Justice Randy Sue Marber


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Defendants sought to change venue while plaintiff sought dismissal of defendants’ affirmative defenses and counterclaims. Defendants argued Nassau County was not proper, arguing New York County was the proper venue as plaintiff resided there, and defendant Wett Plumbing was a foreign corporation. Plaintiff argued the parties’ agreement contained a fully enforceable venue selection clause allowing plaintiff to commence suit in Nassau. Also, plaintiff alleged defendants waived any claim the action was brought in an inconvenient forum citing a provision within the agreement. The court ruled defendants failed to show that enforcement of the venue selection clause would be unreasonable or contravene public policy, or inclusion of the forum selection clause in the agreement was from fraud or overreaching. Also, defendants failed to show litigation of this suit in Nassau would be so difficult as to deprive them of their day in court. Further, defendants’ claims —the agreement was unenforceable as it was an illegal agreement for the lending of money in exchange of a secured interest in the receivables of Wett at a usurious rate—was meritless, noting a corporation was prohibited from asserting a defense of civil usury. Defendants’ motion was denied, and plaintiff’s granted.