New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

PLAIR v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-030-020, Claim No. 101231-A


Synopsis


Pro se inmate's Claim that Defendant's agents negligently failed to protect him from assault by


fellow inmates dismissed on res judicata grounds

Case Information

UID:
2002-030-020
Claimant(s):
NAHRUE PLAIR
Claimant short name:
PLAIR
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
101231-A
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
THOMAS H. SCUCCIMARRA
Claimant's attorney:
NAHRUE PLAIR, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERALBy: ELYSE ANGELICO, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 19, 2002
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)

.
Decision
Nahrue Plair, the Claimant herein, alleges in Claim Number 101231-A, that the Defendant's agents failed to protect him from an assault by fellow inmates while he was incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility (hereafter Sing Sing). Trial of the matter was held at Sing Sing on January 18, 2002.

Claimant testified that on April 14, 1997 at approximately 7:30 AM he had been released from his cell in protective custody for breakfast. While he was eating, some "guy cut...[his] face, and his back."[1]
He was escorted to the facility emergency room, where his wounds were sutured, and he was released back to his cell. He could not say what had triggered the attack.
Claimant asserted that after the attack, and "in violation of Directive 4910, the area was not sealed off to search for contraband...." as required.

No other witnesses testified.

At the close of Claimant's case, the Assistant Attorney General asked this Court to take judicial notice of a decision dismissing the claim filed on August 16, 2001 concerning this same claimant. [Claim No. 96197, Ruderman, J., filed August 16, 2001]. When asked, the Claimant indicated that the trial held on that claim in July, 2001 concerned the same assault of April 14, 1997, and he had just "amended" that claim to present it again.

The doctrine of
res judicata applies "...when a party is attempting to relitigate...[his] whole cause of action; it intervenes in that instance to foreclose not only matters litigated, but also those which might have been litigated." Siegel, D., New York Practice p.714 (3d Edition 1999). Here, Claimant has indicated he has already had a trial on the merits of his claim that defendant's agents failed to protect him from this same assault, that resulted in dismissal. Judging by the filing date of the present claim, it may well be Claimant had both claims pending simultaneously, but failed to withdraw the present claim after the dismissal on the merits of Claim Number 96197. In any event, Claimant has already had his day in Court, and cannot relitigate the same claim.
The Defendant's motion to dismiss on the ground of
res judicata is hereby granted, and Claim Number 101231-A is hereby dismissed in its entirety.

Let judgment be entered accordingly.

March 19, 2002
White Plains, New York

HON. THOMAS H. SCUCCIMARRA
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1] All quotations are to trial notes or audiotapes unless otherwise indicated.