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Bringing a Breach of Contract Claim in New York: Jurisdiction Is Key


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1/1/2016
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When bringing a claim for breach of contract, it is not always immediately clear which state has jurisdiction over the matter. While you may prefer to bring your breach of contract claim in New York, it may not be a possibility. The defendant in your action must have at least “minimal contacts” with the state for proper jurisdiction to exist. New York has a long-arm statute that more clearly describes these contacts.

A recent lawsuit brought by a former employee of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia serves as a good example of a party who wanted New York state law to apply to his claim for breach of contract. Since the statute of limitations in New York for breach of contract is six years, and the statute is only one year in Delaware for actions pertaining to work-related matters, the employee fought for New York law to apply. Unfortunately for his case, the judge disagreed with his arguments in support of that claim. 

Examples of instances that might demonstrate a sufficient amount of contact for New York to have jurisdiction include:

  • Engaging in ongoing business within the state
  • Contracting to supply goods or services within the state
  • Negotiating or executing a contract within the state, and later returning to the state to meet with the parties to the agreement
  • Including a choice of law clause within a contract that makes the agreement subject to New York law

When making the determination as to whether a claim for New York breach of contract can be heard within the state, the court will look at the facts and circumstances surrounding the matter. To learn more about bringing a claim and for help evaluating whether your claim can be brought in the state, contact an experienced New York breach of contract attorney for more information. Call our office today at (888) 497-3410 for a free consultation.



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