Assignment of Cases to the Commercial Division

Attorneys who seek assignment of an action to the Commercial Division must submit a Request for Judicial Intervention (UCS 840, July 2012 version or later) marked to reflect that the case involved is a commercial one, together with a completed Commercial Division RJI Addendum (UCS 840C) certifying that the case meets the requirements of the Division set forth in Uniform Rule 202.70 (a), (b), and (c). Uniform Rule 202.70 (d). If the Commercial Division Addendum is not submitted, the clerk will assign the case at random to a non-Division Part. As to RJI's in commercial international arbitration matters, see the Administrative Order relating thereto and below.

The monetary threshold in the New York County Commercial Division, which is generally applicable, is an amount in controversy of $ 500,000 or more (exclusive of punitive damages, interest, costs, disbursements, and counsel fees). If the case is designated a commercial one and the Addendum is submitted, the clerk will review the pleadings to determine whether the amount in controversy in the case meets the monetary threshold or whether an exception to the threshold applies. There are two categories of exception. First, the threshold is not applicable and the case may be assigned to the Division if it seeks equitable or declaratory relief. Uniform Rule 202.70 (b). Second, the threshold is not applicable and the case may be assigned to the Division if the action is a shareholder derivative action or a commercial class action; seeks dissolution of a corporation or other business entity; or seeks to stay or compel arbitration or affirm or disaffirm an arbitration award or seeks related injunctive relief where the applicable arbitration agreement provides for the arbitration to be heard outside the United States. Other applications involving commercial arbitration are subject to the threshold. Uniform Rule 202.70 (b) (4), (5), (11), (12). In this review the clerk will not consider whether the case is otherwise the type of matter eligible for assignment to the Division, as provided in Rule 202.70 (b) and (c), which shall be a question for the Division Justice. If the clerk's review determines that the threshold is not met and the matter does not fall within one of the exceptions, the clerk will assign the case at random to a General Assignment Part. If the threshold is met or if an exception applies, the clerk will assign the case at random to a Commercial Division Justice, who will review the case to ensure that it is one that properly belongs in the Division as provided by Rule 202.70 (b) and (c). See Subd. (f) (1).

The Chief Administrative Judge, with the advice and consent of the Administrative Board, has issued an Administrative Order, dated July 1, 2014, that amends Uniform Rule 202.70 (d) and (e) effective September 2, 2014 to establish a deadline for the filing of a Request for Judicial Intervention seeking assignment to the Commercial Division. Subdivision (d) provides that any party may seek an assignment to the Commercial Division within 90 days following service of the complaint and that failure to file an RJI as set forth in that subdivision precludes a party from seeking such an assignment, with exceptions set out in subdivision (e). The amendment is to apply only to cases filed on or after the effective date.

In view of this Order, the clerk will also examine the case file in the electronic filing system whenever an RJI accompanied by a Commercial Division Addendum is filed seeking a Division assignment to determine whether the RJI is being filed within 90 days from service of the complaint. If the RJI is being filed beyond the 90-day period, the clerk will assign the case to a General Assignment Part even if the matter would have been assigned to the Division had it been filed within the deadline. If the clerk cannot determine when the complaint was served, the matter shall be assigned as explained earlier.

Where an RJI is untimely, counsel may, pursuant to subdivision (e), seek a transfer of a case to the Division by letter application to the Administrative Judge showing good cause for the delay.

The rules provide for application to the Administrative Judge to review certain assignment determinations. Any such application must be made in a timely manner. Uniform Rule 202.70 (e) and (f) (2).