In Kings County, when a plaintiff misses a court appearance, the court typically marks the case off the calendar as “disposed.” Contrary to popular belief, this is not a dismissal. The recent decision of Rakha v Pinnacle Bus Servs illustrates this point. There, the plaintiff failed to appear for a compliance conference and the case was marked “other final disp[osition],” and removed from active status. Although the trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion to restore the action, the Appellate Division held that the action was never formally dismissed and thus allowed it be reinstated.
Thus, when a plaintiff fails to appear in court (not that this ever happens in NY) and the matter is marked disposed, all a plaintiff has to do is file a motion to restore the action to “active status.” Some orders are just not worth the paper they’re printed on.
Special thanks to Bill Kirrane for his contributions to this post. For more information, please contact Bob Cosgrove at email@example.com.