Lockett v. Tuff City Records, No. 602900/08, NYLJ 9/25/2009 "Decision of Interest" (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co. Sep. 21, 2009)
Defendants, record labels and their principals, waived right to arbitration by actively participating in judicial forum. Plaintiffs' action sough monies allegedly owed for royalties. Defendants answered, but did not plead arbitration as an affirmative defense. Moreover, the arbitration demand was made nearly eight months into the litigation, after Defendants had made discovery demands. Additionally, defendants failed to establish that plaintiffs' claims were subject to the alleged arbitration clause in a 1986 recording contract because the songs at issue were recorded prior to 1986. Thus, Plaintiffs' motion to permanently stay arbitration granted.
The Court also denied defendants' motion to dismiss for misjoinder of plaintiffs; instead, the court severed the individual plaintiff's claims and ordered them to obtain a no-fee index number and serve their own complaint within 30 days.
Lastly, the Court denied defendants' motion to remove the action to Small Claims court; and denied both plaintiffs' and defendants' motions for sanctions.