New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ROACHE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-016-211, Claim No. 104621, Motion No. M-63899


Poor person petition was denied.

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):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
Walter J. Roache
Defendant's attorney:
No Appearance
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
December 12, 2001
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


In his underlying claim, Walter J. Roache alleges that the State was negligent in connection with an incident in which he slipped and fell on ice at Mid-Orange Correctional Facility. He also complains of medical and dental treatment he received thereafter. This is Roache's motion to proceed as a poor person and to have counsel assigned. Claimant states that he is unable to pay the costs, fees and expenses of this action. See the July 18, 2001 affidavit of Walter J. Roache. There are no provisions in the Court of Claims Act concerning the prosecution of actions under poor person status, and thus the Civil Practice Law and rules ("CPLR") govern. See Court of Claims Act §9, subdivision 9; Wilson v State of New York, 101 Misc 2d 924, 925, 422 NYS2d 347, 349 (Ct Cl 1979). Poor person status is authorized under CPLR 1101, which addresses, among other things, filing fees. In this case, claimant made an application pursuant to CPLR 1101(f) for a reduction in the filing fee required by Court of Claims Act §11-a(1). In an order of Hon. Susan Phillips Read filed August 8, 2001, it was found that claimant was entitled to a reduced filing fee of $30.00. Aside from the filing fee, there are no other fees in the Court of Claims and in fact, section 27 of the Court of Claims Act prohibits certain costs, fees and disbursements.

Nevertheless, payment of a particular item of expense as the need arises may be available at the proper time upon a showing of sufficient cause. Mapp v State of New York, 69 AD2d 911, 415 NYS2d 278 (3d Dept 1979); Wilson, supra. Because no such showing has been made by claimant at this time, his motion for poor person status is denied.

Claimant has also requested that an attorney be assigned by the Court to litigate his claim on his behalf. Assignment of counsel is generally not available for civil cases. See Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433, 369 NYS2d 87 (1975). Therefore, claimant's motion for assignment of counsel is denied.

For the foregoing reasons, having reviewed the submissions,[1] IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-63899 be denied.

December 12, 2001
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]Along with the pleadings, the following were reviewed: claimant's notice of motion with affidavit in support, petition and proposed order. Defendant submitted no opposition papers.