New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ODOM v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-010-036, Claim No. 92116


Synopsis


Inmate excessive confinement

Case Information

UID:
2000-010-036
Claimant(s):
JONATHAN ODOM
Claimant short name:
ODOM
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
92116
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
JONATHAN ODOMPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General for the State of New YorkBy: Elyse Angelico, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
July 26, 2000
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
Claimant, an inmate proceeding
pro se, seeks damages for alleged excessive confinement during his incarceration at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.[1] This claim was heard in a unified trial.
Claimant testified that, pursuant to a disciplinary hearing held on June 29, 1995, he was confined in keeplock for 30 days, from June 29, 1995 until July 28, 1995. Claimant contends that the hearing determination was overturned and that, therefore, he is entitled to money damages. Claimant submitted an order of the New York State Supreme Court, entered September 5, 1997 which granted his petition for review of a determination made at a prison disciplinary hearing (Ex. 1;
Odom v Coombs, Sup Ct, Westchester County, Sept. 5, 1997, Smith, J., Index No. 19594/95). In reviewing the transcript of the disciplinary hearing, the Supreme Court noted that much of the testimony was marked "inaudible" and was therefore unreviewable. Accordingly, the Supreme Court ordered a "de novo hearing within 30 days of the entry of this Order and Judgment, else the instant determination is to be annulled and all record of it in the petitioner's disciplinary files is to be expunged, with refund to the [claimant] of the penalty assessment fee" (Ex. 1). There was no other articulated basis for overturning the determination made at the disciplinary hearing.[2]
The quasi-judicial acts of correction employees taken in furtherance of authorized disciplinary measures are entitled to immunity (
see, Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212). Merely because the determination at the hearing was overturned and, even if, the charges were ultimately dismissed, this does not give rise to a cognizable cause of action because there was no evidence that defendant acted inconsistently with its own rules and regulations (see, Arteaga v State of New York, supra; Gittens v State of New York, 132 Misc 2d 399, 406).
Accordingly, defendant's motion to dismiss, upon which decision was reserved, is now GRANTED.

LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED DISMISSING CLAIM NO. 92116.


July 26, 2000
White Plains , New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1] It is noted that, by Decision and Order file stamped June 4, 1998, claimant was sanctioned $1,500.00 for bringing frivolous claims; at the time, claimant had 33 pro se claims pending (Odom v State of New York, Ct Cl, June 3, 1998, Bell, J., Claim No. 93773). Additionally, claimant was prohibited from filing any new pro se claims, absent a Court Order granting him permission, until the judgment is paid. This claim was filed July 10, 1995, before the sanction was imposed.
[2] It is noted that the Decision and Order does not identify the underlying hearing; however defendant does not dispute that it relates to the June 29, 1995 disciplinary hearing.