New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BEAL v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-009-59, Claim No. 106525, Motion No. M-65841


Synopsis


Defendant's motion to dismiss the claim for failure to state a cause of action, and based upon the immunity provided by Arteaga (72 NY2d 212), was denied.

Case Information

UID:
2002-009-59
Claimant(s):
FRANK BEAL
Claimant short name:
BEAL
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
106525
Motion number(s):
M-65841
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
NICHOLAS V. MIDEY, JR.
Claimant's attorney:
FRANK BEAL, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General
BY: G. Lawrence Dillon, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney GeneralOf Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
December 5, 2002
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

Defendant has brought this pre-answer motion seeking an order dismissing the claim, alleging that claimant has failed to state a cause of action.

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with this motion:
Pre-Answer Motion to Dismiss Claim, Affirmation, with Exhibits 1,2


"Affidavit" (Unsworn) in Opposition 3

Reply Affirmation 4


Filed Papers: Claim

In his filed claim, claimant seeks damages for wrongful confinement. Claimant contends that he spent 26 days (from June 24, 2002 to July 19, 2002) in the Special Housing Unit at Oneida Correctional Facility, pursuant to a misbehavior report issued against him and following a disciplinary hearing. In this motion, defendant contends that claimant will not be able to establish that he was wrongfully confined as a result of the disciplinary action taken by the correctional authorities.

In order to establish a prima facie claim for wrongful confinement, claimant must be able to demonstrate that (1) defendant intended to confine him; (2) he was conscious of the confinement; (3) he did not consent to the confinement; and (4) the confinement was not otherwise privileged (Broughton v State of New York, 37 NY2d 451, 456, cert denied sub nom Schanbarger v Kellogg, 423 US 929). Generally, an inmate claimant may not recover damages for wrongful confinement imposed as a result of disciplinary proceedings. It is well settled that disciplinary measures imposed consistent with governing rules and regulations are covered by immunity, except in cases in which the State has exceeded the scope of its authority or violated applicable rules and regulations (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212, 218-220).

In this claim, claimant alleges that the misbehavior report issued against him on June 24, 2002 was made by a correction officer in retaliation for a grievance placed by claimant against that correction officer earlier that day. Claimant contends that the misbehavior report was therefore issued in violation of applicable rules and regulations which prohibit disciplinary action being administered for retaliation or revenge (7 NYCRR 250.2[f]).

The allegations contained in this claim, therefore, have established a question of fact as to whether defendant is entitled to rely upon the absolute immunity extended to quasi-judicial disciplinary proceedings provided by Arteaga. It remains to be seen whether claimant will be able to establish that the misbehavior report was generated in violation of applicable rules and regulations. However, in considering defendant's motion to dismiss this claim for failure to state a cause of action, the Court must find that claimant has sufficiently alleged a viable cause of action against the State.

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-65841 is hereby DENIED.


December 5, 2002
Syracuse, New York

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