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New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
CUELLAR v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2021-059-053, Claim No. 135824, Motion No. M-97075

Synopsis

Case information

UID: 2021-059-053
Claimant(s): F.C., an infant by her mother and natural guardian, FLOR CUELLAR a/k/a FLOR DE MARIA MELENDEZ DE CUELLAR, and FLOR CUELLAR individually
Claimant short name: CUELLAR
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 135824
Motion number(s): M-97075
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: MAUREEN T. LICCIONE
Claimant's attorney: Law Office of Larry Rosenfeld, P.C.
By: Larry Rosenfeld, Esq.
For Claimants:
No Appearance
Defendant's attorney: HON. LETITIA JAMES, ATTORNEY GENERAL
By: Ellen Hopkins, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: September 16, 2021
City: Hauppauge
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

By order to show cause dated July 21, 2021, Larry Rosenfeld, Esq. (Movant) moved for an order: (1) allowing him to withdraw as counsel for claimants F.C., an infant by her mother and natural guardian, FLOR CUELLAR a/k/a FLOR DE MARIA MELENDEZ DE CUELLAR, and FLOR CUELLAR individually (Claimants); and (2) to convert the amended claim to a notice of intention to file a claim. The defendant, State of New York, submitted an affirmation in response stating it takes no position on the matter but requested that not more than a 90-day stay be granted and that the claim be dismissed if Claimants fail to resume prosecution of their case within that 90-day period. Claimants did not respond to the order to show cause which was served in accordance with its terms.

"As a general rule, an attorney may terminate the attorney-client relationship at any time for a good and sufficient cause and upon reasonable notice" (Rivardeneria v New York City Health and Hosps. Corp., 306 AD2d 394, 395 [2d Dept 2003]).

Here, the uncontroverted allegations are that an irreconcilable difference of opinion has arisen between Claimants and counsel. Such irreconcilable differences between the attorney and the client with respect to the proper course to be pursued constitute good cause sufficient to merit granting the withdrawal of counsel (see Lake v M.P.C. Trucking Inc., 279 A.D. 2d 813 [3d Dept 2001]).

Counsel has provided no legal basis or justification for converting the claim to a notice of intention to file a claim.

Therefore, it is:

ORDERED, that Movant's motion to withdraw as counsel is granted; and it is further

ORDERED, that Movant is directed to mail a copy of this Decision and Order to Claimants by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail, at their last known address within 10 business days of the filing of the Decision and Order. Upon filing of proof of such service with the Court, Movant shall be relieved as counsel for Claimants; and it is further

ORDERED, that all proceedings in this action are stayed for ninety (90) days from the date of filing of this Decision and Order; and it is further

ORDERED, that within ninety (90) days of the filing of this Decision and Order, Claimants shall retain new counsel to represent them and such counsel shall serve and file a notice of appearance. Should Claimants not secure new counsel and wish to represent themselves or do not wish to pursue this claim, Claimants shall notify the Court of such within ninety (90) days of the filing of this Decision and Order; and it is further

ORDERED, that if a notice of appearance or notification to the Court pursuant to the previous paragraph is not filed within ninety (90) days of the filing of this Decision and Order, then the claim will be dismissed; and it is further

ORDERED, that Movant's motion to convert the amended claim to a notice of intention to file a claim is denied.

September 16, 2021

Hauppauge, New York

MAUREEN T. LICCIONE

Judge of the Court of Claims