New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

KINCH v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-009-422, Claim No. 94161, Motion No. M-61462


Synopsis


The Court granted defendant's motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action, based on the doctrine of judicial immunity.

Case Information

UID:
2000-009-422
Claimant(s):
CHRISTOPHER PETER KINCH
Claimant short name:
KINCH
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
94161
Motion number(s):
M-61462
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Nicholas V. Midey, Jr.
Claimant's attorney:
CHRISTOPHER PETER KINCH, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General
BY: Patrick B. Sardino, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney General of Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
July 20, 2000
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant has brought this motion seeking an order dismissing the claim.

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

Filed Papers: Claim, Answer

The Court notes that claimant has not submitted any papers in opposition to this motion, nor has he otherwise communicated with the Court.[1]

By his filed claim, claimant alleges negligence against the State by causing the "willful reackless (sic) endangerment to the life of a child", arising from an Order by the Hon. Robert A. Contiguglia, Family Court Judge of Cayuga County, in which Judge Contiguglia granted custody of claimant's daughter to her natural mother.

By this motion, defendant argues that claimant has failed to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted by this Court.

It is well settled that Judges of this State are absolutely immune from civil liability for their judicial acts, and the State is not liable for any alleged error of a judicial officer (Murray v Brancato, 290 NY 52; Lombardoni v Boccaccio, 121 AD2d 828). Judicial acts are entitled to this immunity, unless the acts were performed in the clear absence of any jurisdiction over the subject matter (Lombardoni v Boccaccio, supra).

In this case, it is clear that Judge Contiguglia, as Judge of the Cayuga County Family Court, had jurisdiction over the custody issue which forms the basis of this claim. His determination is therefore entitled to absolute immunity, and it is not properly the subject of a claim in this Court.

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-61462 is GRANTED; and it is further

ORDERED, that Claim No. 94161 is hereby DISMISSED.


July 20, 2000
Syracuse, New York

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




[1]
The Court also notes that following a calendar call and conference on September 29, 1999, a scheduling order was filed which required claimant, inter alia, to serve and file a note of issue and certificate of readiness on or before April 3, 2000. Claimant has not responded to this directive, nor has he requested an extension of time to comply with this order.