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March 16, 2011

Agency’s failure to respond to requests for information does not toll the Statute of Limitations for filing a timely petition

Agency’s failure to respond to requests for information does not toll the Statute of Limitations for filing a timely petition
Troeller v Klein, 2011 NY Slip Op 01874, Appellate Division, First Department

Robert J. Troeller sued the New York City Department of Education [DOE] claiming a breach a stipulation of settlement between the Union and DOE.

Troeller contended that the agreement between the parties was "quite different" from the way DOE was interpreting it. However as the petition to deem the notice timely was brought more than one year after the accrual of the cause of action and his petition was dismissed by the court.

One of the arguments advanced by Troeller: DOE should be estopped from asserting a “late notice of claim” defense because DOE did not respond to his requests for certain information. The Appellate Division said that this argument “is unavailing.”

The court explained that "An estoppel cannot be founded upon [a defendant school district’s] failure to communicate with [a plaintiff] in response to . . . bills”, citing Amsterdam Wrecking & Salvage Co. v Greater Amsterdam School Dist., 83 AD2d 654, affd 56 NY2d 828. “A fortiori*,” the court continued, “an estoppel cannot be founded on [DOE’s] delay in responding to [Troeller’s] requests for information."

* Latin: For or with even stronger reason.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2011/2011_01874.htm
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