New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

VALLE v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-005-547, Claim No. 102408, Motion No. M-65153


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):

Claimant's attorney:
Jaime Valle,Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Timothy P. Mulvey, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
October 31, 2002

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


The following papers, numbered 1 to 6, were read on motion by Claimant for an order "vacating" the Decision and Order of this Court in Motion No. M-64696, signed March 18, 2002:

Papers Numbered

1, 2 Notice of Motion, Affidavit and Exhibits Annexed
  1. Letter from Defendant dated May 14, 2002
  2. Letter from Claimant dated May 16, 2002
5, 6 Filed Papers: Claim, Decision and Order in Motion No. M-64696

Upon the foregoing papers, the motion to reargue is granted and the claim is restored to the calendar.

By Decision and Order signed March 18, 2002, in Motion No. M-64696, I dismissed the claim herein on the ground that Claimant was unable to demonstrate that he had ever served the claim upon Defendant (22 NYCRR §206.5[a]), his affidavit of service to the contrary. I note as well that Claimant had defaulted on the earlier motion and I am advised that Claimant on May 6, 2002, has appealed that decision.

The instant motion is in essence a motion to reargue, although Claimant disputes that characterization, asserting that the dismissal of the claim in the earlier motion was obtained by "fraud, deceit and perjury by OAG." Claimant suggests the earlier dismissal and his default on that motion were all the result of fraud, deceit and perjury, and seeks to vacate that dismissal.

Claimant confusingly refers to motions, etc., dealing with Claim No. 101829 (Paragraph 2). He also complains about the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) having impliedly delayed mail and motions from him dated March 21, 2002, and April 2, 2002 (Paragraphs 4 and 5). I find this discussion irrelevant as Motion No. M-64696 was served upon Claimant by mail on February 7, 2002, and was returnable on March 13, 2002, all before any discussion in Claimant's Paragraphs 4 and 5. Claim No. 102408 was filed on May 4, 2000. Claimant proffers that it was served upon the Defendant by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Whether characterized as a motion to reargue, or one for fraud, deceit, etc., the remedy sought here by Claimant is to restore Claim No. 102408 to the active calendar.

It appears without question that the Defendant, when served with the document to which the Clerk later assigned Claim No. 102408, apparently misinterpreted the nature of that document, believing it to be an amendment of the earlier claim (Claim No. 101829, filed on January 24, 2000).[1] Thus the Defendant thereupon filed (on May 15, 2000) and served an Amended Verified Answer utilizing No. 101829 as the claim number.

A review of the Verified Answer and the Amended Verified Answer reflects and confirms such confusion. The Verified Answer specifically refers to those sections of the claim entitled "Intentional Conduct of Corrections Officials" and "Negligence/Intentional Conduct of Corrections Counselors", etc., including addressing the last numbered paragraph of that claim, entitled "Damages", referenced as items or paragraphs 11(a) and 11(b). This is consistent with the allegations and paragraph numbers of Claim No. 101829.

The Amended Verified Answer responds to differing specific sections/paragraphs of Claim No. 102408, including Paragraph 4 and its subparagraphs entitled "Jurisdiction"; Paragraph 5 and its subparagraphs entitled "Facts", and Paragraph 6 and its subparagraphs entitled "The Damage." This is consistent with the allegations and paragraph numbers of Claim No. 102408.

It is quite clear to me that the Defendant inadvertently responded to a new claim as if were the amendment of an existing claim. I had previously dismissed Claim No. 102408 in Motion No. M-64696, filed on March 28, 2002, a motion to which the Claimant failed to offer any timely opposition. However, I believe that this underlying confusion has led to a lot of unnecessary and convoluted motion practice, dealing with both claims.

Fairness requires that this inadvertence and confusion be clarified. Thus, I have determined that Claim No. 102408 should be restored to the calendar, and this motion, to that extent, is granted.

The most orderly and practical solution to this morass is the following:
[1] The Clerk is directed to restore Claim No. 102408 to the calendar;
[2] The Clerk is directed to take the Amended Verified Answer currently filed with Claim No. 101829 and redesignate the same as the Verified Answer to Claim No. 102408;
[3] Similarly, the original Verified Answer to Claim No. 101829 shall be deemed the only Answer with respect to that claim;
[4] The Claimant and Defendant shall review their files and ascertain whether any disclosure or discovery is necessary to prepare Claim No. 102408 for trial, and if so, I have determined that the date of service of this order shall be deemed to be the original date of service of the Answer to this claim for purposes of any disclosure and article 31 demands, including the right to amend pleadings, etc., and
[5] the Clerk is directed to serve this order upon the parties.

It is my intention that neither party suffer any prejudice due to this aforementioned confusion and that the parties proceed to prepare this matter for trial. The motion is granted to the extent noted.

October 31, 2002
Rochester, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]The Defendant served and filed its Answer to Claim No. 101829 on March 1, 2000.