New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

PRINCE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-001-037, Claim No. 88228, Motion No. M-61542


Synopsis


The Court finds that there remains no reason why it should not sign the executed Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance and permit distribution of the settlement proceeds.

Case Information

UID:
2000-001-037
Claimant(s):
SHARINA PRINCE, as Administratrix of the Estate of MAUREEN PRINCE, deceased
Claimant short name:
PRINCE
Footnote (claimant name) :
This claim was originally brought by Maureen Prince. Upon her death, Sharina Prince was appointed Administratrix and has continued the action (see, Daily Report of Stephen Weinberg dated April 22, 1996 and Letters of Administration issued February 22, 2000).
Defendant(s):
STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
The original claim names "The State of New York" and "State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn" as defendants. The Court of Claims has no jurisdiction to hear claims against individuals or entities other than the State of New York; therefore, the Court sua sponte has amended the caption to reflect the only proper defendant (see, Court of Claims Act § 9).
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 L. Feigenbaum, Esq.
Defendant's attorney:
Hon. Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Katharine S. Brooks, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
July 7, 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 and filed April 19, 2000; revised Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance, dated March 8 and received April 21, 2000; original Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance, dated March 8 and received March 27, 2000; Letter, City of New York Human Resources Administration to Finz & Finz, dated March 20, 2000; Letter of Jay L. Feigenbaum, Esq., dated June 14 and received June 19, 2000, with annexed Letter from City of New York Human Resources Administration to Finz & Finz, dated May 18, 2000.

A Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance was submitted to the Court on March 27, 2000 (Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance, dated March 8 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 Sharina Prince ("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 therefore, pursuant to Social Services Law §§ 101, 104, and 369, has a claim as a preferred creditor. The letter stated that the amount of the Department's 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 and filed April 19, 2000 as Motion No. M-61542).

The parties have submitted a revised Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance (revised Stipulation of Settlement and Discontinuance, dated March 8 and received April 21, 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.

Although HRA made no submission to the Court in response to the Order to Show Cause, that agency continued negotiations with claimant's attorneys and, in a letter dated May 18, 2000, wrote to confirm that the sum of $13,000.00 would be accepted as payment in full on the claim against the settlement proceeds. Counsel for claimant has assured the Court that upon receipt of the proceeds of the settlement, payment will be issued to HRA in the agreed-upon amount.

Accordingly, the Court finds 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.

July 7, 2000
Albany, New York

HON. SUSAN PHILLIPS READ
Judge of the Court of Claims