New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

DOUGAL v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-006-802, Claim No. 102893, Motion No. M-62612


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2000-006-802
Claimant(s):
ROBERT M. DOUGAL
Claimant short name:
DOUGAL
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
102893
Motion number(s):
M-62612
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
EDGAR C. NeMOYER
Claimant's attorney:
ROBERT M. DOUGAL, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERAL
By: Paul Volcy, Esq.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
November 15, 2000
City:
Buffalo
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

This is claimant's motion for an order of this court staying the proceedings for this claim pursuant to CPLR § 2201. In deciding this motion the court has read and reviewed the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion sworn to October 13, 2000 and filed October 24, 2000.
  1. Claimant's affidavit sworn to October 17, 2000 in support of the motion.
  1. Affidavit of Paul Volcy, Esq., Assistant Attorney General, sworn to November 1, 2000 and filed November 2, 2000 in opposition to the motion.
  1. Claim verified July 25, 2000 and filed August 11, 2000.

This claim arose on June 30, 1999 while claimant was an inmate at Gowanda Correctional Facility. Claimant alleges he was the victim of an excessive use of force and assault by a correction officer.

By this motion, claimant seeks a stay of all proceedings for this claim for approximately 16 months, when claimant states he will be released from custody. The ground given by claimant in support of the stay application is to permit him "to better approach the proceedings after his release from incarceration." Claimant also states that when he is released from custody he would "be in a better position to find representation or to present himself more affectively (sic)." Claimant maintains his knowledge of the law is very limited, and he does not have free movement while incarcerated, which limits his access to the law library. Claimant also states his funds are limited (wages of $3.00 per week), and his mail is restricted to four days per week. In other words, claimant is in the same position as any other incarcerated person bringing an action against the defendant. If the court was to grant claimant a stay on the grounds urged by claimant, then every other inmate who has filed a claim against the defendant would be eligible for the same relief. Since there are hundreds if not thousands of inmate claims pending against the defendant this would reek havoc with the court calendar.

Claimant's statement that his knowledge of the law is very limited is not supported by the prior proceedings for this claim. Claimant was able to properly file a motion for an order permitting him to file a late claim, setting forth sufficient justification for the relief, and supporting the motion with a proposed claim. This motion was granted by Hon. John P. Lane, Acting Court of Claims Judge, by decision and order dated June 26, 2000 and filed July 7, 2000. Claimant thereafter filed his eight page claim. Defendant filed its answer to the claim, and accompanied it with a demand for bill of particulars and a notice for discovery and inspection, along with a notice for examination before trial. It appears the only reason claimant seeks a stay of these proceedings is to avoid responding to the foregoing items served upon him by defendant.

The court believes that to delay this proceeding for at least another 16 months would be unduly burdensome to the defendant in its preparation of a defense. Based upon the foregoing, the court does not feel the present circumstances meet the test of a proper case for a stay of the proceedings. Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that claimant's motion is denied.



November 15, 2000
Buffalo, New York

HON. EDGAR C. NEMOYER
Judge of the Court of Claims