New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

DELGADO v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-019-013, Claim No. 95742


Synopsis


Claimant, pro se inmate, awarded the sum of $880.00 for 88 days of unwrongful confinement at the rate of $10.00 per day.

Case Information

UID:
2002-019-013
Claimant(s):
LUIS DELGADO
Claimant short name:
DELGADO
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
95742
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Claimant's attorney:
LUIS DELGADO, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: Joseph F. Romani, Assistant Attorney General,of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
June 12, 2002
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
Claimant, Luis Delgado, an inmate appearing
pro se, alleges that he was unlawfully confined for approximately four months with the loss of various prison privileges while in the custody of the Department of Correctional Services at the Elmira Correctional Facility (hereinafter "Facility"). The trial of this Claim was held at the Facility on May 29, 2002.

At trial it was established that Claimant was accused of stabbing an inmate by the name of Cruz approximately eleven times on August 1, 1996. Claimant alleges, however, there was no real proof that he actually committed the offense. However, as a result of the August 1, 1996 assault on Inmate Cruz, Claimant was placed in the Special Housing Unit (hereinafter "SHU") on September 8, 1996. On September 16, 1996 a Superintendent's Hearing was commenced against the above-named Claimant charging Claimant with various Facility violations including violent conduct; assault on an inmate and fighting. Claimant was found guilty of these offenses upon completion of a disciplinary hearing held on September 18, 1996. Claimant was sentenced to one year in SHU with the loss of various privileges including, but not limited to, recreation, packages, commissary, telephone, special events, and movies. On October 16, 1996 Claimant appealed the disposition of the Superintendent's Hearing alleging that the same was not commenced within seven days pursuant to 7 NYCRR § 251-5.1. On December 5, 1996, a reversal of the Superintendent's Hearing Order was issued, holding that the above-referenced hearing be reversed for failure to commence the same within seven days of the inmates confinement for this incident. (St. Ex. A). On December 7, 1996 Claimant was notified of this reversal. He was subsequently released from SHU on December 11, 1996.


In order to establish a prima facie claim for wrongful confinement, a claimant must demonstrate that (1) defendant intended to confine him; (2) he was conscious of the confinement; (3) he did not consent to the confinement; and (4) the confinement was not otherwise privileged. (
Broughton v State of New York, 37 NY2d 451, 456, cert denied sub nom Schanbarger v Kellogg, 423 US 929). Generally, disciplinary measures imposed consistent with the governing rules and regulations are covered by immunity, except in cases in which the State exceeded the scope of their authority or violated applicable rules and regulations. (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212, 218-220). The relevant regulation at issue here provides, in pertinent part, that the hearing must be commenced within 7 days of confinement and completed within 14 days of confinement unless an extension is obtained from the Commissioner or his designee. (7 NYCRR 251-5.1).

Based upon the foregoing, the Court concludes that the Claimant was in fact inappropriately confined in SHU due to failure to follow the rules and procedures of disciplinary hearings and failure to conduct the same within seven days of Claimant's initial confinement to SHU. Consequently, the Court finds that Claimant was confined with loss of aforementioned privileges for 23 days in September of 1996, 31 days in October of 1996, 30 days in November of 1996, and 11 days in December of 1996, for a total confinement in SHU, with a corresponding loss of the aforementioned privileges, for a total of 95 days. However, the first seven days of Claimant's confinement were within the allowable time period and therefore Claimant is not entitled to damages for this privileged period of confinement (
Sanchez v State of New York, Ct Cl, October 4, 2001, Scuccimarra, J., Claim No. 99161; Odom v State of New York, Ct Cl, December 8, 1998, Ruderman, J., Claim No. 91792). In subtracting the seven days it appears to the Court, that Claimant was wrongfully confined for a total of 88 days coupled with the loss of the various privileges heretofore described. Based upon the foregoing the Court awards Claimant the amount $880.00, a sum equivalent to $10.00 per day for each of the 88 days that Claimant was wrongfully confined.

LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.


June 12, 2002
Binghamton, New York

HON. FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Judge of the Court of Claims