New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WHITE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-010-043, Claim No. None, Motion No. M-61764


Synopsis


Claimant's late claim application

Case Information

UID:
2000-010-043
Claimant(s):
WILLIS L. WHITE
Claimant short name:
WHITE
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
None
Motion number(s):
M-61764
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
WILLIS L. WHITEPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General for the State of New YorkBy: John Healey, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
July 28, 2000
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers numbered 1-2 were read and considered by the Court on claimant's late claim application:
Notice of Motion, Claimant's Supporting Affidavit, Motion for Permission to File a Late Claim and Attachment, "Claim," "Nature of Paper," Notice of Intention to File Claim.........................................................................................................................1

Attorney's Affirmation in Opposition.......................................................................2

While claimant has failed to denominate a "Proposed Claim," the Court has construed the "Claim" and "Nature of Paper" as the Proposed Claim. The claim states that on December 14, 1998, "Elias Carrillo refuse a refund for photocopies tickets from Sing Sing Correction Facility." The alleged damages set forth in the Claim and Nature of Paper are: "Hygienic, legal pads, ink pens, stamps, abuse mental and physical mind work." The Nature of Paper further seeks $65.00.

The determination of a motion for leave to file a late claim requires the Court to consider, among other relevant factors, the six factors set forth in Subdivision 6 of Section 10 of the Court of Claims Act: (1) whether the delay in filing the claim was excusable; (2) whether the State had notice of the essential facts constituting the claim; (3) whether the State had an opportunity to investigate the circumstances underlying the claim; (4) whether the claim appears to be meritorious; (5) whether the failure to file or serve a timely claim or serve a timely notice of intention resulted in substantial prejudice to the State; and (6) whether the claimant has another available remedy. The presence or absence of any one factor is not determinative and the list of factors is not exhaustive (see, Bay Terrace Coop. Section IV v New York State Employees' Retirement System Policemen's & Firemen's Retirement System, 55 NY2d 979).

The Court has considered the aforenoted six factors. Claimant's purported excuses for his failure to timely serve and file a claim are essentially ignorance of the law which is not a valid excuse (see, Innis v State of New York, 92 AD2d 606, affd 60 NY2d 654).

Most significantly, claimant has failed to demonstrate the appearance of merit of the proposed claim (see, Qing Liu v City Univ. of N. Y., 262 AD2d 473; Matter of Gallagher v State of New York, 236 AD2d 400). Unlike a party who has timely filed a claim, a party seeking to file a late claim has the heavier burden of demonstrating that the claim appears to be meritorious (see, Nyberg v State of New York, 154 Misc 2d 199; Matter of Santana v New York State Thruway Auth., 92 Misc 2d 1). Here, even giving this pro se claimant the most liberal reading of his papers, he has failed to establish the appearance of merit of any cognizable claim.

Accordingly, upon weighing all the factors, claimant's motion for leave to file a late claim is DENIED.


July 28, 2000
White Plains , New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims