New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

PRINCE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-001-020, Claim No. 88228, Motion No. M-61542


Synopsis


The Court finds no valid reason why the proffered Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance should not be signed and allow distribution of the settlement proceeds; the "so ordered" stipulation will be filed simultaneously with this decision.

Case Information

UID:
2000-001-020
Claimant(s):
SHARINA PRINCE, as Administratrix of the Estate of MAUREEN PRINCE, deceased, and SHARINA PRINCE, Individually
Claimant short name:
PRINCE
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
88228
Motion number(s):
M-61542
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
SUSAN PHILLIPS READ
Claimant's attorney:
Finz and Finz, P.C.By: Jay Feigenbaum, Esq.
Defendant's attorney:
Hon. Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Katharine S. Brooks, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
June 2, 2000
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

The following papers were read and considered on the Court's motion for an Order to Show Cause why it should not permit distribution of the settlement proceeds: Order to Show Cause, dated April 18, 2000 and filed April 19, 2000; revised Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance, dated March 8, 2000 and received May 12, 2000; original Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance, dated March 8, 2000 and received March 27, 2000; and Letter from City of New York Human Resources Administration to Finz & Finz, dated March 20, 2000.

This action, which was commenced by Sharina Prince ("claimant") on her own behalf and as administratrix of the estate of Maureen Prince, has been settled. A Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance was submitted to the Court on March 27, 2000 (Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance, dated March 8, 2000 and received March 27, 2000 ["original stipulation"]). That document included a statement that "no person not a party has an interest in the subject matter."

After the original stipulation had been signed by the attorney for claimant but before it reached the Court, the City of New York Human Resources Administration ("HRA") wrote to claimant's counsel, indicating that the New York City Department of Social Services had provided public assistance to Maureen Prince and has a claim pursuant to Social Services Law §§ 101, 104, and 369 as a preferred creditor. The letter stated that the amount of this claim was being calculated and would be forwarded to counsel in one or two months (Letter from Joyce Chase, Administrative Associate, City of New York Human Resources Administration to Finz & Finz, dated March 20, 2000 ["HRA letter"]).

The Court was informed of the HRA letter and, to clarify matters before permitting payment of the settlement, issued an Order to Show Cause requesting written submissions setting forth any reason why the Court should not sign the Stipulation and allow distribution of the settlement proceeds. The Order to Show Cause was served on the HRA, as well as on the parties (Order to Show Cause, dated April 18, 2000 and filed April 19, 2000 as Motion No. M-61542).

The only submission received by the Court after the Order to Show Cause was issued was a revised Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance (revised Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance, dated March 8, 2000 and received May 12, 2000 ["revised stipulation"]). With one exception, the revised stipulation is identical to the original stipulation: the statement in the original stipulation that "no person not a party has an interest in the subject matter" has been replaced in the revised stipulation with the statement that "no person not a party has asserted a lien in the subject matter." Both claimant and defendant State of New York have re-affirmed that they stand ready and willing to have the stipulation signed by the Court.

Inasmuch as the HRA has made no response to the Order to Show Cause, the Court finds that there is no valid reason for declining to sign the proffered Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance. The "so ordered" stipulation will be filed simultaneously with this decision.

June 2, 2000
Albany, New York

HON. SUSAN PHILLIPS READ
Judge of the Court of Claims