Legal Memorandum: Effect of a Declaratory Judgment in NY

Issue: Does a declaratory judgment by the supreme court have the same effect as a final judgment in New York?

Area of Law: Business Organizations & Contracts, Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Declaratory judgment; Effect of final judgment; Personal injury or wrongful death
Jurisdiction: New York
Cited Cases: 790 N.E.2d 257; 462 N.Y.S.2d 256; 760 N.Y.S.2d 84; 425 N.Y.S.2d 68; 49 N.Y.2d 224
Cited Statutes: N.Y. C.P.L.R. 3001
Date: 04/01/2013


N.Y. C.P.L.R. 3001 (“The supreme court may render a declaratory judgment having the effect of a final judgment as to the rights and other legal relations of the parties to a justiciable controversy whether or not further relief is or could be claimed.  If the court declines to render such a judgment it shall state its grounds.  A party who has brought a claim for personal injury or wrongful death against another party may maintain a declaratory judgment action directly against the insurer of such other party, as provided in paragraph six of subsection (a) of section three thousand four hundred twenty of the insurance law.)

Solnick v. Whalen, 49 N.Y.2d 224, 229-30, 401 N.E.2d 190, 193-94, 425 N.Y.S.2d 68, 71-72 (1980) (limitations period for declaratory-judgment action is determined by examining substance of action, identifying relationship out of which claim arises and relief sought and whether specific procedural remedy exists; “[i]f no other form of proceeding exists . . . the six-year limitation of CPLR 213(1) will then be applicable”).

Pacchiana v. Pacchiana, 94 A.D.2d 721, 462 N.Y.S.2d 256 (2d Dep’t 1983) (action to rescind antenuptial agreement on basis that wife had been coerced through duress or undue influence into signing (voidable agreement); six-year statute for equity actions applied to bar action on voidable agreement; question of fact existed as to whether wife acknowledged her signature (void rather than voidable agreement) and “statute of limitations is not a defense to […]

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