New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ALLAH v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-019-031, Claim No. 95839


Synopsis


Claimant alleged prison denied him right to participate in the observance of the December 1996 fast and the Ramadan fast in January 1997. Based upon a review of prior Supreme Court Decision and Judgment involving same allegations, Court granted the State's motion to dismiss upon which it reserved at the end of trial for the reasons stated by Supreme Court.

Case Information

UID:
2002-019-031
Claimant(s):
JAMEL ALLAH
Claimant short name:
ALLAH
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
95839
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Claimant's attorney:
JAMEL ALLAH, 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:
September 30, 2002
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision
Claimant, Jamel Allah, a/k/a Jamel Hathway, a
pro se inmate, brings this Claim alleging that his religious rights were violated during December of 1996 and January 1997, while in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services at the Southport Correctional Facility (hereinafter "Facility"). The trial of this Claim took place on June 25, 2002 at Elmira Correctional Facility.

At trial Claimant testified that due to a number of clerical errors he was not entitled to fast in December of 1996 and into January of 1997, because he had been inappropriately removed from the Ramadan list by the Facility's Islamic clerk. Consequently, Claimant alleges his religious rights were violated and that he was not allowed to appropriately participate in this religious holiday by fasting or receiving appropriate diet.


After the Claimant offered his testimony in this regard, the State moved to dismiss based upon, among other things, Claimant's failure to pursue his administrative remedies and a prior related Decision and Judgment of Supreme Court. (
Allah v Goord, Sup Ct, Chemung County, Dec. 15, 1997, Ellison, J., Index No. 97-1800). Initially, the Court notes that there is no prerequisite that a Claimant must exhaust his administrative remedies prior to commencing suit in the Court of Claims in any action other than an inmate bailment claim. (CCA 10 [9]; Fullwood v State of New York, et al., Ct Cl, November 14, 2001, Corbett, Jr., J., Claim No. 103204, Motion No. M-63915 [UID No. 2001-005-541]).[1] With respect to the State's second argument, this Court has reviewed the Supreme Court Decision and Judgment and finds that the same relates specifically to this Claim and that the merits of that action were reached in the prior Supreme Court matter. More specifically, the Supreme Court matter addressed Claimant's complaints of being denied participation in the observance of the December fast and the Ramadan fast in January 1997 which are the same complaints for the same time period at issue here. Based upon a review of that prior Decision and Judgment, this Court now grants the State's motion to dismiss, upon which it reserved at the end of trial, for the reasons stated by Justice Ellison therein.

Based upon the foregoing, Claim No. 95839 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.

September 30, 2002
Binghamton, New York

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




[1]
Unreported Decisions from the Court of Claims are available via the Internet at http://www.nyscourtofclaims.state.ny.us/decision.