Grosvenor v. Santiago

Real Property

New York Law Journal


Justice Debra Silber

Interlandi, a notary, moved for summary judgment dismissing Grosvenor's complaint against her in this action for damages plaintiff allegedly sustained in an allegedly fraudulent conveyance. The complaint alleged causes of action for fraud against Interlandi in her capacity as a notary. Grosvenor sought to stay the foreclosure proceedings against her home in a different action after an alleged attempt to refinance led to Grosvenor unwittingly signing over the home to "straw buyer" Santiago. Interlandi testified she never met Santiago before the closing, and never heard "refinance" used at the closing. She claimed she was unaware of a problem until she was served. She argued there was no evidence of misconduct on her part, nor evidence that she was the proximate cause of Grosvenor's damages. The court agreed, noting there was no cause of action for notarial misconduct absent injury, and while a notary could be held liable for damages caused by misconduct in the performance of her duties, there was no evidence to support a finding of misconduct under Executive Law §135. As no misrepresentations or misconduct existed, plaintiff could not demonstrate an injury as a result, and the fraud claims were dismissed.

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