New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ODOM v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-029-003, Claim No. 93772


No State liability for inmate's property allegedly lost.

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):

Claimant's attorney:
Jonathan OdomPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Attorney General for the State of New YorkBy: Elyse Angelico, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
August 7, 2000
White Plains

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This claim alleges negligence on the part of the defendant in losing certain items of claimant's property when he was transferred from Sing Sing Correctional Facility (hereinafter Sing Sing) to Clinton Correctional Facility (hereinafter Clinton).

By letter dated July 13, 2000, claimant was informed that the trial of this claim would be held at Sing Sing on July 25, 2000. When the claim was initially called for trial, claimant requested an adjournment of the trial on the basis that he did not have his legal papers with him. Claimant stated that he had been transferred from Attica Correctional Facility (hereinafter Attica) to Sing Sing in late June for the trial of another claim before a different Judge of this Court. Claimant stated that he received notification of this trial while he was at Sing Sing and that he did not have his pertinent legal documents with him, as most of his property was still at Attica. The Court provided claimant with copies of all the documents contained in the Court file and the Assistant Attorney General provided claimant with copies of all relevant documents contained in the State's file relating to this claim. The Court advised claimant to review these documents, and upon the second call of this case, to advise the Court if the documents would be of assistance to claimant in prosecuting his claim.

Approximately 45 minutes later, the Court again called claimant's case for trial. Claimant advised that based on his review of the documents provided to him, he was amending his claim to delete his request for reimbursement for a hot pot, socks, army jacket lining, and five (5) typewriter ribbons. Claimant stated that based upon the documents provided by the State, it appears these items were sent home for him.

Claimant again requested that his trial be adjourned on the grounds that he did not have his documentation with him. The Court inquired if claimant had any documentation at Attica which would establish he owned and/or possessed the allegedly lost items on February 19, 1996. Claimant's response was in the negative. The Court, therefore, denied the motion for an adjournment. Claimant continued to argue that his claim should be adjourned. The Court agreed to reconsider the request and asked claimant for a specific proffer of the documents in his possession at Attica which would prove that he possessed the items which are the subject of this claim on, or immediately prior to, February 19, 1996. Claimant again stated that he did not possess any such documents. The Court again denied claimant's request for an adjournment of the trial. Claimant then submitted into evidence copies of two personal property transfer forms (hereinafter Form I-64) dated February 19, 1996 (Exhibits 1 and 2). These Forms I-64 contained the inventory of claimant's property on February 19, 1996 when he was transferred from Sing Sing to Clinton. The proof established that claimant was not present when his property was

packed at Sing Sing. Both documents contain claimant's signature acknowledging receipt of his property at Clinton.
Claimant presented no evidence that the items of property recorded on Exhibits 1 and 2 did not include all his personal property. While claimant testified at trial that the above documents did not list all his property, he did not submit any evidence of ownership of such missing items, nor did he, upon inquiry by the Court, make an offer of proof that documents existed establishing his ownership on February 19, 1996.

Accordingly, claimant failed to establish a prima facie claim for bailment (
see, Claflin v Meyer, 75 NY2d 260) and the claim is, therefore, dismissed. The Chief Clerk is directed to enter judgment accordingly.

August 7, 2000
White Plains, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims