New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

HOLLOWAY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-011-530, Claim No. 101214, Motion Nos. M-61195, CM-61243


Synopsis


Each party has moved for summary judgment.

Case Information

UID:
2000-011-530
Claimant(s):
RONALD HOLLOWAY
Claimant short name:
HOLLOWAY
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
101214
Motion number(s):
M-61195
Cross-motion number(s):
CM-61243
Judge:
Thomas J. McNamara
Claimant's attorney:
Ronald Holloway, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Hon. Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General(Kathleen M. Resnick, Esq., Assistant Attorney General)
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 15, 2000
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:
affd 3d Dept. 7/21/01
See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision


Each party has moved for summary judgment. The claim is based on allegations that Claimant was confined to the Special Housing Unit for 180 days following a disciplinary hearing that was ultimately reversed. In annulling the determination, the court found that the correction officers who searched Claimant's cell, and found a knife therein, did not comply with a directive of the Department of Correctional Services which permits inmates to observe frisks of their cell under certain circumstances. Claimant contends that, because the disciplinary determination was annulled, the confinement to SHU was wrongful.

To prevail on a summary judgment motion, the moving party must tender evidentiary proof in admissible form sufficient to justify the direction of summary judgment in his or her favor whereupon the burden shifts to the party opposing the motion to raise a triable issue of fact (Hackstadt v Hackstadt, 194 AD2d 908).

In carrying out their duties relating to security and discipline, the actions of correction employees are quasi-judicial in nature and are cloaked with absolute immunity so long as the actions are not taken beyond their authority or in violation of the governing rules and regulations (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212, 220). Given the presumption of regularity which infers that government agencies act honestly and in accordance with law (Abrahams v New York State Tax Commission, 131 Misc 2d 594) and in the absence of any attempt by Claimant to establish that the hearing officer exceeded his or her authority or that some governing rule or regulation was violated (New York State Radiological Soc. Inc. v Wing, 244 AD2d 823), the determination made following the disciplinary hearing is cloaked by absolute immunity. Such immunity is not lost simply because the determination was later reversed.

Accordingly, the cross motion by defendant for summary judgment dismissing the claim is granted and the motion by Claimant for summary judgment is denied. The claim is dismissed.

May 15, 2000
Saratoga Springs, New York

HON. THOMAS J. MCNAMARA
Judge of the Court of Claims


Papers considered:

1. Notice of Motion dated January 31, 2000.
2. Affidavit in Support of Motion sworn to the 31st day of January 2000 with exhibits annexed.
3. Notice of Cross Motion dated February 17, 2000.
4. Affirmation in Support of Kathleen M. Resnick, Esq., dated February 17, 2000 with exhibits annexed.
5. Affidavit in Opposition sworn to the 4th day of March, 2000.