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Cases - New York

In International Fidelity Insurance Co. v. City of New York, 263 F.Supp.2d 619 (E.D. N.Y. 2003) the surety challenged on constitutional grounds the practice of entering judgment of forfeiture against the surety without any prior notice to the surety.  The many counts in the complaint included both specific bonds on which such judgments were entered and general challenges to the procedure.  The court seemed to agree with the surety that the failure to give advance notice was a constitutional violation but nevertheless avoided ruling on the merits of the claims.  The court held that it lacked jurisdiction over the counts of the complaint addressing specific bonds because they could have been raised in the state court by moving for relief from the judgments.  The court also held that the general challenges to the procedure did not present an actual case or controversy because the entry of judgment did not deprive the surety of any constitutionally protected property right.  The court, after having the case for over three years, dismissed it on jurisdiction and standing grounds without actually deciding the merits of any of the claims.

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