New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BRISMAN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-030-503, Claim No. 096926


Pro se
prisoner's claims alleging wrongful confinement dismissed.

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):

Thomas H. Scuccimarra
Claimant's attorney:
Richard Brisman - Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Elyse Angelico, Esq.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
August 20, 2001
White Plains

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)

Richard Brisman, the Claimant herein, alleges he was illegally confined to keeplock from August 5, 1997 until August 24, 1997. He also alleges he was illegally denied privileges until September 25, 1997. He claims, therefore, he was wrongfully confined for 20 days; and his privileges were wrongfully withheld for 30 days. Trial was held at Sing Sing Correctional Facility (hereafter Sing Sing) on July 27, 2001.
At the trial, the Claimant testified to the same facts contained in his claim. He asserted he was placed in keeplock for a six (6) month period commencing on February 5, 1997, as well as loss of privileges, after a Tier II and Tier III disciplinary hearing. These penalties were imposed after he was found guilty of possessing a weapon, threats and interference. In support of his contention that he should have been confined only until
August 5, 1997 he appended several computer printout sheets to his claim, entitled "Superintendent Hearing Disposition" for three different incidents, with what appear to be penciled in indications of the respective penalties. [Exhibits "A", "B" and "C" to Claim].
Claimant alleges one hearing officer, Lieutenant Niles, had agreed to not impose any additional keeplock time given the pendency of claimant's hearing before the other hearing officer, and the likelihood that the penalty given in the Tier III hearing would be "penalty enough." He alleges that "for some reason or another Lt. Niles decline (
sic.) on his word and went and tempered (sic.) with the computers and now the computers are reading out something different the wrong keeplock release date and extra sanctions, he also divided my six months SHU time into two; three SHU and three keeplock without due process of law." [Claim, dated August 26, 1997, paragraph 8].
Lieutenant R. Patterson also testified. As the Supervisor of the Tier II and Tier III Disciplinary Hearing System, he expressed familiarity with the computer system, and the manner in which the results of disciplinary hearings and any penalties imposed are recorded. He indicated that the Hearing Disposition Sheet could very well say one period of time in handwriting, and the actual penalty which would accrue could be different.

In the "Disciplinary Incident Summary" for this claimant [State's Exhibit "A"], another computer generated document, penalties for three different hearing results are set forth separately. With respect to the underlying incidents, Lieutenant Patterson stated that the computer corrected the handwritten calculations contained in the Hearing Disposition Report, to reflect the appropriate service dates. Indeed, he reported that the claimant's confinement time had actually been cut in half after Captain McElroy's review, but that the privilege penalty remained the same.

The quasi-judicial acts of correction employees taken in furtherance of authorized disciplinary measures are entitled to absolute immunity.
Arteaga v. State of New York, 72 N.Y.2d 212, 219-220 (1988). From the limited facts presented it would appear that the correction officers took appropriate disciplinary measures and acted within the scope of their discretionary functions in imposing and adjusting penalties for this claimant. There is no indication that the defendant acted inconsistently with its own rules and regulations, in conducting the hearing, or otherwise acted outside the sphere of privileged actions. Arteaga, supra., Holloway v. State of New York, 2001 WL 777553 (3d Dept. 2001); c.f.: Gittens v. State of New York, 132 Misc.2d 399 (N.Y. Ct. Claims 1986). Accordingly, their determinations are entitled to immunity.
Defendant's motion to dismiss, upon which decision was reserved, is now granted. Claim Number 96926 is hereby dismissed. The Chief Clerk is directed to enter judgment


August 20, 2001
White Plains , New York

Judge of the Court of Claims