New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GREEN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-019-023, Claim No. 99072


Synopsis


Claimant alleges that his magazine posters were destroyed because they were larger than the DOCS Directive. Court found Claim without merit. Claim Dismissed.

Case Information

UID:
2002-019-023
Claimant(s):
ROLAND GREEN
Claimant short name:
GREEN
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
99072
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Claimant's attorney:
ROLAND GREEN, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: James E. Shoemaker, Assistant Attorney General,of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

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

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
Claimant, Roland Green, a
pro se inmate, alleges that certain personal property of his was destroyed while in the custody of officials of the Department of Correctional Services (hereinafter "DOCS"), at the Southport Correctional Facility (hereinafter "Facility"). The trial of this Claim was held on July 30, 2002 at the Elmira Correctional Facility.

Claimant testified that on or about August 31, 1998, he received seven magazines, four of which contained posters greater than eighteen inches by fourteen inches which was the maximum size permitted under DOCS Directive No. 4911- IV (H) (a). Claimant alleges that those four posters were removed from four of the magazines and destroyed before the magazines were given to the Claimant. Claimant testified that he was not notified after the mail room received said posters that they were not allowed in the Facility, and that he was not given notice of the option to send them back to the publisher or to his home. He testified that he would have returned the magazines had he known that the posters were oversized, but could not return those four magazines once the poster was removed and destroyed. Consequently, Claimant had to keep those four magazines at a cost of $5.95 each, alleging total damages in the amount of $23.80. Claimant rested.


The State called Dee Ann Gardner, employed at the Facility since 1998 as a senior mail and supply clerk. Her job is to process incoming mail and she is fully aware of and complied with the above-referenced DOCS Directive 4911. She stated that Facility policy is that posters greater than eighteen inches by fourteen inches are not permissible in the Facility. The witness further testified that if a magazine has an oversized poster, the magazine is sent to the outside package room and the poster is removed. The magazine is subsequently delivered to the inmate without the posters. On cross-examination Claimant attempted to establish that he should have been given the option on fourteen days notice, to mail out and return these magazines or destroy the posters.


Correction Officer Evertts, called by the State, testified that inmates such as Claimant, when in the Special Housing Unit (hereinafter "SHU"), have no mail room or package privileges. Consequently, once SHU received the package or the magazines for the Claimant, Claimant could not mail back or return these magazines because he lacked access to outside mail delivery.


Claimant has offered no evidence or testimony from which this Court can conclude the Facility failed to comply with its own rules and regulations relative to contraband and mail room privileges accorded to SHU inmates. It appears that these posters were indeed contraband and, absent mail room privileges, there was no available method by which Claimant could have returned the magazines. Therefore, the Facility acted appropriately by only removing that portion of the magazine deemed contraband, namely the oversized posters, and returning the rest of the magazine to Claimant. As such, Claimant was properly deprived of items deemed to be contraband, but entitled to possess the rest of the magazines with minimal impact or damage. Based upon the foregoing, the Court finds this Claim is without merit.

For the reasons stated above, Claim No. 99072 is hereby DISMISSED.


Any and all motions on which the Court may have previously reserved or which were not previously determined, are hereby denied.


ENTER JUDGMENT ACCORDINGLY.


August 12, 2002
Binghamton, New York

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