MELVILLE, N.Y. — North Fork Bancorp said a Delaware court ruled in its favor in declaring that the class of directors nominated for reelection by Dime Bancorp were not reelected to new three-year terms.

The decision by the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware means that about two-thirds of Dime’s board of directors will stand for reelection at Dime’s 2001 annual meeting of stockholders.

North Fork, which in September dropped a hostile takeover bid for Dime, will run an opposing slate of directors at that meeting. On Nov. 1 the two companies dropped lawsuits against each other that had stemmed from North Fork’s hostile bid for Dime.

In a separate press release, Dime said it was reviewing the Delaware court’s decision, including whether to seek an appeal.

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