Notice of Motion, Affirmation, with Exhibits 1,2
In this claim, claimant alleges that he was unlawfully imprisoned at Cayuga
Correctional Facility, a New York State correctional facility, from on or about
May 11, 1998 through June 16, 1998.
By a "Memorandum Decision and Judgment" (see Exhibit B), dated May 11, 1998,
Honorable Peter E. Corning, Acting Supreme Court Justice, Cayuga County, granted
claimant's Writ of Habeas Corpus petition, and ordered that claimant be
"restored immediately to parole supervision."
Claimant, however, was not released from Cayuga Correctional Facility until
June 16, 1998. Documents contained in the Supreme Court file pertaining to this
matter, pertinent copies of which have been attached as an exhibit (see Exhibit
C) to claimant's moving papers, establish that the Attorney General's office
received a copy of this decision on or about May 18, 1998, but did not serve
claimant with a copy of the decision until after June 10, 1998.
Summary judgment is the procedural equivalent of a trial (Andre v
Pomeroy, 35 NY2d 361) and should be granted only when it has been
established that there is no triable issue (Moskowitz v Garlock, 23 AD2d
943). The role of the Court, therefore, on a motion for summary judgment is not
to resolve material issues of fact, but instead is to determine whether any such
issues exist (Sillman v Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 3 NY2d 395).
If such issues exist, the motion for summary judgment must be denied. Only the
existence of a material issue of fact, however, and not one based on conclusory
or irrelevant allegations, will be sufficient to defeat a motion for summary
judgment (Rotuba Extruders v Ceppos, 46 NY2d 223). Summary judgment may
only be granted if the movant provides evidentiary proof in admissible form to
demonstrate that there are no material questions of fact (Winegrad v New York
Univ. Med. Center, 64 NY2d 851).
In this claim, although Judge Corning's decision did not specify a date by
which claimant was to be released, the fact that he determined that claimant
should be restored immediately to parole status is a clear directive that
the required paperwork to ensure claimant's release was to be processed as soon
as reasonably possible. No reasonable interpretation of this decision can
justify the decision of the Attorney General to hold on to the decision of Judge
Corning, thus preventing claimant's release from the correctional facility for a
period in excess of three weeks.
By the uncontroverted proof submitted with this motion, claimant has
established a prima facie case of unjust imprisonment or confinement.
Defendant, by not responding to this motion, has failed to present any evidence
sufficient to raise a triable issue of fact.
Accordingly, summary judgment on the issue of liability must be granted to
claimant. Since liability has now been determined, the trial currently
scheduled for April 5, 2001, and limited to the issue of liability, is hereby
canceled. The parties will be notified of the Court's next calendar call at
which time a trial limited to the issue of damages will be scheduled.
Therefore, it is
ORDERED, that Motion No. M-63019 is hereby GRANTED, and summary judgment on the
issue of liability is granted in favor of the claimant, and the Clerk of the
Court of Claims is directed to enter judgment in accordance herewith.