New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ALSTON V. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-015-020, Claim No. 097954, Motion No. M-60505


Synopsis


A Fair Labor Standards Act claim must be commenced within the time limitations set forth in Court of Claims Act § 10 (4).

Case Information

UID:
2000-015-020
Claimant(s):
BENJAMIN ALSTON, et al
Claimant short name:
ALSTON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
097954
Motion number(s):
M-60505
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney:
William P. SeamonBy: Lisa M. King, Esquire
Defendant's attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Kevan J. Acton, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
April 4, 2000
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:
Affd. Third Dept., 3/8/2001
See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

The motion of the defendant for an order pursuant to CPLR 3212 granting it summary judgment dismissing the claim for lack of jurisdiction is granted. This is a claim by parole officers brought pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA, 29 USC § 201 et seq.) to recover unpaid overtime compensation for the period from November, 1989 to September, 1990, together with liquidated damages and attorney's fees. The claim was originally commenced in Federal District Court for the Northern District of New York and dismissed by order dated July 10, 1997 based upon the United States Supreme Court decision in Seminole Tribe of Fla. v State of Florida, 517 US 44. This claim was served and filed on March 12, 1998. In the Court's view, the third affirmative defense set forth in the answer alleges with the requisite specificity that this Court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate the claim due to the failure to file a notice of intention to file a claim or a claim within six months of accrual as required by subdivision (4) of section 10 of the Court of Claims Act (Villa v State of New York, 28 AD2d 930).[1] The defendant now seeks dismissal based upon that affirmative defense. Claimants' argue in opposition to the motion that the defendant has at various times conceded liability in both the Federal litigation and certain conferences held before Judge King in this Court.

In the case of Speers v State of New York, Claim No. 97790, Motion No. M-60545, J. Collins, a copy of which is annexed, this Court held that the six month time period contained in Court of Claims Act § 10 (4) applied to a FLSA claim and that failure to comply with the time limitations contained in the Act rendered the Court without jurisdiction to adjudicate the claim. Applying the Speers holding to the facts of this case requires the granting of the dismissal motion. Claimants' argument that the State conceded liability is not a basis for denying the motion. Even assuming, arguendo, that there was a settlement agreement, this Court lacks the subject matter jurisdiction to specifically enforce any such agreement (Amberge v State of New York, 186 AD2d 962).


April 4, 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 October 4, 1999;
  2. Affirmation of Kevan J. Acton dated October 4, 1999;
  3. Affirmation in opposition of Lisa M. King dated November 24, 1999, with exhibits;
  4. Claim filed on March 12, 1998;
  5. Answer filed on April 8, 1998.

[1]At the time that this claim accrued, between November 2, 1989 and September 26, 1990, both service and filing of a claim or notice of intention to file a claim within the time period set forth in the applicable subdivision of section 10 of the Court of Claims Act was a prerequisite to this Court having the jurisdiction to adjudicate the claim (Byrne v State of New York, 104 AD2d 782) and the enactment of chapter 466 of the Laws of 1995 omitting the requirement that the notice of intention be filed will not be applied retroactively to this claim (see, Chapman v State of New York, 261 AD2d 814; Charbonneau v State of New York, 148 Misc 2d 891, affd 178 AD2d 815, affd 81 NY2d 721).