New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

HINDS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-010-049, Claim No. 105390


Synopsis


Inmate claimant, who sought damages for injuries sustained when he fell on wet stairs, failed to meet his burden of proof and the claim was dismissed.

Case Information

UID:
2002-010-049
Claimant(s):
DENNIS HINDS
Claimant short name:
HINDS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
105390
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
DENNIS HINDSPro 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:
October 30, 2002
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
Claimant seeks damages for injuries he allegedly sustained on March 23, 2001 while he was incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Claimant testified that, in connection with mess hall duties, he fell on wet stairs while carrying pots and pans. As a result of the fall, he injured his elbow and back. This claim was heard in a unified trial.
Claimant served a Notice of Intention by certified mail, return receipt requested, on April 5, 2001. The claim was subsequently served upon the Office of the Attorney General by ordinary mail. The envelope was postmarked November 13, 2001. Defendant asserted in its answer, with sufficient particularity, the affirmative defense of lack of jurisdiction based upon the improper service (Answer, ¶ 11) and at trial, defendant moved to dismiss the claim on this basis. Claimant opposed the motion by stating that he sent the claim by ordinary mail because he was in medical keeplock at the time of mailing. Claimant did not testify as to how long he was in medical keeplock nor did he specify what prevented him from serving the claim in a proper manner for a two year period.
The requirements of the Court of Claims Act §§ 10 and 11 are jurisdictional in nature and must be strictly construed (
see Finnerty v New York State Thruway Auth., 75 NY2d 721, 722-23; Phillips v State of New York, 237 AD2d 590). "[A] failure to comply therewith is a jurisdictional defect compelling the dismissal of the claim" (Welch v State of New York, 286 AD2d 496, 497-98). In any event, claimant failed to meet his burden of proof and the claim would warrant dismissal on that ground as well.
Accordingly,
defendant's motion to dismiss, upon which decision was reserved, is now GRANTED.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED DISMISSING CLAIM NO. 105390.

October 30, 2002
White Plains, New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims