New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JASNIEWSKI v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-009-24, Claim No. 107261, Motion No. M-66524


Synopsis


Defendant's motion to dismiss the claim was granted, in part, and causes of action based upon the intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent training and supervision, and the deprivation of federal civil rights were dismissed.

Case Information

UID:
2003-009-24
Claimant(s):
MARTIN JASNIEWSKI
Claimant short name:
JASNIEWSKI
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107261
Motion number(s):
M-66524
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Claimant's attorney:
TED A. BARRACO, ESQ.
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General
BY: Edward F. McArdle, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney GeneralOf Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
June 25, 2003
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

Defendant has brought this motion, seeking an order dismissing the claim pursuant to CPLR Rule 3211(a)(2) and (7).

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with this motion:
Notice of Motion, Affirmation, with Exhibits 1,2


"Reply Affirmation" 3

Filed Papers: Claim

In his claim, claimant seeks damages based upon allegations of false arrest, malicious prosecution, the intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent training and supervision, and the deprivation of his civil rights under 42 USC §§ 1983 et seq.

On July 17, 2000, claimant was arrested pursuant to a warrant accusing him of the crime of grand larceny in the fourth degree, in violation of Penal Law § 155.30. The warrant had been issued on an information complaint by George E. Duckett, a trooper with the New York State Police, and the supporting deposition of Donald E. TenEyck. Claimant was subsequently indicted by the Cayuga County Grand Jury on May 2, 2001 on that charge. By a "Memorandum, Decision and Order" dated January 31, 2002, the indictment against claimant was dismissed by the Hon. Peter E. Corning, Cayuga County Court Judge, on the basis that the People had not presented any evidence of guilty intent and therefore had not established every element of the offense. Claimant then filed the instant claim against the State on January 30, 2003. The State has now moved to dismiss the claim in its entirety, contending that this Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction and that claimant has failed to state a cause of action.

With regard to the cause of action asserted under 42 USC § 1983, alleging a violation of claimant's federal civil rights, it is clear that such statute cannot be used as the basis for a claim against the State (see, Thomas v New York Temporary State Commn. on Regulation of Lobbying, 83 AD2d 723, affd 56 NY2d 656). Additionally, it has long been held that claims against the State based upon the intentional infliction of emotional distress are barred as against public policy (see, Wheeler v State of New York, 104 AD2d 496). In his answering papers (see Item No. 3), claimant concedes that both of these causes of action cannot be sustained against the State, and has consented to an order dismissing each cause of action.

With regard to the cause of action based upon negligent supervision and training, such a cause of action in situations involving investigative procedures is considered to be a claim for negligent investigation or prosecution, which is not a cognizable cause of action in New York (see, Pandolfo v U.A. Cable Sys. of Watertown, 171 AD2d 1013; Russ v State Employees Federal Credit Union, 298 AD2d 791, 793; Romero v State of New York, 294 AD2d 730, 734). Accordingly, this cause of action must be dismissed as well.

In order to establish a cause of action for false arrest or false imprisonment, claimant must show that: (1) the defendant intended to confine him; (2) that he was conscious of the confinement; (3) that he did not consent to the confinement; and (4) that the confinement was not otherwise privileged (Broughton v State of New York, 37 NY2d 451, cert denied sub nom. Schanbarger v Kellogg, 423 US 929). Since the arrest of claimant was made pursuant to a warrant which was valid on its face and issued by a court of competent jurisdiction, defendant contends that claimant's false arrest cause of action must be dismissed.

As a general rule, an arrest made pursuant to a warrant which is valid on its face and issued by a court having jurisdiction of the crime and person gives rise only to a cause of action for malicious prosecution, and not one for false arrest (Broughton v State of New York, supra). However, under limited circumstances courts have permitted recovery for false arrest despite the presence of a valid arrest warrant (see, Ross v Village of Wappingers Falls, 62 AD2d 892). In Ross, the court held that an arresting officer was not insulated from a claim of false imprisonment when he personally procured the issuance of a warrant based upon his own false and unsubstantiated statements.

Since this is a motion to dismiss under CPLR 3211, and not one for summary judgment under CPLR 3212, it would be premature for the Court to dismiss this cause of action without affording claimant an opportunity, through discovery, to establish this cause of action. In other words, the fact that this arrest was procured by means of a warrant is not an automatic bar against any recovery for false arrest, but rather it only creates a strong presumption that the arrest was legal. At this stage of the proceedings, therefore, this cause of action may not be dismissed.

In order to establish a cause of action based upon malicious prosecution, a claimant must establish that: (1) a criminal proceeding was commenced or continued by the defendant against the claimant; (2) the proceeding was terminated in favor of the claimant; (3) there was no probable cause for the criminal proceeding; and (4) defendant acted with actual malice (Broughton v State of New York, supra). Defendant contends that claimant will not be able to establish either that the proceeding was terminated in his favor, or that there was a lack of probable cause for the criminal proceeding against him.

Defendant argues that the dismissal of the indictment by the Cayuga County Court Judge, since the court found insufficient evidence to support the indictment, did not address the issue of claimant's guilt or innocence, and therefore was not a termination of the criminal action in his favor. However, a dismissal of an indictment made by motion pursuant to CPL § 210.20 is, by statute, considered to be a termination of such criminal proceeding in favor of the accused (CPL § 160.50[1] and [3][b]).

Defendant also contends that since the arrest of claimant resulted from a grand jury indictment, claimant, as a matter of law, will not be able to establish a lack of probable cause in continuing the criminal proceeding against him. However, although a grand jury indictment is prima facie evidence of probable cause, a claimant may overcome such presumption if he or she can prove that the indictment was produced by fraud, perjury, suppression of evidence, or other police misconduct (see, Colon v City of New York, 60 NY2d 78). A claimant can meet this burden if he or she can show that defendant has not made a full and complete statement of the facts to the grand jury or to the district attorney presenting the case, or that evidence has been misrepresented, falsified, or withheld which would have affected the grand jury decision (see, Boose v City of Rochester, 71 AD2d 59). Again, since this is a motion to dismiss, claimant should be afforded the opportunity to develop this cause of action through the discovery process.

Accordingly, for the reasons set forth herein, it is

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-66524 is hereby GRANTED, in part, and the causes of action in Claim No. 107261 for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent training and supervision, and the deprivation of federal civil rights are hereby DISMISSED; and it is further

ORDERED, that in all other aspects, the motion is DENIED.


June 25, 2003
Syracuse, New York

HON. NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Judge of the Court of Claims