Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lack of subject matter jurisdiction in a Human Rights Law claim.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division determined that, because the alleged conduct occurred while plaintiff was physically situated outside of New York, none of her concrete allegations of harassing behavior or other discriminatory conduct had the impact  plaintiff in New York required to support claims under the State and City Human Rights Laws. Plaintiff's Human Rights Law claims were dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, since the statutes do not apply to the conduct at issue, pursuant to CPLR 3211[a][2]

Student note:  The Appellate Division rejected plaintiff's argument that, because she filed New York State nonresident income tax returns and paid income taxes here, she is entitled to the protections, benefits and values of New York government, including the State and City Human Rights Laws. Whether New York courts have subject matter jurisdiction over a nonresident plaintiff's claims under those statutes turns primarily on her physical location at the time of the alleged discriminatory acts, and not on her taxpayer status.

Case:  Benham v. eCommission Solutions, LLC, NY Slip Op 04695 (1st Dept. 2014)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue: The traverse hearing officer's determination is reversed.