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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I would like to know if I could use a laches defense based

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I would like to know if I could use a laches defense based on the plaintiff's(landlord) purposely continued failure to serve papers on defendant(tenant), after a traverse hearing gave proper address notification in motion.
Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would like to assist you today.

You can use the defense of Laches in New York whenever it is shown that the Plaintiff unreasonably delayed in enforcing their rights to the prejudice of the other party.

In practice, this second portion is usually the most difficult part of the defense to show (particularly in instances where it is clear the plaintiff failed to sue as early as they could have). See generally Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, Inc. v. Pataki, 100 N.Y.2d 801, 816 (2003), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 1017. “[A] mere lapse of time, without a showing of prejudice, will not sustain a defense of laches.” This means the defendant must show they changed some material position (lost evidence, ability to contact witnesses, or some other prejudice resulting specifically from the delay). See generally Skrodelis v. Norbergs, 707 N.Y.S.2d 197, 198 (N.Y.App.Div. 2000)

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