New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

PATTERSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-016-084, Claim No. 105716, Motion No. M-65376


Inmate's motion for summary judgment on claim alleging property damage and wrongful keeplock status was denied.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
Bernard Patterson
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: James E. Shoemaker, AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
August 26, 2002
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This is Bernard Patterson's motion for summary judgment on his claim, which arises from two incidents. In the first, Mr. Patterson asserts that his typewriter was damaged in transit between correctional facilities because it was improperly packed by defendant. In the second, he asserts that he was wrongly confined in keeplock status for four days. With regard to the typewriter, aside from claimant's allegations that it was improperly packed – which defendant denies -- claimant has submitted nothing to prove that defendant's want of care damaged his typewriter. While he has submitted a memorandum from a Sullivan Correctional Facility deputy superintendent, it merely states that his typewriter was found to be broken. The memo contains no admission or explanation as to such breakage. See exhibit B to claimant's moving papers. Moreover, claimant asserts, without elaboration, that both an internal grievance and claim were denied. See ¶3 of the Claim. In short, issues of fact remain as to a variety of issues, including the causation of the alleged damage. Accordingly, summary judgment is inappropriate. See CPLR 3212(b).

As to claimant's keeplock time, he asserts that on February 15, 2002, he was placed in keeplock status after he informed a coordinator that he would not attend a program that was to commence on February 18, 2002, since he believed that he had been wrongly assigned to the program. According to claimant, a disciplinary hearing was held on February 19, 2002 at which time the misbehavior report was dismissed and the hearing officer stated, "I can't [find] you guilty for refusing a program . . . which did not start yet." See ¶6 of the claim.

"Corrections personnel are entitled to absolute immunity for those ‘discretionary decisions in furtherance of general policies and purposes where the exercise of reasoned judgment can produce different acceptable results.'" Minieri v State of New York, 204 AD2d 982, 613 NYS2d 510, 511 (4th Dept 1994), citing Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212, 532 NYS2d 57 (1988). It should also be noted that "[d]isciplinary proceedings in correctional facilities that are conducted consistent with the applicable rules and regulations are covered with a blanket of immunity . . . The fact that claimant was ultimately found not guilty of the charge does not give rise to a viable claim." Brown v State of New York, Ct Cl filed 10/27/98, Bell, J. (unreported, claim nos. 94875 and 94876). No evidence was introduced to suggest that defendant violated any rules or regulations with regard to claimant's disciplinary hearing. Accordingly, claimant is not entitled to summary judgment.

For the foregoing reasons, having reviewed the parties' submissions[1], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-65376 be denied.

August 26, 2002
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]Along with the pleadings, the following were reviewed: claimant's "Motion for Summary Judgment" with exhibits A-C; defendant's affirmation in opposition; and claimant's reply papers, entitled "Cross Motion in Opposition to Defendant's Affirmation in Opposition to Claimant's Motion for Summary Judgment."