New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JOHNSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-007-130, Claim No. None, Motion No. M-63583


Synopsis


Relying upon CPLR 205(a), claimant seeks permission to late file a 10-year old claim which was recently dismissed from Federal Court on jurisdictional grounds. Motion denied.

Case Information

UID:
2001-007-130
Claimant(s):
JOHNATHAN JOHNSON, # 89A1042
Claimant short name:
JOHNSON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
None
Motion number(s):
M-63583
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
John L. Bell
Claimant's attorney:
JOHNATHAN JOHNSON, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERAL (GLENN C. KING, ESQ., ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, of Counsel)
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
September 4, 2001
City:
Plattsburgh
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant has made an application for permission to late file a claim. The return date of the motion was August 15, 2001. The following papers were read and considered by the court:

Notice of Motion, Affidavit of Claimant,
Proposed Claim, Annexed Exhibits 1, 2, 3, 4


Affirmation in Opposition of Glenn C.
King, Esq. 5

In August 1991, claimant was transferred from Clinton Correctional Facility (hereinafter Clinton) to Sing Sing Correctional Facility to attend a court ordered deposition. He alleges that various items of his personal property, including some legal papers, were lost during the transfer between facilities.

Claimant commenced an action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York seeking various relief purportedly related to the lost bag of property. Although claimant has not set forth the date when the federal action was commenced, it appears to have been filed sometime during 1992. The defendants in the federal action were Daniel A. Senkowski (Superintendent of Clinton), William Costello (Deputy Superintendent of Clinton) and K. Pecore (Correction Officer at Clinton). In a Report-Recommendation filed March 7, 2001, Magistrate Judge Gustave J. DiBianco recommended dismissal of the federal action because claimant's allegations failed to rise to the level of a Constitutional violation. In a Decision and Order filed March 30, 2001, Chief District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. accepted the Report-Recommendation and dismissed the federal action.

In motion papers filed in the office of the Chief Clerk of the Court of Claims on June 6, 2001, claimant applied for permission to late file a claim against the State. Claimant argues that CPLR 205(a) affords him six months from the date of dismissal of the federal action in which to assert a timely claim in the Court of Claims.

Claimant's argument is unpersuasive. The time limitations set forth in Court of Claims Act § 10 were established by the Legislature as part of the waiver of the State's sovereign immunity. Conditions placed on the waiver of sovereign immunity are strictly construed (Dreger v New York State Thruway Auth., 81 NY2d 721). The statutory time constraint on commencing a claim in the Court of Claims is not Statute of Limitations and thus the extension afforded by CPLR 205(a) is not available to claimant under the prevailing circumstances (see, Skiptunas v State of New York, Ct Cl, Nov. 20, 2000 [Claim No. 102744, Motion No. M-62254], Collins, J.; see also, Yonkers Contr. Co. v Port Auth. Trans-Hudson Corp., 93 NY2d 375).[1]

The unavailability of CPLR 205(a) compels the conclusion that the proposed claim, which claimant seeks to file nearly 10 years after accrual, is time-barred. It is thus not necessary to discuss the factors set forth in Court of Claims Act § 10(6).

It is

ORDERED that claimant's motion is denied.

September 4, 2001
Plattsburgh, New York

HON. JOHN L. BELL
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1] It is not necessary for the court to address the further problem created by the fact that the defendants in the federal action are not the same as the defendant in the proposed claim in the State court (see, Rayo v State of New York, 882 F. Supp 37).