New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WASHINGTON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-010-054, Claim No. 105145


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2002-010-054
Claimant(s):
VISCOUNT WASHINGTON
Claimant short name:
WASHINGTON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
105145
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
VISCOUNT WASHINGTONPro 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:
December 2, 2002
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claim for injuries sustained at Sing Sing was dismissed due to claimant's improper serve of the claim.

Claimant seeks damages for injuries he sustained on October 5, 2001, during his incarceration at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.

At trial, defendant moved to dismiss the claim based on claimant's improper service of the claim by certified mail, rather than by the statutorily prescribed manner of service (Court of Claims Act § 11).[1] Claimant opposed the motion by arguing that he had a disbursement form request showing that he had requested certified mail, return receipt requested. The Court reserved decision on the motion until November 8, 2002 to provide claimant the opportunity to submit a copy of the form. To date, claimant has neither contacted the Court nor submitted a copy of the form.

The requirements of Court of Claims Act § 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). Claimant's self serving testimony does not rise to the level of proof necessary to establish entitlement to an estoppel defense (cf. Wattley v State of New York, 146 Misc 2d 968 [defendant was estopped from raising improper service where defendant admitted that inmate claimant had requested certified mail, return receipt requested, and his account was debited accordingly; however requested manner of service was not acted upon by defendant's employees]).

Accordingly, defendant's motion to dismiss, upon which decision was reserved, is hereby GRANTED.

LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED DISMISSING CLAIM NO. 105145.

December 2, 2002
White Plains, New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1] Defendant's objection to the manner of service was properly raised, with sufficient particularity, in its answer at ¶ 9.