New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

THOMPSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-010-017, Claim No. 107129, Motion Nos. M-66673, CM-66792


Synopsis


Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted and claimant's cross-motion for summary judgment is denied.

Case Information

UID:
2003-010-017
Claimant(s):
MILTON THOMPSON
Claimant short name:
THOMPSON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107129
Motion number(s):
M-66673
Cross-motion number(s):
CM-66792
Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
MILTON THOMPSONPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General for the State of New YorkBy: Janet L. Polstein, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
June 9, 2003
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers numbered 1-2 were read and considered by the Court on defendant's motion to dismiss and claimant's cross-motion for summary judgment:
Notice of Motion, Attorney's Supporting Affirmation and Exhibits.........................1

Answer to Motion for Summary Judgment, Claimant's Supporting Affidavit and Exhibits......................................................................................................................2

Claim No. 107129 purports to allege a claim pursuant to Court of Claims Act §8-b for unjust conviction (Defendant's Ex. A). Defendant moves to dismiss on the ground that claimant failed to comply with the statutory requirements and claimant cross-moves for summary judgment.

Court of Claims Act §8-b(3) requires a claimant to, inter alia, provide documentary evidence establishing that his conviction was reversed or vacated and that the indictment was dismissed under certain enumerated grounds set forth in CPL 440.10 and CPL 470.20 (see Guce v State of New York, 224 AD2d 492 [claimant failed to defeat a motion to dismiss where he did not present documentary evidence establishing that his conviction was vacated and the indictment was dismissed on one of the enumerated grounds]). The statutory requirements are to be strictly construed (see Groce v State of New York, 272 AD2d 519) and the Court of Appeals has acknowledged that "[t]he task facing a claimant who attempts to assert a damages claim against the State under Court of Claims Act §8-b is certainly not a simple one" (Reed v State of New York, 78 NY2d 1 at 11). The Court of Appeals further noted that it is clear from the statute and its history that such claims are not expected to succeed frequently and that the Law Revision Commission anticipated that most claims would be dismissed before trial (see Reed v State of New York, 78 NY2d 1, supra).

Here, claimant has failed to present the requisite documentary evidence. Indeed, claimant stated in his supporting affidavit that he is still serving his sentence (p14, ¶ 38) and that he has a CPL 440.10 motion pending (p 3, ¶ 6). Thus, the claim is premature and warrants dismissal because claimant's conviction has not been reversed or vacated.

The claim also warrants dismissal pursuant to Court of Claims Act §8-b(4) which requires claimant to state facts in sufficient detail to permit the Court to find that claimant is likely to succeed at trial in proving that he did not commit any of the acts charged and that he did not by his own conduct cause or bring about his conviction (see Dickan v State of New York, 300 AD2d 257 [dismissal warranted where it was not likely that claimant would succeed at trial]). "The ‘linchpin' of the statute is innocence" (Ivey v State of New York, 80 NY2d 474, 479).

Accordingly, defendant's motion to dismiss is GRANTED and the cross-motion is DENIED.


June 9, 2003
White Plains, New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims