New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

HAMILTON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-019-527, Claim No. 101415, Motion No. M-63236


Synopsis


Claimant's motion for summary judgment on bailment cause of action denied due to question of fact about how the property loss occurred.

Case Information

UID:
2001-019-527
Claimant(s):
DERRICK HAMILTON
Claimant short name:
HAMILTON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
101415
Motion number(s):
M-63236
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Claimant's attorney:
DERRICK HAMILTON, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: James E. Shoemaker, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
April 24, 2001
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate appearing pro se, moves for partial summary judgment pursuant to CPLR 3212 on the issue of liability as to that portion of his claim containing a bailment cause of action. The State of New York (hereinafter "State") opposes the motion.

The Court has considered the following papers in connection with this motion:
  1. Claim, filed November 15, 1999.
  2. Notice of Motion No. M-63236, dated March 12, 2001, and filed March 15, 2001.
  3. Affidavit of Derrick Hamilton, in support of motion, dated March 12, 2001, with attached exhibits.
  4. "UNDISPUTED FACTS" in support of motion, dated March 12, 2001.
  5. Affirmation of James E. Shoemaker, AAG, in opposition to motion, dated April 13, 2001, and filed April 16, 2001, with attached exhibits.
  6. Letter Reply of Derrick Hamilton, dated April 19, 2001 and received by the Court on April 23, 2001, in support of motion.
This Claim alleges various acts and omissions on behalf of the State ranging from withholding and tampering with his personal and legal mail to utilizing money from Claimant's account for "illegal activities". (Claim, ¶ 2). Moreover, Claimant alleges that certain correctional facilities were working "[t]o suppress evidence the above claimant has which will expose their illegal and racist activities against plaintiff and his race." (Claim, ¶ 3).


By way of this motion, Claimant seeks summary judgment on the limited issue of liability on his bailment cause of action. Claimant details those facts which he deems undisputed, namely that two bags of his personal property were never delivered from Wende Correctional Facility to Southport Correctional Facility during his transfer on August 31, 1999. Attached to Claimant's moving papers is a memorandum from Wende Correctional Facility dated May 9, 2000, indicating that Claimant should investigate the loss with both the United States Postal Service and Southport since the bags were mailed to Southport on September 9, 1999 using the United States Postal Service.


On a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must present evidentiary facts that establish the party's right to judgment as a matter of law, while the opposing party must present evidentiary proof in admissible form that demonstrates the existence of a factual issue. (Friends of Animals v Associated Fur Mfrs., 46 NY2d 1065, 1067-1068). Here, there are clearly questions of fact about whether the State caused or contributed to this loss by failing to exercise reasonable care in safeguarding Claimant's property or whether the responsible party was the United States Postal Service. (Bonds v State of New York, Ct Cl., June 28, 2000, Collins, J., Claim No. 101992, Motion No. M-61562). As such, there is no evidence in the record establishing Claimant's right to summary judgment as a matter of law.


Accordingly, in light of the foregoing, it is ORDERED that Claimant's motion for summary judgment, Motion No. M-63236, is DENIED.


April 24, 2001
Binghamton, New York

HON. FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Judge of the Court of Claims