Article 1. Short Title, Applicability, Definitions


This chapter shall be known as the civil practice law and rules, and may be cited as “CPLR”.  The civil practice law and rules shall govern the procedure in civil judicial proceedings in all courts of the state and before all judges, except where the procedure is regulated by inconsistent statute.  The civil practice law and rules shall succeed the civil practice act and rules of civil practice and shall be deemed substituted therefor throughout the statutes and rules of the state.  Reference to a provision in the civil practice law and rules may, except when such provision is being enacted or amended, be made without indicating whether it is a rule or section.


The civil practice rules are herein designated “rule”.  Any rule in this chapter may be amended, or rescinded, or additional civil practice rules may be adopted, not inconsistent with the constitution, by act of the legislature.  No rule so amended, rescinded or adopted shall abridge or enlarge the substantive rights of any party.


(a) One form of action.  There is only one form of civil action.  The distinctions between actions at law and suits in equity, and the forms of those actions and suits, have been abolished.

(b) Action or special proceeding.  All civil judicial proceedings shall be prosecuted in the form of an action, except where prosecution in the form of a special proceeding is authorized.  Except where otherwise prescribed by law, procedure in special proceedings shall be the same as in actions, and the provisions of the civil practice law and rules applicable to actions shall be applicable to special proceedings.

(c) Improper form.  If a court has obtained jurisdiction over the parties, a civil judicial proceeding shall not be dismissed solely because it is not brought in the proper form, but the court shall make whatever order is required for its proper prosecution.  If the court finds it appropriate in the interests of justice, it may convert a motion into a special proceeding, or vice-versa, upon such terms as may be just, including the payment of fees and costs.


The civil practice law and rules shall be liberally construed to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every civil judicial proceeding.


(a) Applicability.  Unless the context requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply to the civil practice law and rules.

(b) Action and special proceeding.  The word “action” includes a special proceeding;  the words “plaintiff” and “defendant” include the petitioner and the respondent, respectively, in a special proceeding;  and the words “summons” and “complaint” include the notice of petition and the petition, respectively, in a special proceeding.

(c) Attorney.  The word “attorney” includes a party prosecuting or defending an action in person.

(d) Civil judicial proceeding.  A “civil judicial proceeding” is a prosecution, other than a criminal action, of an independent application to a court for relief.

(e) Clerk.  The word “clerk,” as used in any provision respecting an action or any proceedings therein, means the clerk of the court in which the action is triable.  In supreme and county court, the word “clerk” shall mean the clerk of the county.

(f) Consumer credit transaction.  The term “consumer credit transaction” means a transaction wherein credit is extended to an individual and the money, property, or service which is the subject of the transaction is primarily for personal, family or household purposes.

(g) Court and judge.  The word “court,” as used in any provision concerning a motion, order or special proceeding, includes a judge thereof authorized to act out of court with respect to such motion, order or special proceeding.

(h) Domestic and foreign corporation.  A “domestic corporation” is a corporation created by or under the laws of the state, or a corporation located in the state and created by or under the laws of the United States, or a corporation created by or pursuant to the laws in force in the colony of New York before April nineteenth, seventeen hundred seventy-five.  Every other corporation is a “foreign corporation.”

(i) Garnishee.  A “garnishee” is a person who owes a debt to a judgment debtor, or a person other than the judgment debtor who has property in his possession or custody in which a judgment debtor has an interest.

(j) Infant, infancy.  The word “infant”, as used in this chapter, means a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years.  The word “infancy” means the state of being an infant.

(k) Judgment.  The word “judgment” means a final or interlocutory judgment.

(l) Judgment creditor.  A “judgment creditor” is a person in whose favor a money judgment is entered or a person who becomes entitled to enforce it.

(m) Judgment debtor.  A “judgment debtor” is a person, other than a defendant not summoned in the action, against whom a money judgment is entered.

(n) Judicial hearing officer.  A “judicial hearing officer” means a person so designated pursuant to provisions of article twenty-two of the judiciary law.

(o) Law.  The word “law” means any statute or any civil practice rule.

(p) Matrimonial action.  The term “matrimonial action” includes actions for a separation, for an annulment or dissolution of a marriage, for a divorce, for a declaration of the nullity of a void marriage, for a declaration of the validity or nullity of a foreign judgment of divorce and for a declaration of the validity or nullity of a marriage.

(q) Money judgment.  A “money judgment” is a judgment, or any part thereof, for a sum of money or directing the payment of a sum of money.

(r) Place where action triable.  The place where an action is “triable” means the place where the action is pending;  or, if no action has been commenced, any proper place of trial or any proper place to commence the action;  or, after entry of judgment, the place where the judgment was entered.

(s) Real property.  “Real property” includes chattels real.

(s-1) [Deemed repealed June 30, 2019, pursuant to L.1997, c. 455, § 3 .] The sheriff.  The term “the sheriff”, as used in this chapter, means the county sheriff as defined in subdivision (a) of section thirteen of article thirteen of the constitution and in counties in the city of New York, the city sheriff as defined in section fifteen hundred twenty-six of chapter fifty-eight of the New York city charter.  For the purposes of article fifty-two of this chapter relating to the enforcement of money judgments and for the purposes of any provision of law which in effect applies any such provision of article fifty-two of this chapter, such term shall also mean any “city marshal” as defined in article sixteen of the New York city civil court act, except that city marshals shall have no power to levy upon or sell real property and city marshals shall have no power of arrest.

(t) Type size requirement.  Whenever a requirement relating to size of type is stated in point size, the type size requirement shall be deemed met if the x-height of the type is a minimum of forty-five percent of the specified point size.  Each point shall be measured as .351 millimeter.  The x-height size shall be measured as it appears on the page.  The x-height is the height of the lower case letters, exclusive of ascenders or descenders.

(u) Verified pleading.  A “verified pleading” may be utilized as an affidavit whenever the latter is required.


Where the violation of a right admits of both a civil and criminal prosecution, the one is not merged in the other.


The state administrator shall have the power to adopt, amend and rescind an appendix of forms.  Forms adopted pursuant to this section shall be sufficient under the civil practice law and rules and shall illustrate the simplicity and brevity of statement which the civil practice law and rules contemplate.

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