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How long can a lawsuit case stay active after an Answer and Counterclaims is not responded to by the party initiating the suit?

Nassau, NY |

Summons was served by the other party, Answer and counterclaims were made and sent several months ago but no response. They have not responded or provided any deposition requests. Their claims were false to start and documents exist to prove this from the Building dept.

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Attorney answers 4


If you desire to press your counterclaims, or, for that matter, get rid of the case, you need to get court orders for compliance. Assuming you're in Supreme Court, Nassau County, you should pay the requisite filing fee and ask for a preliminary conference with the Judge.

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If it's your action or counterclaim, no one is going to press the issue unless you do. I suggest you file for a discovery conference so a judge can monitor the flow of the case.

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Assuming that no Preliminary Conference has been held, and that neither side has made any applications to the court, your case could hang around indefinitely. The court won't do anything with the case until one of the parties files a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) and asks the court to take some action, whether that is scheduling a Preliminary Conference, or deciding a motion.

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How long can this case be valid? Is there a statute of limitation? Does the court dismiss the case after a number of years pass?

Paul Karl Siepmann

Paul Karl Siepmann


If there has been no court involvement in the case, the court isn't going to do anything. They basically don't know about it until it is entered in the court's data base at the time an RJI is filed and processed. While there is a statute of limitations for the underlying causes of action, there is no such clear cut date when it comes to dismissing a case for failure to prosecute. If you have an attorney, you should ask them to clarify the status of the case for you.


Let sleeping dogs lie. After a year from the last activity in the case, file a motion with the court to dismiss for failure to prosecute. You have to wait the full year. Consult CPLR 3216. If you don't know what I mean, contact a lawyer.

I am an attorney admitted solely in NY. None of the answers I submit on this forum constitutes legal advice, even to questioners in NY, and no attorney-client relationship is hereby created.

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