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Amy Stuart Wells, Plaintiff-Respondent v. Todd W. Serman

New York Supreme and/or Appellate Courts Appellate Division, First Department


February 21, 2012

AMY STUART WELLS, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
TODD W. SERMAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Wells v Serman

Decided on February 21, 2012

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

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

Andrias, J.P., Saxe, Acosta, Freedman, Richter, JJ.

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Deborah A. Kaplan, J.), entered October 15, 2010, which granted plaintiff's motion for an award of interim counsel fees in the amount of $17,850, unanimously reversed, on the law, without costs, and the motion denied. Appeal from order, same court and Justice, entered January 3, 2011, which denied defendant's motion to renew and reargue, unanimously dismissed, without costs, as academic.

Supreme Court's award of interim counsel fees to plaintiff, the monied spouse, based solely on defendant's conduct in delaying the litigation, was improper under Domestic Relations Law § 237. An award of counsel fees under DRL § 237 cannot be made merely to punish a party for claimed discovery delays or for seeking a jury trial on grounds (see Silverman v Silverman, 304 AD2d 41, 47-48 [2003]).

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.

ENTERED: FEBRUARY 21, 2012

CLERK

20120221

© 1992-2012 VersusLaw Inc.



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