New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MCBRIDE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-009-410, Claim No. 98127, Motion No. M-60988


Defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the claim granted on the basis of absolute immunity of correction officers in the performance of their duties, pursuant to Arteaga.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Nicholas V. Midey, Jr.
Claimant's attorney:
Defendant's attorney:
Attorney General
BY: Roger B. Williams, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney General of Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
June 9, 2000

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


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

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with this motion:
Notice of Motion, Affirmation, with Exhibits 1, 2

Memorandum of Law 3

Response to Motion for Summary Judgment, Affidavit 4, 5

Filed Papers: Claim, Answer By his claim, claimant alleges that he was wrongfully confined for a period of 45 days following the filing of a misbehavior report against him while he was incarcerated at Watertown Correctional Facility. He alleges that his rights to due process and equal protection under the New York State Constitution were violated by the filing of this allegedly false misbehavior report, and as a result, he was wrongfully confined, with a loss of all privileges, for a period of 45 days.

As established by defendant's moving papers, on January 3, 1998, claimant was cited with a misbehavior report alleging violations of certain facility rules. He was provided a hearing on the violations on January 7, 1998, was found guilty, and was sentenced to 30 days keeplock. Claimant did not appeal this decision, and his release date from keeplock was determined to be February 6, 1998.

On January 6, 1998, prior to the hearing on the initial charges, claimant was cited with another misbehavior report for violation of a prison rule. The hearing on this violation was held on January 14, 1998, claimant was found guilty, and was given a penalty of 45 days keeplock. The hearing officer, not being aware of the prior hearing, determined claimant's release date of February 20, 1998.

Rules and regulations, however, require that if an inmate has two pending dispositions, the sentences on those dispositions are to be served consecutively and not concurrently(7 NYCRR 253.7[a][2]). The error in calculating claimant's release date on the second charge was corrected by administration personnel, and claimant was notified that his correct release date from the second violation was recalculated to March 23, 1998.

Claimant appealed the determination made at the second hearing, and this determination was reviewed and reversed on March 18, 1998. Upon notification of this reversal, claimant was released from keeplock status, and all references to the violation and hearing resulting from the incident on January 6, 1998, were ordered to be expunged from claimant's records.

In this claim, claimant seeks damages for the 45 days that he was confined to keeplock status following the issuance of the misbehavior report on January 6, 1998, while he awaited the outcome of his appeal, which was ultimately successful.

Defendant now seeks summary judgment dismissing this claim on the basis that defendant is entitled to absolute immunity for its actions.

It is well settled that correction officers and prison officials are entitled to absolute immunity with respect to their decisions concerning the confinement of inmates, the issuance of misbehavior reports, and their adjudication (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212).

In Arteaga, the Court of Appeals determined that the "the actions of Correction Department employees in preparing and filing misbehavior reports, confining inmates, and making dispositions following Superintendents' hearings entail discretionary decisions in furtherance of general policies and purposes where the exercise of reasoned judgment can produce different acceptable results" and that such actions are entitled to absolute immunity (supra, at 219).

Even though the determination made at the Superintendent's hearing on January 14, 1998 was reversed, claimant is not entitled to compensation in the Court of Claims for alleged damages resulting from his confinement while awaiting the decision on his appeal (Minieri v State of New York, 204 AD2d 982).

In this case, the determination made at the hearing on January 14, 1998 was reversed on the basis that the "description of incident does not support charge". (See Exhibit F to Items 1, 2).

In his claim, claimant has not alleged that the filed charges and resulting disciplinary proceeding were not commenced and conducted in full compliance with governing statutes and regulations.

As a result, there are no issues of fact herein, and as a matter of law, pursuant to Arteaga, supra, defendant's motion for summary judgment must be granted.

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-60988 is GRANTED; and it is further

ORDERED, that Claim No. 98127 is hereby DISMISSED.

June 9, 2000
Syracuse, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims