New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MINER v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-016-103, Claim No. 101709, Motion No. M-62381


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:
Elmo Miner
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Susan J. Pogoda, AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
December 7, 2000

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


By this motion, the defendant seeks to dismiss the claim of Elmo Miner brought under the

Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment Act of 1984, which is codified as §8-b of the Court of

Claims Act.

Claimant had been indicted on four counts under the Vehicle and Traffic Law:

- Driving while intoxicated. §1192.3.

- Driving while ability is impaired. §1192.1 .

- Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree. §511.3.

- Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree. §511.2

In a judgment of Supreme Court, Kings County, rendered July 24, 1997 upon a jury verdict, Miner was found not guilty of the first two charges relating to drinking and driving, but was convicted of the two counts covering the unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

The Second Department reversed the conviction for unlicensed operation in the first degree because an element of such crime is operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, and Miner had been acquitted of the two alcohol-related counts. However, the judgment was otherwise affirmed – the conviction for unlicensed operation in the second degree stood. People v Miner, 261 AD2d 420, 689 NYS2d 233 (2d Dept 1999). [1]

The Unjust Conviction Act clearly requires -- both in going forward and in ultimately obtaining judgment at trial - - a claimant to prove that he did not commit any of the acts in the accusatory instrument (subds 4 and 5(c), respectively, of §8-b). According to the Second Department, unaltered by any indication of subsequent action, Mr. Miner remains convicted of one of the counts of the indictment, namely aggravated operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree.

Under an analogous circumstance in which a conviction for criminally negligent homicide was reversed, but the conviction for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license was left standing, the Second Department stated in affirming the dismissal of the unjust conviction suit in the Court of Claims that in view of the aforementioned subdivisions 4 and 5(c), "the likelihood of proving his innocence by clear and convincing evidence is nonexistent." Paris v State of New York, 202 Ad2d 482, 483, 609 NYS2d 71, 72 (2d Dept 1994).

Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that defendant's motion (M-62381) be granted and the claim of Elmo Miner (no.101709) dismissed.

December 7, 2000
NYC, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

[1] The facts are drawn from the Second Department's opinion. Note also that per their opinion, the aggravated unlicensed operation count in the first degree was based upon subparagraph (i), not subparagraph (ii), of §511.3 (a) of the Vehicle & Traffic Law.