New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GULLEY v. New York, #2000-015-008, Claim No. 101597, Motion No. M-61034


Synopsis


Evidentiary rulings made by a hearing office in the course of an inmate disciplinary proceeding are entitled to absolute immunity for suit in the Court of Claims.

Case Information

UID:
2000-015-008
Claimant(s):
WILLIAM GULLEY
Claimant short name:
GULLEY
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
101597
Motion number(s):
M-61034
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney:
William Gulley, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: G. Lawrence Dillon, Esquire, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 3, 2000
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision


The motion of the defendant for an order dismissing the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is granted.

This is a claim by a pro se inmate alleging negligence on the part of a hearing officer committed in the course of a Superintendent's Hearing conducted on February 6, 1998 at Mid-State Correctional Facility. On February 2, 1998, claimant was issued a misbehavior report charging him with assaulting and extorting another inmate. Hearing Officer Yost found claimant guilty of the charges and sentenced him to six months confinement to a special housing unit. Claimant served his six month sentence and on November 24, 1998 the determination of guilt made by the hearing officer was reversed upon an administrative appeal. Claimant filed this claim on December 14, 1999 seeking to recover for the 180 days of allegedly illegal confinement upon the following allegations:
6. The Hearing Officer, M.J. Yost, failed to permit claimant to hear and/or examine inmate Jagdeo's allegations made against him, which was on tape, so that he could properly defend himself at the hearing, in violation of 7 NYCRR, Sect. 254.6(1).

7. The Hearing Officer also refused to accept evidence being presented by claimant but relied on information given to her during an investigation report submitted to her written by Sgt. LaTour.
"The actions of correctional facility employees insofar as they relate to inmate discipline are quasi-judicial in nature and, unless they exceed the scope of their authority or violate applicable rules and regulations, are accorded absolute immunity" (Davis v State of New York, 262 AD2d 887, 888). Discretionary determinations made by a hearing officer during the course of disciplinary proceedings, including determinations regarding the admission of evidence, are afforded absolute immunity from a suit for money damages in this Court (Minieri v State of New York, 204 AD2d 982). Since Hearing Officer Yost's conduct is entitled to absolute immunity this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to consider the claim.


March 3, 2000
Saratoga Springs, New York

HON. FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Judge of the Court of Claims






The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated December 28, 1999;
  2. Affirmation of G. Lawrence Dillon dated December 28, 1999;
  3. Claim filed on December 14, 1999.