Two and a half years we have been awaiting oral argument that has been fully briefed since December 2015.
That is a really long time to wait for appellate review on a simple issue.
There must be a dispute before the court at all times. Sounds simple, and it is.
It is so simple it is a basic tenet of the judicial system our forefathers implemented more than two centuries ago.
If one does not allege a dispute when filing the initiating papers, the power of the court is never invoked. Simple enough.
It gets interesting when the dispute goes away during the case.
The plaintiff and the defendant could settle the case stripping the dispute and jurisdiction would go away.
The plaintiff could withdraw the complaint stripping the dispute and jurisdiction would go away.
Another way, although not the last possible way, was implemented by the New York State Legislature under CPLR 3215c where the legislature codified what circumstances of inaction are tantamount to a passive withdrawal, failing to seek a default judgment within 365 days of default.
Yup, the plaintiff can sit on its hands for 365 days after you have passed that time allotted to you to respond in some fashion to the complaint.
On the 365th day, the complaint ceases to exist and the court no longer has any power over the parties.
The history of the statute seems to go all the way back to 1869 as it mirrors the Supreme Court Case of Ex Parte Mccardle.
That decision references THE basic tenet of jurisdiction. No dispute=No Jurisdiction.