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New York Civil Practice: CPLR
Copyright 2017, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

7-3217 New York Civil Practice: CPLR 3217.syn


Voluntary Discontinuance


David L. Ferstendig

Chapter Summary


This chapter discusses CPLR R3217, Voluntary Discontinuance, which authorizes a party to unilaterally discontinue a claim by giving written notice within 20 days after service of a pleading asserting the claim. The chapter explains the effect of service of a responsive pleading in terminating the right to discontinue by notice. In addition, the chapter considers the provisions in CPLR R3217 for dismissal by stipulation of all parties and voluntary discontinuance pursuant to a court order.

The chapter examines the history and required procedures under CPLR R3217; the limitations on discontinuance as of right; the court's discretion to order discontinuance; the effect of counterclaims or cross-claims; terms and conditions that may be imposed by the court; the procedure for a motion to discontinue; and discontinuance without prejudice.

Finally, this chapter includes a historical appendix discussing the amendments and legislative and judicial reports relating to CPLR R3217, references to related New York State and federal rules, and law reviews discussing CPLR R3217.

New York Civil Practice: CPLR (more commonly known as Weinstein, Korn & Miller) is the leading treatise on New York civil procedure and litigation, and is cited frequently by New York State and Federal courts as the authority on civil practice issues. It provides in-depth analysis and interpretation of New York's Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR), along with expert guidance and information on common and complex procedural issues facing New York civil law practitioners.


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For a discussion of dismissal of abandoned cases, see CPLR 3404, Dismissal of Abandoned Cases.

For a discussion of dismissal for failure to make disclosure, see CPLR 3126, Penalties for Refusal to Comply with Order to Disclose; and CPLR 3124, Failure to Disclose; Motion to Compel Disclosure.

For a discussion of service requirements generally, see CPLR Article 3, Test Jurisdiction and Service, Appearance and Choice of Court.

For a discussion of actions barred by the statute of limitations, see CPLR 205, Termination of Action.

For a discussion of a defendant's request to be relieved from a default, see CPLR R5015, Relief from Judgment or Order.

For a discussion of the complaint or notice to be served on a defendant, see CPLR R305, Summons; Supplemental Summons; Amendment.


For valuable insights, checklists, and practice pointers on civil litigation practices in New York, see LexisNexis AnswerGuide New York Civil Litigation (Matthew Bender).

For discussion and guidance on handling appeals before New York courts, see New York Appellate Practice (Matthew Bender).

For coverage of civil litigation practice and procedure in New York federal courts, see Federal Litigation Guide: New York and Connecticut (Matthew Bender).
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