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Subtenants, while "proper" parties to a holdover proceeding, are not "necessary" parties whose presence is indispensable to the according of complete relief as between landlord and tenant.
Appellant landlord brought a commercial holdover proceeding against respondents, tenants and subtenants. The Civil Court granted summary judgment dismissing the action on the ground that subtenants, whose names and identities were known to landlord prior to its commencement, were improperly designated as "John Doe" and "Jane Doe", and that the subtenants were necessary parties without whom complete relief could not be accorded. Appellant landlord sought review.
The court acknowledged that N.Y. C.P.L.R. 1024 permitted the use of a fictitious name for the subtenants only where the landlord was ignorant of the name and identity of proper parties, and that dismissal was warranted against the subtenants because their names and identities were concededly known to the landlord prior to commencement of the proceeding. However, the court held that such dismissal was not fatal to the proceeding as it related to the tenants. The subtenants, while "proper" parties to the proceeding, were not "necessary" parties whose presence was indispensable to the according of complete relief as between landlord and tenant. Thus, the petition should not have been dismissed against the tenants. The landlord could apply for joinder of the subtenants as additional named parties, so that any warrant obtained in the proceeding would be effective against them.