if the injunction is granted, the movant must post a bond to cover the damages that could be suffered by the other side, if it is ultimately determined that the preliminary injunction should not have been granted.


Question:
What Is A Yellowstone Injunction?

Answer: 
A Yellowstone Injunction is a device commonly used by a commercial tenant who has received a Notice to Cure that threatens the termination of its tenancy. The Yellowstone injunction stops the running of the cure period stated in the Notice to Cure so that upon an adverse determination that a breach of lease has occurred, the tenant may still have time to cure the default and avoid forfeiture of the tenancy. This is crucial because a commercial tenant, unlike a residential tenant, has no statutory post-judgment right to cure. To obtain the Yellowstone injunction, the tenant need only demonstrate that (i) it holds a commercial lease (ii) it has received a notice threatening termination of the lease (iii) it is moving for injunctive relief prior to the expiration date set forth in any notice and (iv) it is prepared to cure the alleged default by any measurement of vacating.


Question:
What Is A Declaratory Judgment?

Answer: 
Another type of Supreme Court equitable action is one for a declaratory judgment. It is sought where there is a dispute between parties as to their rights and obligations under a contract. The court will review the contentions of the competing parties and will render a judgment that declares their rights. However, there must be an actual controversy, as the court will not render an advisory opinion.


Question:
What Is An Article 78 Proceeding?

Answer: 
An Article 78 Proceeding is the exclusive means by which a party may challenge an order of an administrative agency once the agency's review procedure been exhausted. The aggrieved party commences a proceeding in the Supreme Court to vacate or annul the administrative determination. To obtain relief, the movant must demonstrate to the Court's satisfaction that the agency's determination was (i) arbitrary and capricious or (ii) affected by an error of law or (iii) made in violation of lawful procedure or (iv) an abuse of discretion, including an abuse as to the penalty imposed. Where a hearing has been held at the administrative level, and a decision is based thereon, the aggrieved party may challenge it on the grounds that the determination is not supported by substantial evidence. Article 78 proceedings must be brought shortly after the administrative review process has been completed.


Question:
What Is A Breach Of Contract Action?

Answer: 
Leases are considered to be contracts, and disputes as to whether a party has breached a term of the lease are often litigated in the Supreme Court. This is because the Supreme Court has broader jurisdiction than the Civil Court and pre-trial discovery as a matter of right. The types of lease breaches and disputes are too numerous to mention here but run the gamut from alteration disputes to zoning disputes.


Question:
What Is An Action For Ejectment?

Answer: 
Ejectment is a common-law cause of action to recover possession. It is commonly included as a cause of action in a complaint where an owner seeks a declaratory judgment that a tenant no longer has the right to occupy a residential or commercial unit. In this manner, if the owner obtains a favorable determination on its declaratory judgment cause of action, possession can be granted in the same lawsuit.