New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MILLER v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-011-103, Claim No. 103554


Synopsis


Claim for cause of action for battery based on an allegation that Claimant was physically attacked by correct officers is dismissed.

Case Information

UID:
2002-011-103
Claimant(s):
STEVEN MILLER, 98 A 3477
Claimant short name:
MILLER
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
103554
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
THOMAS J. McNAMARA
Claimant's attorney:
Steven Miller, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Glenn C. King, Esq.,Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
June 21, 2002
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
The claim sets forth a cause of action for battery based on an allegation that Claimant was physically attacked by correction officers on February 10, 2000 at Bare Hill Correctional Facility.

The elements of a claim for battery are (1) bodily contact, which is (2) harmful or offensive and (3) made with intent (
Masters v Becker , 22 AD2d 118).
On the day of the incident claimant was escorted to the Special Housing Unit for confinement. Claimant testified that after he was examined by a nurse he was punched and kicked by correction officers for no apparent reason. He also testified that he was examined by a nurse the following day and injuries were noted.

Defendant produced testimony by two correction officers who denied that they had assaulted claimant. One of the officers testified that the admission of claimant to SHU was uneventful.

The testimony presents conflicting versions of what occurred. In claimant's version unprovoked force was employed against him. In the version offered by defendant no force was used. Liability, or the absence of it, depends on crediting one version rather than the other.

The medical records of the treatment claimant received show that upon his admission to SHU no injuries were noted though claimant contends that he complained of back pain. The note for the following day shows a one and a half inch scratch on his right arm as well as a small abrasion on his forehead. A complaint of back pain is also recorded.

Both versions are plausible. However, the burden of proof is with claimant and in the absence of some reason for crediting his story, over that of the correction officers, claimant has failed to meet his burden. Accordingly, the claim is dismissed.
Let judgment be entered accordingly.

June 21, 2002
Saratoga Springs, New York

HON. THOMAS J. MCNAMARA
Judge of the Court of Claims