New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MATTHEWS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-004-505, Claim No. 101098, Motion No. M-60732


Synopsis


State's motion to dismiss, granted.

Case Information

UID:
2000-004-505
Claimant(s):
EDWARD MATTHEWS
Claimant short name:
MATTHEWS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
101098
Motion number(s):
M-60732
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
JEROME F. HANIFIN
Claimant's attorney:
EDWARD MATTHEWS, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: Joel L. Marmelstein,
Assistant Attorney General, of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 10, 2000
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
The State moves to dismiss the Claim.



The following papers were considered by the Court:

Claim, filed September 20, 1999 1

Verified Answer, filed October 8, 1999 2

Notice of Motion, filed November 4, 1999 3

Affirmation of Joel L. Marmelstein, AAG, in support
of motion, with attached exhibits, dated November 2, 1999 4
The gravamen of the Claim is the alleged wrongful confinement of the Claimant in the

Special Housing Unit at Gouverneur Correctional Facility due to a delay in the commencement of a disciplinary hearing, which Claimant alleges should have commenced on December 6, 1999 [sic] but did not begin until December 9, 1999 [sic]. (Paper No. 1)
State's counsel affirms in pertinent part:
6. The Claim follows an incident involving the Claimant which occurred on November 30, 1998, at the Gouverneur Correctional Facility. Following the incident the Claimant was issued two Tier III misbehavior reports (Exhibits C-1 and C-2) and immediately confined to Special Housing Unit (SHU). Claimant remained in the SHU until December 2, 1998, when he was transferred to a satellite facility. Affiant believes that the satellite facility was the Central New York Psychiatric Center where he was sent for an evaluation. In any event, Claimant returned to the Gouverneur Correctional Facility on December 4, 1998.

7. Under normal circumstances and pursuant to 7 NYCRR 251-5.1(a), the disciplinary hearing would have had to have been commenced on or before December 6, 1998, and completed no later than December 13, 1998. Due to the Claimant's temporary transfer to the satellite facility an application for an extension was made and granted on December 4, 1998. (Exhibit D). The extension provided that the hearing was to be commenced within five (5) days and completed within twelve (12) days of the Claimant's return. The request for such an extension was made pursuant to 7 NYCRR 251-5.1(a) and (b). The hearing was commenced on December 9, 1998, with a decision being reached on December 15, 1998, all within the timeframe set forth in the extension. As set forth in the Claim (paragraph 2), Claimant alleged that the hearing was untimely due to the fact that it had not been commenced within seven (7) days of his confinement. This assertion was made notwithstanding the fact that Claimant was aware of the request for an adjournment and approval of same as aknowledged [sic] in his appeal of the ultimate decision. (Exhibit E). Claimant was found guilty of several of the charges in a decision rendered by Hearing Office [sic] Church on December 15, 1998. (Exhibit F). He was sentenced to, among other things, ninety (90) days keeplock. Claimant appealed to the Commissioner on December 16, 1998. He was transferred from the Gouverneur Correctional Facility to the Elmira Correctional Facility in January, 1999. The Hearing Officer's determination was reversed by Donald Selsky, Director, Special Housing/Inmate Disciplinary Program by a decision dated February 1, 1999. Mr. Selsky ruled that the decision should be reversed due to the failure of the Hearing Officer to conduct a mental health assessment prior to the hearing. (Exhibit G).

(Paper No. 4)


Claimant, though served, made no response to the State's motion.


A review of State's counsel's submissions make it clear that the delay in commencing the disciplinary hearing was properly authorized by 7 NYCRR 251-5.1(a) and (b), which allows for an extension of time by the commissioner or his designee. As it appears that the correction employees followed the applicable rules and regulations, they are afforded absolute immunity (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212).


In light of the foregoing, it is


ORDERED that the State's Motion No. M-60732 is GRANTED, and Claim No. 101098 is dismissed.

May 10, 2000
Binghamton, New York

HON. JEROME F. HANIFIN
Judge of the Court of Claims