New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

HUSTON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-010-005, Claim No. 106142


Synopsis


Inmate claimant, who sought damages for property that was lost/damaged while he was incarcerated at Sing Sing, is awarded $156.00.

Case Information

UID:
2003-010-005
Claimant(s):
CARLO HUSTON
Claimant short name:
HUSTON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
106142
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
CARLO HUSTONPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General for the State of New YorkBy: Elyse Angelico, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 29, 2003
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
Claimant seeks $346.82 in damages for property that was lost or damaged while he was incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. This claim was heard in a unified trial.
Claimant testified that on August 4, 2001, his cell was searched while he was at the school building. When he returned, he noticed that several items were missing and others damaged. Claimant filed a facility claim on August 6, 2001 seeking $456.55 in restitution for his stolen, missing or damaged property. On December 26, 2001, the claim was granted to the extent of $153.59. Claimant rejected the offer and, on January 17, 2002, the claim was rejected by the Inmate Claims Investigator. Claimant filed an appeal to the superintendent which was denied.
Defendant concedes that
claimant has established a bailment but challenges claimant's proof regarding ownership and the value of the items. Specifically, claimant contends that his Brother typewriter was damaged and will cost $148.05 to repair. In support of this claim, claimant presented an undated estimate and undated parts quote for repair (Ex. 2). Claimant's name does not appear on either document nor is there any indication specifically identifying claimant's typewriter, such as a serial number. Although these documents were received into evidence, the Court has not accorded them any weight. While claimant did have a permit for a typewriter, there is no objective evidence linking the estimate to the typewriter.
Claimant has produced receipts for two sweatshirts, one dress shirt, two tee shirts, a pack of tee shirts, a lamp, an antenna and four cassette tapes described in the claim. The Court accorded no weight to the receipt for cigarettes, purchased six weeks prior to the August 4, 2001 incident, which could have been smoked or traded in the facility. Nor did the Court accord any weight to the receipts from the Stew Leonard's supermarket.
Where bailed property is not produced, the measure of recovery is the fair market value of the property at the time of the conversion (
see Phillips v Catania, 155 AD2d 866).
Based upon
claimant's testimony and the other evidence before this Court, claimant is entitled to an award of $156.00 together with appropriate interest from August 4, 2001. It is further ordered that, to the extent that claimant has paid a filing fee, it may be recovered pursuant to Court of Claims Act §11-a(2).
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.


January 29, 2003
White Plains, New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims