New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

LEBRON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-009-012, Claim No. 99376, Motion No. M-63019


Claimant's unopposed motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability in this unlawful imprisonment claim was granted.

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):

Nicholas V. Midey, Jr.
Claimant's attorney:
Defendant's attorney:
Attorney General
BY: Winthrop H. Thurlow, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney Generalof Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 14, 2001

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


In this claim for false imprisonment, claimant has brought this motion seeking an order granting him summary judgment on the issue of liability.

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with this motion:
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.

March 14, 2001
Syracuse, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims