Judge Ruben Franco

Ark of Safety Fellowship brought a breach of contract action against New York City, which moved for summary judgment arguing the parties did not have a contractual relationship. Ark alleged the city interfered with a lease which Ark, as landlord, executed with its tenant. The court noted that after a review of Ark’s submissions it believed the action should have been one for tortious interference. As such, the court stated the notice of claim requirements in General Municipal Law §§50-e and 50-i applied. It stated that these mandatory statutory provisions were applicable even where a party chose to pursue its claims in the Small Claims part of Civil Court. Thus, the court dismissed Ark’s action for its failure to serve a notice of claim upon the city. The court stated such result would not be any different if it were to consider Ark’s breach of contract claim, noting the Appellate Division recently stated that when the city agrees to provide a rent subsidy, as here, the city does not become a contracting party. It stated the city was merely fulfilling its governmental obligation as a social services provider. Therefore, the court denied Ark’s claim and dismissed the action.