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Martinez v. Capitol One, N.A.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

August 20, 2014

GERALDO F. MARTINEZ and JOSEPH CUMMINGS, Plaintiffs,
v.
CAPITOL ONE, N.A., Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

RICHARD J. SULLIVAN, District Judge.

This action by Plaintiffs Geraldo F. Martinez and Joseph Cummings against Defendant Capitol One, N.A. arises out of Defendant's alleged failure to comply with the requirements of the New York Exempt Income Protection Act ("EIPA"). Now before the Court is Plaintiffs' motion to amend. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.

I. BACKGROUND

The Court assumes the parties' familiarity with the factual and procedural background of this case, as set forth in the Court's March 27, 2012 Opinion and Order dismissing Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint. ( See Doc. No. 32 (" Martinez I"); see also Doc. No. 16 ("FAC").) Plaintiffs appealed Martinez I to the Second Circuit, where it was consolidated with the appeal from the March 2, 2012 order of dismissal in Cruz v. TD Bank, N.A., a parallel case before the Honorable P. Kevin Castel. (See 10-cv-8026, Doc. No. 26 (" Cruz I").) On March 27, 2013, the Second Circuit issued an opinion certifying to the New York Court of Appeals two questions posed by Martinez I and Cruz I:

[F]irst, whether judgment debtors have a private right of action for money damages and injunctive relief against banks that violate EIPA's procedural requirements; and
[S]econd, whether judgment debtors can seek money damages and injunctive relief against banks that violate EIPA in special proceedings prescribed by [the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules ("CPLR")] Article 52 and, if so, whether those special proceedings are the exclusive mechanism for such relief or whether judgment debtors may also seek relief in a plenary action.

Cruz v. TD Bank, N.A., 711 F.3d 261, 271 (2d Cir. 2013) (" Cruz II"). On November 21, 2013, the New York Court of Appeals issued an opinion answering the two certified questions. Cruz v. TD Bank, N.A., 979 N.Y.S.2d 257 (N.Y. 2013) (" Cruz III"). In response to the first question, the Court of Appeals answered:

We agree with the District Courts that a private right to bring a plenary action for injunctive relief and money damages cannot be implied from the EIPA - and we therefore answer the first certified question in the negative.

Id. at 268. In response to the second question, the Court of Appeals answered:

[A] judgment debtor can secure relief from a bank arising from a violation of the EIPA in a CPLR article 52 special proceeding as we have explained. And our determination that the legislation created no private right of action compels the conclusion that the statutory mechanisms for relief are exclusive.[1]

Id. Following Cruz III, the Second Circuit issued an opinion on December 18, 2013, affirming Martinez I and Cruz I, and remanding both cases for consideration of the plaintiffs' contemplated motions to amend. Cruz v. TD Bank, N.A., 742 F.3d 520, 523 (2d Cir. 2013) (" Cruz IV").

On February 7, 2014, Plaintiffs in this action filed this motion to amend, seeking leave to file their Proposed Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. No. 39; Doc. No. 40 Ex. 1 ("PSAC"); Doc. No. 41.) Defendant filed its opposition on February 21, 2014 (Doc. No. 42 ("Opp.")), and Plaintiffs replied on March 7, 2014 (Doc. No. 45).

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs in Cruz, who are represented by the same counsel as Plaintiffs here, filed their motion to amend on February 3, 2014. (10-cv-8026, Doc. No. 33.) The proposed second amended complaint filed in Cruz was essentially identical to the PSAC filed by Plaintiffs in this case. ( Compare 10-cv-8026, Doc. No. 34 Ex. I (" Cruz PSAC"), with PSAC.) On April 17, 2014, Judge Castel issued an order denying without prejudice the Cruz plaintiffs' motion. (10-cv-8026, Doc. No. 46 (" Cruz V").) Following a motion for reconsideration, Judge Castel issued an order on June 3, 2014, modifying one aspect of Cruz V. (10-cv-8026, Doc. No. 53 (" Cruz VI").)[2] As discussed ...


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