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Henry A. Platsky v. Stanley Lave

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 2nd, 11th and 13th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


December 8, 2010

HENRY A. PLATSKY,
APPELLANT,
v.
STANLEY LAVE, RESPONDENT.

Appeal from an order of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County (Richard Velasquez, J.), entered August 7, 2008.

Platsky v. Lave

Decided on December 8, 2010

Appellate Term, Second Department

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

PRESENT: RIOS, J.P., PESCE and GOLIA, JJ

The order denied plaintiff's motion to, in effect, set aside a judgment, entered after a non-jury trial, dismissing the complaint.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed without costs.

Plaintiff commenced this defamation action seeking to recover damages in the amount of $25,000. The allegedly defamatory statements were made by defendant in a petition he had filed in Supreme Court, Kings County, in which he stated that plaintiff suffered from a mental illness for which immediate care and treatment were appropriate. Specifically, defendant stated that plaintiff "Henry Platsky has not been hospitalized for mental problems before. He won't take his prescribed medication, and is acting worse. He refused to visit the outpatient clinic . . . Henry [Platsky] becomes violent. He smashes or breaks things. He has assaulted my housekeeper. Henry has made threats to me. Henry threatened my housekeeper. Henry is verbally abusive. He does not talk much. He is depressed and withdrawn from people. Henry has bizarre ideas . . . [Mr. Platsky] is thrashing his home. He ruined window screen by feeding pigeons through [the] window. He speaks to the pigeons. Pigeons are causing damage to the roof. I was presented with a $9,077.00 bill for the damage that Mr. Platsky caused. He needs to be evaluated in a hospital." After a non-jury trial, the Civil Court dismissed the complaint, finding that plaintiff had failed to sustain his burden of proving that the statements in the petition were false or that plaintiff had suffered any injury as a result thereof. Plaintiff subsequently moved, in effect, to set aside the judgment. By order entered August 7, 2008, the Civil Court denied the motion, and the instant appeal by plaintiff ensued.

Upon a review of the record, we find that the Civil Court properly dismissed the complaint. It is undisputed that the allegedly false statements by defendant were made in a petition filed in the Supreme Court and were pertinent to the matter. Consequently, the statements are absolutely privileged (see Martirano v Frost, 25 NY2d 505, 507 [1969]; Fabrizio v Spencer, 248 AD2d 351 [1998]; Allan & Allan Arts v Rosenblum, 201 AD2d 136 [1994]; Grasso v Mathew, 164 AD2d 476 [1991]). Accordingly, the Civil Court's order is affirmed.

Rios, J.P., Pesce and Golia, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: December 08, 2010

20101208

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