New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

PHELPS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-010-006, Claim No. 102304


Synopsis


Inmate claimant's case of allegedly being attacked by correction officers is dismissed as force used was determined to be not excessive.

Case Information

UID:
2002-010-006
Claimant(s):
DARRYL PHELPS
Claimant short name:
PHELPS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
102304
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
DARRYL PHELPSPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General for the State of New YorkBy: Elyse Angelico, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
February 20, 2002
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
Claimant seeks damages for injuries he allegedly sustained during his incarceration at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, when he was allegedly attacked by four corrections officers.
On September 1, 1999,
claimant testified at a disciplinary hearing and was then escorted to the Special Housing Unit ("SHU"). Claimant testified that, before entering the unit he was frisked and that, during the frisk, he was grabbed by Corrections Officers White, Carbello, Doe and Singleton and was kicked in the penis for 15 minutes. Claimant was bleeding from his penis and was treated at St. Agnes Hospital (Exs. 1-4).
Claimant contends that the attack was in retaliation for his behavior at the disciplinary hearing. On cross-examination, claimant conceded that he was yelling even before the Corrections Officers came to escort him to SHU.
Corrections Officer Jeremy White, the exercise officer in SHU since 1999, testified that on September 1, 1999, before
claimant entered the unit, his handcuffs were removed and he was directed to place both hands on the wall. White observed claimant move his right elbow in a threatening manner toward Corrections Officer Singleton. White reacted, but lost his balance and fell on top of claimant and Singleton fell on top of them. In the fall, Singleton inadvertently leaned into claimant's groin.
Claimant resisted restraint and was fighting and kicking. C
laimant was finally restrained and placed in leg irons. White never observed Singleton beat claimant. White explained that it was normal procedure to search an inmate before returning him to SHU.
Upon consideration of all the evidence, including listening to the witnesses testify and observing their demeanor as they did so,
the Court finds that claimant failed to establish by a preponderance of the credible evidence that he was assaulted. Rather, the Court credits the testimony of Corrections Officer White and finds that the force used to restrain claimant, who was kicking and fighting, was not excessive (see, Passino v State of New York, 260 AD2d 915).
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED DISMISSING CLAIM NO. 102304.

February 20, 2002
White Plains, New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims