Court Holds Claims of Forged Deeds Not Subject to Time Limits

Joshua E. Kimerling, New York Law Journal

Although the CPLR sets forth an applicable statute of limitations period for virtually all causes of action, and otherwise provides for a catch-all limitations period under CPLR 213(1) for claims that are not specifically delineated, the Court of Appeals has recently held that one particular, and not altogether uncommon, cause of action is not subject to any limitations period. In a remarkable 4-3 holding in Faison v. Lewis, the majority of the Court of Appeals held that a claim alleging forgery of a deed is not subject to any statute of limitations defense.

Although the majority’s opinion is couched in language suggesting adherence to, or a mere extension of, longstanding precedent, in actuality, the court has seemingly departed from prior case law and created an unprecedented and potentially broad rule that forgery claims have no time limitations. Not only are the underpinnings of the majority’s holding subject to considerable debate, but equally questionable is the perceived need for altogether eliminating the statute of limitations for forgery-based claims.
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