When Can a Transferred Action Be Returned to the County of Origin ?

The Court recognizes that there is no case law, other than Cruickshank v. Dukes (167 Misc.2d 378, 639 N.Y.S.2d 683), that deals with the issue of whether an action transferred to this Court's jurisdiction for the purposes of joinder with a related case commenced first in time in Nassau County should be returned to the county of origin upon disposition of the Nassau County action. In Cruickshank, the Court held that the personal injury automobile action transferred from Kings County to Queens County to be joined with the pending related actions in Queens County was improperly transferred in the first place since the transferred action was commenced first in time to the actions it was consolidated with in Queens County. Further, the Court in Cruickshank was concerned with forum-shopping as a basis for transferring the Kings County action to Queens County where the movant had a reasonable expectation that the actions in Queens County would settle, thereby leaving the transferred case from Kings County in the more desirable forum in Queens County. Given these concerns, the Court in Cruickshank issued a blanket ruling that provides that ". . . where venue of an action is changed to effect joinder with other actions pending in another county, upon disposition of those actions, whether by summary judgment, discontinuance, settlement, or otherwise, the transferred action should be returned to the county of origin, assuming that venue was proper in the first instance" (Cruickshank, supra, at 381).