New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BRADLEY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-015-161, Claim No. 100789, Motion No. M-63378


Synopsis


Poor person application denied due to applicant's failure to list assets and income, failure to allege facts tending to prove claim is meritorious and failure to serve appropriate county attorney pursuant to CPLR 1101 (a) and (c).

Case Information

UID:
2001-015-161
Claimant(s):
WILLIAM BRADLEY
Claimant short name:
BRADLEY
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
100789
Motion number(s):
M-63378
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney:
William Bradley, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Joel L. Marmelstein, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
June 29, 2001
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

Claimant's application pursuant to CPLR 1101 and 1102 for poor person relief and for the assignment of counsel to pursue his claim is denied. The claim filed July 26, 1999 seeks to recover money damages for personal injuries sustained on March 8, 1999 when, claimant alleges, he fell approximately "thirth [sic] two inches deep into a hole that was covered by snow" injuring his ankle while in a yard adjacent to building #54 at the Mohawk Correctional Facility in Rome, New York.

Claimant's application must be denied since he failed to allege in his affidavit any facts from which the merits of his claim might be ascertained (CPLR 1101 (a); Matter of Teeter v Reed, 57 AD2d 735). Nor has he alleged the amount and sources of his income or listed his property and its value (CPLR 1101(a)). Additionally claimant offered no proof that the application was served upon the Oneida County Attorney as required by statute (CPLR 1101 (c)). Failure to serve a county attorney is, in itself, a basis for denial of the relief requested (Sebastiano v State of New York, 92 AD2d 966; Harris v State of New York, 100 Misc 2d 1015).

As to the request for assignment of counsel, the Court of Appeals has held that there is no constitutional or statutory requirement that indigents be assigned private counsel in civil litigation of this nature (Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433). Smiley has been interpreted for the proposition that courts should not routinely approve requests made by indigents for the assignment of private counsel without compensation unless the litigation involves grievous forfeiture or loss of a fundamental right (Morgenthau v Garcia, 148 Misc 2d 900, 903). This claim does not rise to that level.


June 29, 2001
Saratoga Springs, New York

HON. FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Judge of the Court of Claims


The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated April 4, 2001;
  2. Letter dated May 1, 2001 from Joel L. Marmelstein, Assistant Attorney General.