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Alesawy v. Badawi

Supreme Court, Westchester County

July 6, 2017

Wael Mounir Alesawy, Plaintiff,
v.
Sandy Mohamed Badawi, Defendant.

          McCarthy Fingar LLP, Robert H. Rosh, Esq., Attorneys for Plaintiff.

          Awad & Khoury, LLP, Abed Awad, Esq. Attorneys for Defendant.

          HON. WILLIAM J. GIACOMO, J.S.C.

         In an action commenced by a motion for summary judgment in lieu of complaint seeking recognition and enforcement of a foreign country money judgment, pursuant to article 53 of the CPLR, awarding plaintiff the aggregate amount of $116, 681.99 (1) the defendant moves to dismiss the complaint, pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (7); and (2) the plaintiff moves for leave to renew and reargue his prior motion for summary judgment in lieu of complaint, pursuant to CPLR 2221:

         Papers Considered

         Notice of Motion/Affirmation of Abed Awad, Esq./Exhibits A-H/Letter brief;

         Notice of Cross Motion/Affirmation of Robert H. Rosh, Esq./Exhibits A-B;

         Affidavit of Hassan Elhais and Awatif Khouri;

         Affidavit of Sandy Mohamad Badawi/Exhibit A;

         Affirmation of Abed Awad/Reply Memorandum of Law.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         The parties were married in May 1998 in a New York civil ceremony, and, thereafter, were married in New York in a religious ceremony under Islamic law (see Badawi v. Alesawy, 135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792 [2d Dept 2016]). In March 2002, the parties purchased a house in Westchester County for approximately $395, 000. On June 1, 2006, the parties purchased a villa in Egypt in the amount of EGP1, 246, 227.

         In the fall of 2006, the plaintiff husband received a job offer in Abu Dhabi, one of seven Emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Thereafter, the parties and their two children moved to Abu Dhabi (see S.B. v. W.A., 38 Misc.3d 780, 785 [NY Sup. Ct. 2012]).

         Judgment of Divorce

         While living in Abu Dhabi, the defendant wife sought and obtained a judgment of divorce against the plaintiff husband in the Abu Dhabi courts. The judgment of divorce awarded the defendant custody of the parties' two children and financial relief, including an award of $250, 000 pursuant to the parties' mahr agreement. [1]

         The defendant wife commenced a previous action in New York for a judgment declaring that the foreign judgment of divorce was valid and enforceable in New York and thereafter moved to enforce the judgment of divorce and mahr agreement. In an order entered September 27, 2012, the Supreme Court, Westchester County (Connolly, J.), granted the defendant wife's motion to enforce the foreign judgment of divorce awarding her $250, 000 pursuant to the mahr agreement (see S.B. v. W.A., 38 Misc.3d 780).

         The plaintiff husband appealed and the order was affirmed (see Badawi v. Alesawy, 135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792');">135 A.D.3d 792 [2d Dept 2016]).

         Judgment Awarding Plaintiff Carrying Costs on the New York and Egypt Properties

         While the defendant and the parties' children were living in Abu Dhabi, plaintiff husband commenced a separate action against the defendant wife in the Court of First Instance in Abu Dhabi, Commercial Circuit.

         The decision of the Hon. Francesca E. Connolly sets forth a complete recitation of the court system in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi court system is composed of three layers of adjudication: Court of First Instance; the Court of Appeal; and the Court of Cassation. The Court of First Instance has jurisdiction over civil, criminal, and personal status cases (see S.B. v. W.A., 38 Misc.3d at 787). Personal status cases include marriage, divorce, child custody, and other family disputes (Id.). For personal status matters, state courts have jurisdiction where citizens or aliens have a domicile, residence, or place of business in the UAE (Id.). The provisions of the Personal Status Law apply to UAE residents who are not citizens unless one of the parties requests that the law of their home state be applied (Id.).

         Plaintiff alleged, in that action, that the defendant was required to share equally in the mortgage payments for the property in the United States as well as the villa in Egypt and that she failed to contribute to the carrying costs. The defendant asserted counterclaims alleging that she paid the expenses of their children and other expenses of the household that should be ...


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