New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

VEGA v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-015-290, Claim No. 106104, Motion No. M-65370


Synopsis


Pro se claimant's application for poor person relief and assignment of counsel denied.

Case Information

UID:
2002-015-290
Claimant(s):
CARLOS VEGA
Claimant short name:
VEGA
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
106104
Motion number(s):
M-65370
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney:
Carlos Vega, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: No AppearanceAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
September 4, 2002
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant's application for poor person relief pursuant to CPLR 1101 and 1102 and for the assignment of counsel to pursue his claim is denied. The claim filed May 22, 2002 seeks to recover money damages for the alleged medical malpractice/medical negligence of DOCS personnel at Mid-State Correctional Facility commencing May 16, 1998 and continuing through August 8, 2001.

Claimant' s application must be denied since he failed to allege in his affidavit any facts from which the merits of his claim might be ascertained (CPLR 1101 (a); Matter of Teeter v Reed, 57 AD2d 735). Additionally claimant offered no proof that the application was served upon the Oneida County Attorney as required by statute (CPLR 1101 (c)). Failure to serve a county attorney is, in itself, a basis for denial of the relief requested (Sebastiano v State of New York, 92 AD2d 966; Harris v State of New York, 100 Misc 2d 1015).

As to the request for assignment of counsel, the Court of Appeals has held that there is no constitutional or statutory requirement that indigents be assigned private counsel in civil litigation of this nature (Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433). Smiley has been interpreted for the proposition that courts should not routinely approve requests made by indigents for the assignment of private counsel without compensation unless the litigation involves grievous forfeiture or loss of a fundamental right (Wills v City of Troy, 258 AD2d 849; Morgenthau v Garcia, 148 Misc 2d 900, 903). This claim does not rise to that level.


September 4, 2002
Saratoga Springs, New York

HON. FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. Notice of motion dated May 17, 2002;
  2. Affidavit of Carlos Vega sworn to May 17, 2002.