Plaintiffs commenced this action to quiet title to the property seeking to set aside a certain alleged fraudulent deed recorded against her property 18 years earlier.
Torres v. EQUITY HOLDINGS LLC, 2021 NY Slip Op 31031 – Kings Co. Supreme Court March 30, 2021:
“Equity’s motion to dismiss the complaint as time-barred by the ten-year statute of limitations is denied, pursuant to the Court of Appeals’ holding in Faison v Lewis (25 NY3d 220, 226 ). In Faison, the Court of Appeals held that because the complaint alleged a forged deed, defendants could not rely on the statute of limitations as a defense:
“Given the clarity of our law that a forged deed is void ab initio, and that it is a document without legal capacity to have any effect on ownership rights, the question remains whether a claim challenging a conveyance or encumbrance of real property based on such deed is subject to a time bar. Our case law permits only one answer: a claim against a forged deed is not subject to a statute of limitations defense” (Faison, 25 NY3d at 226).
Contrary to Equity’s contention, the allegations in plaintiffs’ complaint must be considered true on a CPLR § 3211 motion to dismiss, even if those allegations are alleged “upon information and belief.” Because the complaint sufficiently alleges that the 2002 Deed was a forgery, that plaintiffs did not sign the 2002 Deed and that they did not receive payment for the Property, plaintiffs’ claims are not subject to a statute of limitations defense, as a matter of law.
Equity’s motion to dismiss the complaint based on the doctrine of laches is denied, since the laches defense requires a showing of equitable estoppel, which is unavailable to a party with unclean hands (see Bunge Corp. v Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., 31 NY2d 223, 228 ; Kraker v Roll, 100 AD2d 424, 432 ). At this early stage of the action, it is unclear if Equity was involved in an alleged forgery of the 2002 Deed, and thus, Equity’s dismissal motion based on laches is denied as premature.”