New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

DOUGLAS v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-006-961, Claim No. 102549, Motion No. M-62785


Synopsis


Claimant's motion to precede as a poor person and assignment of counsel, pursuant to CPLR § 1101 and 1102 is denied.

Case Information

UID:
2000-006-961
Claimant(s):
BARBARA DOUGLAS
Claimant short name:
DOUGLAS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
102549
Motion number(s):
M-62785
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
EDGAR C. NeMOYER
Claimant's attorney:
BARBARA DOUGLAS, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HONORABLE ELIOT SPITZER
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
By: Thomas G. Ramsay, Esq.Assistant Attorney General, of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 5, 2001
City:
Buffalo
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

This is claimant's motion for an order of this court granting her permission to proceed as a poor person and for the assignment of counsel pursuant to CPLR §§ 1101 and 1102. In deciding this motion the court has read and reviewed the following papers:
  1. Claimant's combined notice of motion and affidavit sworn to May 25, 2000 and filed June 1, 2000 in support of the motion.
  1. Claim verified May 25, 2000 and filed June 1, 2000.
  1. Order of Honorable Susan Phillips Read, Presiding Judge of the Court of Claims, dated and filed June 20, 2000.

This claim arose between June 6, 1999 and June 10, 1999 while claimant was an inmate at Albion Correctional Facility. Claimant alleges she sustained a small puncture wound to her left hand on June 6, 1999. She states a nurse at the correctional facility hospital examined the wound, treated it with peroxide, and provided claimant with band-aid and an antibiotic ointment. Claimant was then placed in the Special Housing Unit. According to claimant, between June 7, 1999 through June 10, 1999 she received no medical treatment for her hand. Claimant states, because of this lack of treatment, her wound became infected, which then required emergency treatment at Strong Memorial Hospital. Claimant maintains the defendant was guilty of medical malpractice in the treatment and care of her hand wound.

By this motion, claimant states she is unable to pay the costs, fees and expenses necessary to pursue her claim. The issue of the costs and fees associated with filing a claim in the Court of Claims has already been resolved by the order of Honorable Susan Phillips Read, Presiding Judge of the Court of Claims, dated and filed June 20, 2000. In that order, claimant's filing fee was set at $35.00 with no initial payment of the reduced fee required.

By her motion to proceed as a poor person, the claimant seeks an order of this court waiving the payment of all filing fees and court costs. The court has reviewed claimant's combined notice of motion and affidavit to proceed as a poor person and for the assignment of counsel, and finds them to be without merit. The claimant states that she is unable to pay the costs and fees associated with the prosecution of this action, but prosecution of this matter in this court does not require the claimant to pay any costs or fees. The only costs associated with serving a notice of intention to file claim and filing and serving a claim consist of postage and, perhaps, photocopying expenses. In her statement and petition, the claimant alleges that she has neither income or any property of value. However, the court is aware that the defendant provides five free first-class stamps to inmates weekly and will advance an inmate up to $20 for legal mail postage, if the inmate has insufficient funds (7 NYCRR 720.8[b][c]; 721.4[a]; 721.5[a]). Based upon these regulations, an inmate should have adequate means to serve his/her notice of intention to file claim and/or serve and file his/her claim and any other papers related to the claim in compliance with the Court of Claims Act. In the event an inmate is unable to afford the cost of photocopying, it would not be unreasonable for an inmate to transcribe by hand multiple copies of his/her notice of intention to file claim and/or claim and other related papers for the purpose of filing and serving same.

Although claimant has requested the assignment of counsel, it does not appear to the court that it would be justified in exercising its discretion in appointing counsel for the claimant. Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433; Stephens v State of New York, 93 Misc 2d 273.

Accordingly it is,

ORDERED, that the motion of the claimant to proceed as a poor person and for the assignment of counsel is hereby DENIED.


January 5, 2001
Buffalo, New York

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