New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

HYNARD v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-009-408, Claim No. 100911, Motion No. M-61494


Synopsis


Defendant's motion for summary judgment granted, on the basis of absolute immunity for quasi-judicial acts of correctional facility employees, as articulated in Arteaga, 72 NY2d 212.

Case Information

UID:
2000-009-408
Claimant(s):
PAUL HYNARD
Claimant short name:
HYNARD
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
100911
Motion number(s):
M-61494
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Nicholas V. Midey, Jr.
Claimant's attorney:
PAUL HYNARD, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General
BY: Carla T. Rutigliano, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney General of Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 16, 2000
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant has brought a motion seeking an order of summary judgment.

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with this motion:

Notice of Motion, Affirmation, with Exhibits 1,2

Affidavit of Joseph F. Bellnier 3

Affidavit of Opposition, with Attachments 4

Filed Papers: Claim, Answer.

This claim was scheduled for trial at the Syracuse Court of Claims on May 3, 2000. Shortly before the scheduled trial date, claimant notified the Court that he was unable to travel to Syracuse on the trial date, and at his request, the Court adjourned the trial. Also, prior to the original trial date, defendant filed the instant motion for summary judgment, and the Court therefore notified the parties that a new trial would not be scheduled until disposition of this motion.

By his claim, claimant seeks damages allegedly resulting from a misbehavior report filed against him on June 25, 1999, while he was incarcerated at Watertown Correctional Facility. On that date, claimant was issued an Inmate Misbehavior Report, charging him with violating three separate rules of the facility. On June 28, 1999, a Tier II hearing was held, and claimant was found guilty of violating one of those inmate rules. Claimant subsequently filed an administrative appeal challenging this disposition, and the hearing was reviewed and affirmed on July 8, 1999.

The crux of the claim filed by claimant is that he was improperly charged with the three violations, and improperly found guilty of one of those violations.

It is well settled that the judicial and quasi-judicial acts of correctional facility employees in commencing disciplinary charges and conducting formal disciplinary hearings are entitled to absolute immunity (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212). The only actions of correctional facility employees complained of by the claimant in his claim were discretionary in nature, and therefore claimant is not entitled to recover damages for the penalties imposed in the disciplinary proceeding. There were no allegations that the filed charges and resulting disciplinary proceeding were not commenced and conducted in full compliance with governing statutes and regulations.

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-61494 is hereby GRANTED; and it is further

ORDERED, that Claim No. 100911 is hereby DISMISSED.


May 16, 2000
Syracuse, New York

HON. NICHOLAS V. MIDEY, JR.
Judge of the Court of Claims