CHERICO STIX ASSOCIATES v. ABRAMSON

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

CHERICO, STIX & ASSOCIATES, Appellant, v. Jack ABRAMSON, Respondent.

Decided: January 27, 1997

Before ROSENBLATT, J.P., and RITTER, FRIEDMANN and FLORIO, JJ. Cherico, Stix & Associates, White Plains, (Wayne P. Stix, of counsel), appellant pro se.

In an action to recover legal fees for services rendered, the plaintiff appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Westchester County (Cowhey, J.), entered April 12, 1996, which granted the defendant's motion to hold the plaintiff in contempt.

ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law, without costs or disbursements, and the motion is denied.

 It is well settled that to succeed on a motion to punish for civil contempt, the moving party must show that the party charged has violated a clear and unequivocal court order and that the violation prejudiced a right of a party to the litigation (see, McCain v. Dinkins, 84 N.Y.2d 216, 616 N.Y.S.2d 335, 639 N.E.2d 1132;  Matter of McCormick v. Axelrod, 59 N.Y.2d 574, 466 N.Y.S.2d 279, 453 N.E.2d 508;  Matter of Ramirez v. New York State Dept. of Health, 219 A.D.2d 724, 631 N.Y.S.2d 740).   While the record supports a finding that the plaintiff had failed to fully comply with the court's earlier disclosure order, the defendant failed to demonstrate that the modest additional delay in compliance impeded or prejudiced his rights.   Accordingly, the court erred in granting the motion (see, Troiano v. Ilaria, 205 A.D.2d 752, 614 N.Y.S.2d 916;  Powell v. Clauss, 93 A.D.2d 883, 461 N.Y.S.2d 413).

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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