Corporate Service Bureau v. Law Firm of Hall & Hall

Civil Practice

New York Law Journal

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Judge Orlando Marrazzo Jr.

Service Bureau Inc. sought to recover under theories of unjust enrichment and account stated for services provided to the Law Firm of Hall & Hall. The firm sought dismissal, arguing the claims were time-barred by the statute of limitations. In a case of apparent first impression, the court applied the Court of Appeals' recent holding in HaHn Automotive Warehouse v. American Zurich Insurance. Further, a line of Appellate Division precedent held that where a claim was for payment of funds allegedly owed under a contract, the claim accrued when the party making the claim possessed a legal right to demand payment, not when it actually made the demand. Thus, the court found Service Bureau's claims for unjust enrichment were barred, rejecting its claim that the correct date when the limitations period began to run was the date when it allegedly made the demand for payment. It ruled, as the HaHn court found, that to hold otherwise would permit potential plaintiffs to extend the statute of limitations indefinitely by merely failing to make a demand. Also, in granting dismissal, the court found Services Bureau failed to prove the existence of a valid account or establish a claim for an account stated.

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