This claim, by a
prisoner, alleges negligence on the part of the defendant in
losing certain items of claimant's property when the property was under the care
and control of defendant at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility (hereinafter
Sing Sing) property room on November 29, 1994.
This claim was scheduled for trial on July 25, 2000 at Sing Sing. When the
claim was called for trial, claimant informed the Court that the legal documents
he needed to prove his claim did not arrive with him when he was transferred
from Elmira Correctional Facility (hereinafter Elmira) to Sing Sing for trial.
Claimant stated that the property he packed to be transported with him did not
arrive. The Court made an inquiry and was advised that claimant's property had
not arrived from Elmira. The Court, therefore, adjourned the trial for two
weeks to allow claimant's property to catch up with him.
When the trial reconvened on August 10, 2000 at Sing Sing, claimant advised the
Court that he still had not received his property. He further stated that he
was informed the property was lost. In the absence of any real possible benefit
to claimant from an additional adjournment, the Court denied claimant's request
Prior to any testimony being given at trial, the State moved to dismiss the
claim based upon the defense raised, in the State's Verified Answer, that the
Court lacks jurisdiction over the claim based upon the fact claimant served the
claim by regular mail in violation of the Court of Claims Act. Claimant stated
that he requested that the claim be served upon the Attorney General by
certified mail, return receipt requested and that if it was not done, it was
because of the correctional facility's negligence in improperly mailing the
claim. However, claimant was unable to produce any inmate account statement or
disbursement request to establish that he requested the claim be served by
certified mail, return receipt requested. The Court reserved decision on the
State's motion and the claimant presented his case.
Claimant stated that during a facility wide search, items of his property were
confiscated by Sergeant Cooper; that the books were taken to the facility
property room and that the property was lost. On cross-examination, claimant
stated that Sergeant Cooper confiscated 26 of his books.
Claimant, at trial, did not submit any documentary evidence to establish he
owned and possessed the books on the date he alleges Sergeant Cooper confiscated
them. As a result, the Court finds that claimant has not sustained his burden
of proof in this matter.
At the close of claimant's case, the State moved to dismiss based upon the
failure of claimant to establish a prima facie claim for bailment (
Claflin v Meyer
, 75 NY 260; Northbrook Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v
D.J.L. Warehouse Corp.
, 160 AD2d 917; Harrison v State of New York
Claim No. 90980, filed 6/11/97, Benza, J.). The Court now grants the motion and
the claim is dismissed. All other motions, on which the Court reserved
decision, are now denied. The Chief Clerk is directed to enter judgment