Submitted - November 27, 2017
Raymond G. Keenan, Shirley, NY, for appellant.
M. Brown, County Attorney, Hauppauge, NY (Elaine M. Barraga
of counsel), for respondent.
E. CHAMBERS, J.P. SHERI S. ROMAN ROBERT J. MILLER COLLEEN D.
DECISION & ORDER
by the defendant from an order of the Supreme Court, Suffolk
County (Joseph C. Pastoressa, J.), dated November 12, 2015.
The order, insofar as appealed from, denied that branch of
the defendant's motion which was for summary judgment
dismissing so much of the complaint as sought to recover
alleged overpayments made on or before April 18, 2006.
that the order is modified, on the law, (1) by deleting the
provision thereof denying that branch of the defendant's
motion which was for summary judgment dismissing so much of
the first cause of action as sought to recover alleged
overpayments made on or before July 1, 2004, and substituting
therefor a provision granting that branch of the
defendant's motion, and (2) by deleting the provisions
thereof denying those branches of the defendant's motion
which were for summary judgment dismissing so much of the
second and third causes of action as sought to recover
alleged overpayments made on or before April 18, 2006, and
substituting therefor provisions granting those branches of
the defendant's motion; as so modified, the order is
affirmed insofar as appealed from, without costs or
County of Suffolk and Suburban Housing & Development
Research, Inc. (hereinafter Suburban), entered into two
agreements pursuant to which Suburban agreed to provide
emergency housing services to homeless residents of Suffolk
County. The first agreement was from July 1, 2002, through
June 30, 2004, and provided the County with two one-year
options to renew. The second agreement was from July 1, 2006,
through June 30, 2010, and also provided the County with two
one-year options to renew.
agreements required Suburban to submit monthly claims for
compensation, which the County was obligated to pay after
approval by its comptroller. The agreements provided that all
payments made under the agreements were ''subject to
audit by the Suffolk County Comptroller.'' The
agreements further provided: "[Suburban] shall maintain
full and complete records of services ... for a period of
seven (7) years, which shall be available for audit and
inspection by . . . the Suffolk County Comptroller." The
agreements stated that in the event "such an audit
disclose[d] overpayments by the County to [Suburban], "
Suburban "shall repay the amount of such
overpayment" within 30 days after the issuance of the
"official audit report." The agreements further
stated that the provisions requiring Suburban to repay the
amounts of overpayment would "survive the expiration or
termination" of the agreements.
County commenced this action on April 18, 2012, asserting
three causes of action. The first cause of action sought to
recover damages for breach of contract, alleging that the
County issued an audit report on July 1, 2011, and that the
report disclosed overpayments from the County to Suburban in
the total sum of $884, 798. These overpayments allegedly were
made from August 1, 2003, through July 31, 2007. The first
cause of action further alleged that, despite the
County's demand for repayment of the amount specified in
the audit report, Suburban failed to make the requested
repayment, thereby breaching the parties' agreements and
causing the County to sustain damages in the total sum of
second cause of action sought to recover $884, 798 under a
theory of money had and received. The second cause of action
specified that the sums to be recovered were paid from August
1, 2003, through July 31, 2007.
third cause of action sought to recover damages for fraud. As
relevant here, the third cause of action alleged that
Suburban made false representations to the County regarding
"costs and expenses in its financial statements, "
and that the "actual costs and expenses incurred"
by Suburban "during the audit period were $884, 798 less
than [Suburban] stated."
issue was joined, Suburban moved, inter alia, for summary
judgment dismissing so much of the complaint as sought to
recover alleged overpayments made on or before April 18,
2006. Suburban contended that all three causes of action were
governed by six-year statutes of limitations, and that all
three causes of action were untimely to the extent that they
sought to recover overpayments that were allegedly made on or
before April 18, 2006. In the order appealed from, the
Supreme Court, among other things, denied that branch of
of action to recover damages for breach of contract is
governed by a six-year statute of limitations (see
CPLR 203[a]). As a general principle, the statute of
limitations begins to run when a cause of action accrues (see
CPLR 203[a]), that is, "when all of the facts necessary
to the cause of action have occurred so that the party would
be entitled to obtain relief in court" (Aetna Life
& Cas. Co. v Nelson,67 N.Y.2d 169, 175; see
Hahn Automotive Warehouse, Inc. v American Zurich Ins.
Co.,18 N.Y.3d 765, 770). "In contract cases, the
cause of action accrues and the Statute of Limitations begins
to run from the time of the breach'' (John J.
Kassner & Co. v City of New York,4 ...