United States District Court, E.D. New York
For the Plaintiff: Elliot Louis Pell, Esq., Florham Park, NJ.
For the Defendant: Stephen David Haber, Esq., Of Counsel, Haber & Haber, Garden City, NY.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
ARTHUR D. SPATT, United States District Judge.
The Plaintiff Marian Campione brought the instant action against the Defendant
Frank Campione, her brother, claiming that he improperly refused to give up his joint tenancy in certain stock that was transferred to the parties in 1973 by another non-party sibling. Presently before the Court is a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (" Fed. R. Civ. P." ) 12(b), filed by the Defendant, asserting that the Plaintiff's causes of action for unjust enrichment and reformation are untimely and her cause of action for a declaratory judgment cannot be maintained. For the reasons set forth below, the Defendant's motion is granted in part and denied in part.
The following facts are drawn from the Plaintiff's Complaint and construed in a light most favorable to the Plaintiff.
The Plaintiff Marian Campione and the Defendant Frank Campione are siblings. Non-party Anne Campione is the parties' sister. Anne Campione was employed as the Comptroller of Sysco Corporation (" Sysco" ) in the 1960s and early 1970s. As part of her compensation, Anne Campione received stock in Sysco. In March 1973, Anne Campione entered a convent to begin a religious vocation as a nun. She is now known as Sister Pia Marie. Consequently, she gave away all of her worldly possessions at that time, including her Sysco stock. She transferred this stock to two of her siblings--the Plaintiff and the Defendant--as joint tenants.
According to the Complaint, at the time the Sysco stock was transferred, Anne Campione told the Plaintiff that although she intended the value of the stock to belong solely to the Plaintiff, she wanted to place the Defendant's name on the stock's account. Anne Campione allegedly explained the motivation underlying this decision to the Plaintiff, stating that because the Defendant's business was in close proximity to the Plaintiff's home and because the Plaintiff was a single woman, he could assist her in the event she needed to sell some of the Sysco stock. The Complaint states that a sale of the Sysco stock was a likely possibility in the future because the Plaintiff was caring for the youngest Campione sibling, who had Down's syndrome. Therefore, although Anne Campione did not intend to give the Defendant any interest in the stock, she transferred it to both parties as joint tenants.
Nevertheless, the Plaintiff alleges that all of the statements and paperwork for the Sysco stock have been sent to her, and that she has paid all federal, state, and local taxes relating to the stock since the transfer. In this regard, she states that the Defendant has never paid any federal, state or local tax related to the Sysco stock. Currently, the stock is being held by Sysco with a value of $1,486,559.40 in the name of " MARIAN CAMPIONE & FRANK J. CAMPIONE JT TEN."
In or about September 2012, the Plaintiff and Sister Pia Maria allegedly requested that the Defendant remove his name from the Sysco account. The Complaint does not explain why they made this demand so many years after the transfer was initially made. However, the Defendant refused to execute the necessary paperwork to do so, although he has admitted that he is not the owner of any portion of the Sysco stock.
Therefore, the Plaintiff now claims that in 1973, Anne Campione had the donative intent to make an irrevocable transfer to the Plaintiff of the Sysco stock. In this regard, she claims that Anne Campione caused to be physically delivered to her documents that indicated that the Plaintiff owned the relevant stock and that ...