Defendant has brought a motion seeking an order of summary judgment.
The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with this
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
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.