New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

HILLIARD v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-001-046, Claim No. 98474, Motion No. M-63577


Synopsis


Strongly indicating that the letter requesting withdrawal of this claim was a forgery, claimant's motion for an order restoring his claim to the trial calendar is granted.

Case Information

UID:
2001-001-046
Claimant(s):
TAUVARD HILLIARD
Claimant short name:
HILLIARD
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
98474
Motion number(s):
M-63577
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Susan Phillips Read
Claimant's attorney:
Tauvard Hilliard, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Hon. Eliot Spitzer, NYS Attorney GeneralBy: Elyse J. Angelico, Esq., Assistant Attorney General, Of Counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
August 7, 2001
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers were read and considered on claimant's motion for an order restoring his claim to the trial calendar: Notice of Motion, dated May 22 and filed June 5, 2001; Affidavit in Support of Tauvard Hilliard, pro se, sworn to May 25 and filed June 5, 2001, with annexed Exhibits A-C; Letter Response of Elyse J. Angelico, Esq., AAG, dated June 19 and received June 21, 2001; and the claim, dated May 29 and filed June 17, 1998. Claimant Tauvard Hilliard ("claimant") filed a claim alleging that he was assaulted by another inmate on January 23, 1998 while housed at Sing Sing Correctional Facility (claim, dated May 29 and filed June 17, 1998 ["claim"], ¶¶ 3-9). He further alleges that defendant State of New York ("defendant" or "the State") should have foreseen this attack and his subsequent stab wounds in light of two prior altercations instigated by the same inmate on the same day (claim, ¶¶ 3-9).

The Court received a letter dated September 1, 2000, requesting withdrawal of this claim and so closed claimant's file by Daily Report on October 5, 2000. Claimant thereafter wrote a letter to the Court inquiring about the status of his claim, and was notified that his file had been closed at his request.

Claimant now seeks to restore his claim to the trial calendar, explaining that he never wrote a letter seeking to withdraw his claim, and never authorized anyone else to do so on his behalf (Affidavit in Support of Tauvard Hilliard, pro se, sworn to May 25 and filed June 5, 2001 ["Hilliard Aff."]). He notes that the signature and handwriting on the letter requesting withdrawal bear no resemblance to his signature and handwriting, as evidenced by his prior correspondence with the Court, and that the letter requesting withdrawal does not contain his correct department identification number (Hilliard Aff., Exhs. A-C). The State takes no position on claimant's motion to restore (Letter Response of Elyse J. Angelico, Esq., AAG, dated June 19 and received June 21, 2001).

After comparing the handwriting and signature displayed in the letter requesting withdrawal to the handwriting and signature manifest in other records in claimant's file, including the original claim, the Court is satisfied that claimant did not write this letter. The handwriting and signatures are plainly and consistently dissimilar, strongly indicating that the letter requesting withdrawal was a forgery (see, CPLR 4536; Matter of Thomas v Coughlin, 145 AD2d 695, 696). Accordingly, the Court grants claimant's motion and restores Claim No. 98474 to the trial calendar.


August 7, 2001
Albany, New York

HON. SUSAN PHILLIPS READ
Judge of the Court of Claims