New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

CUMMINGS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-016-068, Claim No. 102512, Motion No. M-62005


Pro se claim which was virtually unintelligible was dismissed on the grounds that it did not comply with §11 of the Court of Claims Act.

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):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
No Appearance
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Susan J. Pogoda, AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
August 28, 2000
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This is defendant's motion to dismiss the pro se claim of Steven Cummings on the grounds that: 1) the claim is vague and unintelligible and hence not in compliance with §11 of the Court of Claims Act (the "Act"); and 2) the notice of intention was served by certified mail, but without a return receipt requested.

Section 11(b) of the Act provides that a "claim shall state the time when and place where such claim arose, the nature of same, and the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained and the total sum claimed." "The claim must plead the facts relied upon to sustain a recovery. In addition it must set forth a valid cause of action . . ." Cannon v State of New York, 163 Misc 2d 623, 625, 622 NYS2d 177, 178 (Ct Cl 1994) (citation omitted). The purpose of §11 of the Act "is to give the State prompt notice of an occurrence and an opportunity to investigate the facts . . ." Id., 163 Misc 2d at 626, 622 NYS2d at 179.

Claimant states that "[New York State] has systematically violated itself, or through the entity [of the City of New York] and under the color of the laws of [New York State], the federal admiralty statutes, [RICO] statutes, other state/federal laws/treaties/acts of the congress of the United States, other statutes – resulting in injury to plaintiff . . ." See Claim, ¶2. However, from a review of the many digressing single-spaced pages following this initial sentence, it is virtually impossible to determine what forms the basis of Cummings' claim. In short, he has failed to comply with §11 of the Act, warranting dismissal of the claim. The issue of service of the notice of intention need not be reached.

For the foregoing reasons, having reviewed the parties' submissions[1], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-62005 is granted and the claim of Steven Cummings is dismissed.

August 28, 2000
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]Along with the claim, the Court reviewed defendant's notice of motion with affirmation in support and Exhibits A-C. Claimant submitted no opposition papers.