New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

CLARKE v. New York, #2000-014-501, Claim No. 99894, Motion Nos. M-60904, CM-61256


Synopsis


The Court of Claims does not have subject matter jurisdiction over a claim challenging the administrative actions of a State agency.

Case Information

UID:
2000-014-501
Claimant(s):
LIVINGSTON and EILEEN CLARKE A. CECILIA BABALOLA
Claimant short name:
CLARKE
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORKState of New York Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR)
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
99894
Motion number(s):
M-60904
Cross-motion number(s):
CM-61256
Judge:
S. Michael Nadel
Claimant's attorney:
G. Lukongwa Binaisa
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Paula Pavlides, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
April 5, 2000
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision


The following papers were read on the defendants' motion to dismiss the claim (Motion No. M-60904), and on the claimants' application for permission to file a late claim (Cross Motion No. CM-61256): Notice of Motion, Affirmation in Support and Exhibits annexed; Affirmation in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss and Exhibits annexed; Notice of Motion to File a Late Claim, Affirmation in Support, affidavits in support; Affirmation in Opposition to Claimants' Motion to File a Late Claim and in Further Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss; Affirmation in Response to Defendant's Affirmation in Opposition. Filed papers: Claim, Answer.


Upon the foregoing papers, the defendants' motion is granted, the claim is dismissed; the claimants' motion, seeking permission to file a late claim, is denied.

The claim alleges negligence by the State in that the Division of Housing and Community Renewal failed to enforce the law with respect to conditions in the apartments in which the claimants resided.

The Court of Claims does not have subject matter jurisdiction over this claim, which challenges the administrative actions of an agency of the State, in which "monetary relief is incidental to the primary claim." Matter of Gross v Perales, 72 NY2d 231, 236; see, Ozanam Hall of Queens Nursing Home v State of New York, 241 AD2d 670, 672 [noting "the critical distinction between claims for monetary damages and those that are essentially equitable in nature."], Tennessee Gas Transmission Co. v State of New York, 32 AD2d 71, affd 27 NY2d 608. The relief sought by the claimants should be the subject of a CPLR Article 78 proceeding, which can only be commenced in the Supreme Court, not in the Court of Claims. In accordance with the foregoing, the defendants' motion is granted; the claim is dismissed.

For the same reasons, with respect to the claimants' application for permission to file a late claim, the claim does not appear to be meritorious, and it appears that the claimants have an alternate remedy. The excuse offered by claimants for the delay in filing the claim is that they relied upon assurances by State employees and officials that their complaints would be addressed. The Attorney General has not opposed the claimants' application on the basis of notice, opportunity to investigate or prejudice.

Having considered the relevant statutory factors (Court of Claims Act §10[6], Bay Terrace Cooperative Section IV, Inc. v New York State Employees' Retirement System Policemen's and Firemen's Retirement System, 55 NY2d 979), the claimants' application for permission to file a late claim is denied.


April 5, 2000
New York, New York

HON. S. MICHAEL NADEL
Judge of the Court of Claims