New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BROWN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-009-51, Claim No. 103284, Motion No. M-65678


Synopsis


Claimant's motion seeking permission to file a Supplemental Claim was denied, based upon a prior decision and order by Judge Collins in which he the identical relief was sought. The Court determined that the "law of the case" doctrine was applicable and denied the motion.

Case Information

UID:
2002-009-51
Claimant(s):
ANTONIO BROWN
Claimant short name:
BROWN
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
103284
Motion number(s):
M-65678
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
NICHOLAS V. MIDEY, JR.
Claimant's attorney:
ANTONIO BROWN, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General
BY: Joel L. Marmelstein, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney GeneralOf Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
November 1, 2002
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

Claimant has brought this motion seeking an order permitting him to serve and file a "Supplemental Claim", adding a cause of action based upon negligence.

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with this motion:
Motion, Affidavit, Proposed "Supplemental Claim" 1,2,3

Affirmation in Opposition, with Exhibits (including Decision and Order of Hon. Francis T. Collins, dated July 1, 2002, as Exhibit B) 4

In this claim, claimant seeks to recover damages for personal injuries suffered by him as a result of an alleged assault and battery by certain correction officers on August 28, 2000, while claimant was incarcerated at Oneida Correctional Facility. As set forth in the moving papers herein, claimant now seeks permission to "supplement" or amend his claim to add a cause of action alleging negligence as well. Specifically, claimant alleges that a certain correction officer participated in events that directly led to the assault and battery against him, and that this correction officer was not authorized to be present in the facility at that time.

Pursuant to CPLR Rule 3025(b), leave to amend or supplement pleadings should be "freely given" and the decision to do so is within the sound discretion of the Court. In this case, however, claimant had previously brought a motion[1] seeking the identical relief as sought herein. In a Decision and Order dated July 1, 2002[2], my esteemed and learned colleague, Hon. Francis T. Collins, denied claimant's application. In his Decision and Order, Judge Collins stated that claimant had failed "to establish that his proposed supplemental cause of action in negligence has any merit whatsoever."

The decision of Judge Collins, therefore, falls within the "law of the case" doctrine. The doctrine can be considered a species of collateral estoppel, applicable to intra-action issues. Once an issue has been determined, "the doctrine of the law of the case makes it binding not only on the parties, but on the court as well: no other judge of coordinate jurisdiction may undo the decision."

(Siegel, New York Practice, § 448, at 723[3rd edition]).

In this case, since Judge Collins, in his Decision and Order dated July 1, 2002, determined the identical issue as raised in this motion, and did so on the merits, this Court may not negate that decision. Claimant's motion must therefore be denied.

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-65678 is hereby DENIED.


November 1, 2002
Syracuse, New York

HON. NICHOLAS V. MIDEY, JR.
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1] Motion No. M-64980.
[2] See Exhibit B to Item No. 4.