New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

PATTERSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-031-015, Claim No. 105062, Motion No. M-64629


Synopsis


Claimant's motion for summary judgment denied due to existence of material issues of fact.

Case Information

UID:
2002-031-015
Claimant(s):
BERNARD PATTERSON
Claimant short name:
PATTERSON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
105062
Motion number(s):
M-64629
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
BERNARD PATTERSON, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: WENDY E. MORCIO, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
April 23, 2002
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers, numbered 1 to 4, were read on motion by Claimant for summary judgment:
  1. Notice of Motion, filed January 25, 2002;
  2. Affidavit of Bernard Patterson, sworn to January 14, 2002;
  3. Affidavit of Wendy E. Morcio, Esq., sworn to February 26, 2002;
  4. Filed documents: Claim and Answer.
Upon the foregoing papers, the motion is denied. This is Claimant Bernard Patterson's motion for summary judgment. In his underlying claim filed on October 15, 2001, Claimant alleges that he was assaulted by a correction officer at Wende Correctional Facility on November 16, 2000. In support of his motion, Claimant sets forth the events of November 16, 2000, as he alleges they occurred, and attaches a medical report from a Dr. Riggio, which supports his contention that he did, in fact, suffer injuries, including a fracture of the proximal tibia of his right leg, on that date. Claimant then recites case law which stands for the general proposition that excessive use of force is actionable.

Defendant opposes Claimant's motion, correctly stating that the use of physical force is permitted in some circumstances (7 NYCRR §251-1.2) and asserting its position that any force used against the Claimant was reasonable in light of the circumstances.

In any application for summary judgment, the moving party bears a heavy burden in establishing that he or she is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, tendering sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of any material issues of fact (Andre v Pomeroy, 35 NY2d 361; Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Center, 64 NY2d 851, 853). The fact that an altercation between Claimant and a correction officer occurred, in which force was used and Claimant was injured, is not in and of itself a basis for liability. Claimant must also demonstrate that the force used was unreasonable in light of the circumstances surrounding the altercation (Thomas v State of New York, Ct Cl, December, 2001 [Claim No. 97090 - MacLaw No. 2001-013-517], Patti J).[1] Claimant alleges that excessive force was used during the altercation; Defendant alleges that it was not. It is hard to imagine a clearer example of a question of fact. Determining the facts that gave rise to the claim will require an assessment of the credibility of various witnesses and precludes resolution on a motion for summary judgment (Cranker v Infantino, 229 AD2d 908).

Based upon the foregoing it is:

ORDERED, that Claimant's motion for summary judgment is denied.

April 23, 2002
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims




  1. [1]This and other Court of Claims decisions may be found on the Court of Claims website at