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Standard Charter Bank v. Gosaibi

Supreme Court of New York, First Department

October 24, 2013

Standard Charter Bank, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
Ahman Hamad Al Gosaibi and Brothers Company, et al., Defendants-Appellants.

Lewis Baach PLLC, New York (Bruce R. Grace of counsel), for appellants.

Hogan Lovells U.S. LLP, New York (Marc J. Gottridge of counsel), for respondent.

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Ellen M. Coin, J.), entered December 14, 2012, which denied defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint seeking to enforce a foreign money judgment, and granted plaintiff's cross motion for summary judgment in the amount of the judgment plus interest, unanimously affirmed, with costs.

Contrary to defendants' contention, the proceeding that resulted in the underlying judgment in the Bahrain Center for Dispute Resolution was not a compulsory arbitration, but a judicial proceeding. Thus, there is no special requirement for appeals and no other due process violation in defendants' being required to litigate in that tribunal (see Mount St. Mary's Hosp. of Niagara Falls v Catherwood, 26 N.Y.2d 493, 505 [1970]). While the procedures of the tribunal are more restrictive than those of New York courts, they are not unlike those of many civil law jurisdictions the judgments of which are enforceable in New York. Having had notice of the hearing and an opportunity to be heard (of which they took advantage), defendants were afforded due process, even if the procedures were not as generous as those of New York (see CIBC Mellon Trust Co. v Mora Hotel Corp., 100 N.Y.2d 215, 222 [2003], cert denied 540 U.S. 948 [2003]). Nor was plaintiff required to plead the absence of each ground for non-enforcement of the judgment that might be available as a defense under CPLR 5304. Plaintiff alleged that the judgment was "conclusive." It thus alleged, implicitly, that none of the CPLR 5304 factors were present. Under the rule requiring that pleadings be afforded a liberal construction, this is sufficient.


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