New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

AMAKER v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK , #2002-030-506, Claim No. 102355, Motion No. M-64673


Synopsis


Motion to restore pro se inmate's claim granted. Claim had been dismissed on calendar default.


No opposition by State

Case Information

UID:
2002-030-506
Claimant(s):
ANTHONY D. AMAKER
Claimant short name:
AMAKER
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
102355
Motion number(s):
M-64673
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
THOMAS H. SCUCCIMARRA
Claimant's attorney:
ANTHONY D. AMAKER, 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 25, 2002
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)

.
Decision

The following papers, numbered 1 to 5, were read on Claimant's motion to vacate the dismissal of Claim Number 102355:
1,2 Notice of Motion; Affidavit in Support of Anthony D. Amaker, sworn to January 30, 2002.

3 Letter from Assistant Attorney General Elyse J. Angelico, dated March 4, 2002.
4,5 Filed Papers: Claim, Verified Answer. After carefully considering the papers submitted and the applicable law the motion is granted for the following reasons:

Trial of the underlying claim had been scheduled for January 8, 2002 at Sing Sing Correctional Facility (hereafter Sing Sing). On that date, Claimant failed to appear, and, based upon his default, the claim was dismissed. At the time, the Court had been advised that the Claimant "refused" to appear, and a computer printout from Upstate Correctional Facility (hereafter Upstate) was handed up indicating such refusal.

In reviewing the affidavit in support of the present motion, the Court is concerned to see that Claimant indicates correction personnel were unwilling to pack up "legal material" he asserts he required in order to present his case, and that that was the reason he refused to board the transportation available to bring him to Court. He indicates that he was advised of the scheduled Court date on December 12, 2001. On that date, he wrote to the Court indicating he had been transferred to Upstate on October 31, 2001, had been unable to carry some bags of "active legal material", indicating his physical limitations, and reciting new allegations of misfeasance. The Court acknowledged receipt of the letter, sent him a copy of the Claim at issue, and reminded him that his claim had been pending for some time and would proceed to trial on January 8, 2002 as scheduled.

According to his affidavit, thereafter, and on or about December 21, 2001 he wrote to the Deputy Superintendent about his "need for legal mail for this case....and respectfully inform[ed] C.O. R. Sears on January 3, 2002 that receipt for certified mail, and receipt for the property in question was needed." [Affidavit of Anthony D. Amaker, paragraph 3]. He also indicates that his request that his material be packed up for court was denied, presumably at the same time as his discussion with the correction officer.

Transport from Upstate to Sing Sing had apparently been arranged for January 4, 2002.

The Attorney General takes no position with respect to Claimant's motion.

While the Court is not thoroughly convinced that some of the Claimant's difficulties in obtaining his material are not simply a matter of timing - given his late advice to correction personnel of the need for certain materials despite having been advised almost one month in advance of the court date - resolution of matters on the merits is always favored.

Accordingly, the Court hereby grants Claimant's motion and vacates its dismissal, and asks that the Clerk re-calendar Claimant's trial. Claimant should be advised of the new date two (2) months in advance, in order to timely facilitate whatever internal mechanisms are required to obtain his legal material.

March 25, 2002
White Plains, New York

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