Transferring Declaratory Judgment Action from Supreme Court to Surrogate's Court

In Carmel v. Shor, 250 AD2d 475, 476, 672 N.Y.S.2d 866 [1st Dept 1998], the court held that the Surrogate's Court could grant the relief requested, "albeit not necessarily in the form of a declaratory judgment." The First Department relied upon the decision in Matter of Greenwold (236 AD2d 400, 401, 653 N.Y.S.2d 625 [2d Dept 1997]. In that case, the Second Department held: "We find that, although ... the decedent's widow, initiated this matter in the form of an action for a declaratory judgment in the Supreme Court, it was proper for the Supreme Court to transfer it to the Surrogate's Court, in which there was a separate proceeding pending. The issues are relevant to the settlement of the affairs of the decedent, and the Surrogate's Court could grant all the relief requested without issuing a declaratory judgment." The Greenwold decision is controlling. In a proceeding over which the Surrogate's Court has jurisdiction, it can issue the equivalent of a declaratory judgment even though that discrete species of action known as the declaratory judgment action may be reserved to the Supreme Court.