New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

STANLEY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-016-113, Claim No. 103044, Motion Nos. M-62533, CM-62555


Poor person petition denied and motion of non-state defendants to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds granted in medical malpractice claim.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :
The caption has been amended to reflect that the sole proper defendant is the State of New York
Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):
Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
William L. Stanely, Jr.
Defendant's attorney:
For the State of New York:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: James E. Shoemaker, AAG

For Albany Pain Management Center and Dr. J. Ahmed:
Maynard, O'Connor, Smith & Catalinotto, LLPBy: Edwin J. Tobin, Jr., Esq.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 10, 2001
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


In his underlying claim, William L. Stanley asserts that he was sent out from Woodbourne Correctional Facility to the Albany Pain Management Center for the treatment of back pain. He alleges medical malpractice by both the Center and by Woodbourne Correctional Facility thereafter. This is claimant's motion for permission to proceed as a poor person and for the assignment of counsel. Named defendants Albany Pain Management Center and Dr. Jaseem Ahmed cross-move to dismiss the claim against them. Claimant states that his income is $6 per week, that he has no property except for $145 in savings and that he is unable to pay the costs, fees and expenses of this action. See the August 31, 2000 affidavit of William L. Stanley.

There are no provisions in the Court of Claims Act concerning the prosecution of actions under poor person status, and thus the Civil Practice Law and Rules ("CPLR") govern. See Court of Claims Act §9, subdivision 9; Wilson v State of New York, 101 Misc 2d 924, 925, 422 NYS2d 347, 349 (Ct Cl 1979). Poor person status is authorized under CPLR 1101, which addresses, among other things, filing fees. In this case, claimant previously made an application pursuant to CPLR 1101(f) for a reduction in the filing fee required by Court of Claims Act §11-a(1). In an order of Hon. Susan Phillips Read dated September 21, 2000, it was held that claimant's filing fee in this case be reduced to $35.00. Aside from such filing fee, there are no other fees in the Court of Claims and in fact, section 27 of the Court of Claims Act prohibits certain costs, fees and disbursements. Nevertheless, payment of a particular item of expense as the need arises may be available at the proper time upon a showing of sufficient cause. Farid v State of New York, 112 AD2d 342, 491 NYS2d 792 (2d Dept 1985); Mapp v State of New York, 69 AD2d 911, 415 NYS2d 278 (3d Dept 1979); Wilson, supra. No such showing has been made by the claimant at this time.

Claimant has also requested that an attorney be assigned by the Court to litigate his claim on his behalf. Assignment of counsel is generally not available for civil cases. See Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433, 369 NYS2d 87 (1975).

In his claim as filed, Stanley named Albany Pain Management Center and Dr. Jaseem Ahmed as defendants. The Court of Claims Act only grants this court jurisdiction over specified suits against the State of New York. A small number of other entities are subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims via explicit statutory authority, for example, the New York State Thruway Authority by Public Authorities Law §361-b and the senior colleges of the City University of New York by Education Law §6224(4). However, there is no statutory authority subjecting outside medical facilities or their physicians to the jurisdiction of this Court.

Accordingly, having reviewed the parties' submissions[1], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-62533 is denied. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that cross-motion no. CM-62555 is granted and this claim is dismissed as to Albany Pain Management Center and Dr. Jaseem Ahmed.

January 10, 2001
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]Along with the pleadings, the following were reviewed: claimant's motion with affidavit in support; the State of New York's affirmation in opposition; and the notice of cross-motion of Albany Pain Management Center and Dr. Jaseem Ahmed with affirmation in support and Exhibit A.