New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WEST v. New York, #2000-019-508, Claim No. 101714, Motion No. M-61318


Synopsis


State's motion for summary judgment on the ground this Claim does not state a cause of action for unjust conviction pursuant to CCA 8-b. Motion granted, Claim Dismissed.

Case Information

UID:
2000-019-508
Claimant(s):
HENRY WEST
Claimant short name:
WEST
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
101714
Motion number(s):
M-61318
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Claimant's attorney:
HENRY WEST, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: Michael C. Rizzo, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
April 3, 2000
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The defendant State of New York (hereinafter "State") moves for summary judgment on the ground this claim does not state a cause of action for unjust conviction pursuant to Court of Claims Act (hereinafter "CCA") 8-b.


The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with this motion:
  1. Claim, filed January 3, 2000.
  2. Notice of Motion No. M-61318, dated March 7, 2000 and filed March 10, 2000.
  3. Affidavit of Michael C. Rizzo, AAG, in support of motion, sworn to March 7, 2000, with attached exhibits.
  4. Affidavit of Henry West, in opposition to motion, sworn to March 14, 2000 and filed March 17, 2000.
On November 12, 1997, a judgment of the County Court of Schoharie County was rendered upon a verdict convicting Claimant of the crimes of rape in the first degree, sodomy in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child. On January 14, 1999, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Third Department, affirmed the judgment. (People v West, 257 AD2d 767). Subsequently, leave to appeal was denied by the Court of Appeals. (People v West, 93 NY2d 880, appeal dismissed, 93 NY2d 1046).



On a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must present evidentiary facts that establish the party's right to judgment as a matter of law, while the opposing party must present evidentiary proof in admissible form that demonstrates the existence of a factual issue. (Friends of Animals v Associated Fur Mfrs., 46 NY2d 1065, 1067-1068). The State contends the Claimant does not allege his conviction was vacated, reversed or otherwise dismissed and, as such, this Claim fails to allege necessary facts sufficient to sustain a cause of action for unjust conviction pursuant to CCA 8-b. The State's affidavit noting the appellate courts decisions affirming the underlying conviction is sufficient to meet the State's burden, thus shifting the burden to Claimant to come forward with evidentiary proof to the contrary.


Claimant does not deny his conviction has not been vacated, reversed or otherwise dismissed, but rather argues he "[h]as been trying on several occasions to get his illegal conviction reversed, vacated or a new trial ordered by using the Criminal Procedure Law, Section 440 motions after his appeal was illegally affirmed." (Affidavit in Opposition, ¶ 5). CCA 8-b mandates that in order for a claimant to present a claim for unjust conviction he must, among other things, establish "[h]is judgment of conviction was reversed or vacated, and the accusatory instrument dismissed or, if a new trial was ordered, either he was found not guilty at the new trial or he was not retried and the accusatory instrument dismissed...." As such, the undisputed fact that Claimant's conviction has not been vacated, reversed or otherwise dismissed makes his allegations patently insufficient to support a claim for unjust conviction pursuant to the strict statutory framework of CCA 8-b. Consequently, this Court finds the State has met its burden and is entitled to summary judgment.


Accordingly, in light of the foregoing, the State's motion for summary judgment, Motion No. M-61318, is GRANTED and Claim No. 101714 is DISMISSED.


April 3, 2000
Binghamton, New York

HON. FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Judge of the Court of Claims