Hendra Wargo, appellant,
Paul Henri Jean, et al., defendants, Wilmington Finance, a Division of AIG Federal Savings Bank, respondent. (Action No. 1) Wilmington Finance, a Division of AIG Federal Savings Bank, respondent, v Paul Jean, defendant, Hendra Wargo, appellant.(Action No. 2)
2009-06932 2010-01452 (Index Nos.?4192/06, 8697/06) –
October 26, 2010
WILLIAM F. MASTRO, J.P. JOSEPH COVELLO THOMAS A. DICKERSON SHERI S. ROMAN, JJ. Mary Patricia Papini Guidetti, Middletown, N.Y., for appellant.
Day Pitney LLP, New York, N.Y. (Jonathan M. Borg of counsel), for respondent in Action No. 1.
Law Offices of Jordan S. Katz, P.C., Melville, N.Y. (Michael Lowe of counsel), for respondent in Action No. 2.
Argued-September 30, 2010
Excerpt: Since, at the time Wilmington moved for summary judgment on the complaint in the foreclosure action, the issues of forgery and fraud were also being litigated in the fraud action, the Supreme Court should have granted Wargo’s motion to stay all proceedings in the foreclosure action, pending resolution of the fraud action. If Wargo succeeds in proving that the documents transferring the property to Jean were fraudulent, or that the signatures thereon were forged, then Wilmington’s mortgage is not valid and Wilmington cannot succeed in the foreclosure action (see Johnson v. Melnikoff, 65 AD3d 519, 520; ?GMAC Mtge. Corp. v. Chan, 56 AD3d 521, 522). Moreover, since the Supreme Court did not determine in the foreclosure action that there was no forgery or fraud, but only that the issues of forgery and fraud were irrelevant to the disposition of that action, those issues have not been necessarily decided against Wargo. ? Accordingly, the doctrine of res judicata is inapplicable, and the Supreme Court should not have granted Wilmington’s motion to dismiss the complaint in the fraud action on that ground (see Ryan v. New York Tel. Co., 62 N.Y.2d 494, 500).
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