New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JOHNSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-011-563, Claim No. NONE, Motion No. M-61689


Motion for poor person status and permission to file a claim is denied.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant's attorney:
Johnathan Johnson, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Hon. Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General(Michael C. Rizzo, Esq., of counsel)
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
August 21, 2000
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


The proposed claim contains a series of approximately twelve complaints concerning incidents in which Claimant maintains he was mistreated or his rights were violated. When considering a motion for permission to late file a claim, the court is required to address six factors enumerated in Court of Claims Act §10(6). The first of those factors is whether there is a reasonable excuse for the delay in filing. Although some of the incidents occurred less than ninety days prior to the motion being made others did not and as to those Claimant has not offered an excuse for the delay in filing.

Other factors to be considered are whether Defendant had notice of the essential facts of the claim and an opportunity to investigate. Claimant filed grievances with respect to certain of the incidents so that Defendant had notice of the facts and an opportunity to investigate. In those instances where no grievance was filed Claimant has not addressed the issues of notice and an opportunity to investigate. In those instances where no notice was given it is unlikely, because of the short amount of time that has passed, that the Defendant's ability to defend against the complaints has been substantially prejudiced.

Also to be considered is whether the proposed claim has an appearance of merit. A claim is said to have merit when it is not patently groundless, frivolous or legally defective and there is reason to believe that a valid cause of action exist (Matter of Santana v New York StateThruway Auth., 92 Misc 2d 1). The allegations in the proposed claim whether read separately or together fail to allege a cognizable cause of action or actions. In each instance Claimant has failed to allege either a duty or an injury.

An alternate remedy in the form of a proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78 is available to address most of the complaints made in the proposed claim.

On balance, consideration of the factors in CCA §10(6) weigh against granting the motion and accordingly, it is denied. The motion for poor person status is denied as moot.

August 21, 2000
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers considered:

  1. Notice of Motion dated April 3, 2000.
  2. Affidavit in Support sworn to the 4th day of April, 2000 with exhibits annexed.
  3. Affidavit in Opposition sworn to the 20th day of April, 2000.
  4. Affirmation in Opposition dated April 20, 2000.