The Claimant has moved to dismiss defenses and for summary judgment pursuant to
3211(b) and the Defendant has moved for a summary judgment motion pursuant to
CPLR 3212. Each party has moved for summary judgment in this claim for false
. As alleged in the claim,
Claimant was given a misbehavior report on April 10, 1999 and a disciplinary
hearing on the matter was held on April 21, 1999. The hearing was concluded on
April 23, 1999 and Claimant was found guilty of the charge. A penalty of 365
days confinement to the Special Housing Unit was imposed and Claimant was
immediately transferred from Adirondack Correctional Facility to Southport
Correctional Facility. The disciplinary determination was administratively
reversed on June 9, 1999 but Claimant maintains that he remained in punitive
confinement until July 8, 1999.
To establish this cause of false imprisonment the claimant must show that: (1)
the defendant intended to confine him (2) that he was conscious of the
confinement, (3) he did not consent to the confinement and (4) the confinement
was not otherwise privileged (Broughton v State of New York, 37 NY2d
451). Here, the only issue disputed by the parties is whether the confinement
In determining a previous motion by Claimant for summary judgment, the court
found that Defendant had come forward with proof sufficient to raise questions
of fact (Geer v State of New York, M-60308, M-60427, M-60428, November
19, 1999, McNamara, J.). On this motion, Claimant has not come forward with any
new proof to establish that he is now entitled to summary judgment. Accordingly,
his motion is denied.
To succeed on its motion for summary judgment, Defendant must tender
evidentiary proof in admissible form sufficient to justify the direction of
summary judgment in its favor whereupon the burden shifts to the party opposing
the motion to raise a triable issue of fact (Hackstadt v Hackstadt, 194
The period of confinement from April 28, 1999 to June 8, 1999 was carried out
pursuant to a disciplinary determination for which Defendant, presumptively, had
absolute immunity (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212). Based upon
the presumption of absolute immunity afforded to Defendant in matters of inmate
discipline, Defendant has established its entitlement to summary judgment for
the period of confinement from April 28, 1999 to June 8, 1999 and thereby
shifted the burden of raising an issue of fact to Claimant.
Claimant argues that he was deprived of constitutional safeguards when the
hearing officer found him guilty based upon information from a confidential
source but did not place on the record testimony of either the confidential
source or the testimony of an employee contacted by the confidential source.
Although procedural errors of a constitutional dimension necessitated dismissal
of the charges upon which the hearing was held and expungement of the tainted
proceedings (Rosario v Selsky, 162 AD2d 939), the hearing officer's error
in failing to properly assess credibility was a discretionary decision made
while he was acting in a quasi-judicial role and is afforded absolute immunity
(see, Minieri v State, 204 AD2d 982, hearing officer refused to view
video tape). Claimant, therefore, has failed to rebut the presumption of
absolute immunity and consequently, Defendant is entitled to summary judgment on
this portion of the claim.
With respect to the period of confinement from June 9, 1999 to July 8, 1999,
Defendant has submitted an affidavit by Robert C. Morse, Deputy Superintendent
for Security Services at Southport Correctional Facility. In his affidavit, Mr.
Morse states that the facility was advised on June 9, 1999 that Claimant's
disciplinary determination had been administratively reversed. Claimant was then
placed on Detention Admission which Mr. Morse indicates is a holding status
while awaiting classification transfer to a general population facility. The
transfer to Detention Admission status apparently did not involve a change in
the conditions under which Claimant was held but on June 11, 1999 a cell became
available on Progressive Inmate Movement System Level II and Claimant was moved
to that cell. This change afforded Claimant certain privileges which he did not
previously have at Southport though his movement was still greatly restricted.
On June 30, 1999, Claimant was moved to Auburn Depot for transfer to Collins
Correctional Facility where he arrived on July 8, 1999. Mr. Morse avers that at
no time after June 9, 1999 was Claimant held in any type of punitive
The use of detention admission in circumstances where an inmate is being
transferred from Southport Correctional Facility is authorized by the
regulations (7 NYCRR §301.3[a]) and consequently, the burden shifts to
Claimant to show that an issue of fact exist concerning whether his confinement
status after June 8, 1999 was wrongful. Though he argues that the conditions of
his confinement did not change, Claimant has not shown that an issue exists as
to whether his confinement status was wrongful in the sense that it was not
authorized and therefore, not privileged. Consequently, summary judgment
dismissing this portion of the claim is also appropriate.
Based upon the foregoing, the motion by Claimant is denied and the motion by
Defendant for summary judgment is granted and the claim is dismissed.