Discrimination Lawsuit Venue Change, From Bronx to Manhattan, Upheld

In Montgomery v ELRAC, Enterprise Holdings, No. 15181, 2021-03162, 25814/16E, 2022 N.Y. Slip Op. 00508, 2022 WL 243072 (NY App. Div. 1 Dept. Jan. 27, 2022), an employment discrimination action, the court affirmed the lower court’s order granting defendants’ motion to change venue from Bronx County to New York County (Manhattan).

When plaintiff commenced this action, she designated Bronx County as the venue, based on her residence. She reiterated this in her amended complaint. During plaintiff’s deposition, she testified that, in the prior 12 years, she lived exclusively in Manhattan and Brooklyn. She did not seek to correct any errors in her deposition. Defendants served formal post-deposition discovery demands, to which plaintiff did not respond.

In response to defendants’ motion to change the venue of the action to NY County, plaintiff cross-moved to retain venue in the Bronx, relying on documents which, per the court, “were inadmissible and lacked probative value.” The court granted defendant’s motion.

Now, the First Department affirms. It rejected plaintiff’s argument that the lower court abused its discretion in granting defendant’s untimely motion, noting that “[a] trial court may exercise its discretion and grant such a motion when the defendant’s delay can be attributed to plaintiff’s willful omissions or misleading statements and the defendant moves promptly after ascertaining the truth about plaintiff’s residence.”

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