New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BRADFORD v. New York, #2000-015-007, Claim No. 100251, Motion Nos. M-61031, CM-61078


The Court of Claims lacks subject matter jurisdiction of a claim based upon a tort of a county sheriff.

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:
Akehaton Bradford, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Glenn C. King, Esquire, Staff Attorney
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 2, 2000
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


The motion of the claimant for an order pursuant to CPLR 1101 and 1102 permitting him to proceed as a poor person and assigning him counsel is denied and the cross-motion of the defendant for an order dismissing the claim for lack of personal and subject matter jurisdiction is granted. The claim alleges that claimant sustained personal injuries on December 16, 1998 when he was assaulted by a correction officer while an inmate at the Albany County Jail. It is further alleged that for three weeks after the assault the claimant was refused medical treatment at the Albany County Correctional Facility as he was denied access to sick call. The notice of intention to file a claim was served upon the Attorney General by ordinary mail on March 8, 1999. The claim was served upon the Attorney General by ordinary mail on April 29, 1999. The fourth and fifth defenses asserted in the answer set forth the alleged jurisdictional defects with the requisite specificity (Villa v State of New York, 228 AD2d 930).

Defendant seeks dismissal based upon the jurisdictional defects regarding the manner of service of the notice of intention and claim as well as the assertion that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over torts allegedly committed by the Albany County Sheriff and his staff. Both positions are well taken. Service upon the Attorney General by ordinary mail requires dismissal of the claim (Philippe v State of New York, 248 AD2d 827) as this Court does not acquire jurisdiction to adjudicate a claim unless the claimant timely serves and files a claim in compliance with sections 10 and 11 of the Court of Claims Act (Selkirk v State of New York, 249 AD2d 818). Furthermore, a sheriff and his staff are local employees not State officers within the jurisdiction of this Court (Williams v State of New York, 90 AD2d 861; Fonfa v State of New York, 88 Misc 2d 343). As a consequence, this Court lacks the subject matter jurisdiction to entertain the claim. The dismissal of the claim renders moot the requested poor person relief.

March 2, 2000
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:

  1. Motion for poor person relief sworn to January 5, 2000;
  2. Affidavit of Akehaton Bradford in support of poor person relief sworn to January 5, 2000;
  3. Notice of cross-motion dated January 18, 2000;
  4. Affirmation of Glenn C. King dated January 18, 2000.
  5. Claimant's "Response to Defendant's answer" sworn to January 26, 2000.