New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JIGGETTS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-016-055, Claim No. 95029, Motion No. M-66658


Counsel's motion to withdraw was granted.

Case Information

HELEN JIGGETTS, as Administratrix of the Estate of WALTER JIGGETTS
Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
John N. Tasolides, Esq.
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Grace A. Brannigan, Esq.No Appearance
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
July 21, 2003
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This is the motion of John N. Tasolides, Esq. to withdraw as counsel for claimant Helen Jiggetts, as Administratrix of the Estate of Walter Jiggetts. Counsel also requests a charging lien. In the underlying claim, it is alleged that Walter Jiggetts died as a result of injuries sustained in connection with an assault by employees at Kingsboro Psychiatric Center. This motion was served on defendant and on claimant. See the affidavit of service annexed to Mr. Tasolides' moving papers. Defendant submitted no responsive papers. Helen Jiggetts submitted a May 12, 2003 letter in which she acknowledged receipt of this motion and requested "additional time to secure a different attorney to continue this case."

There must be a showing of good cause and reasonable notice before an attorney will be permitted to terminate the attorney-client relationship. See, e.g., J. M. Heinike Associates, Inc. v Liberty Nat. Bank, 142 AD2d 929, 530 NYS2d 355 (4th Dept 1988). What constitutes good cause is not an objective determination, but rather lies within the sound discretion of the trial court. See, e.g., People v Salquerro, 107 Misc 2d 155, 433 NYS2d 711 (Sup Ct NY County 1980).

In this case, counsel has essentially asserted that he and his client have disagreed as to how the case should proceed. In view of the foregoing, and in view of Helen Jiggetts' desire to retain a new attorney, I find that there has been a showing of good cause to be relieved.

Accordingly, having reviewed the parties' submissions[1], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-66658 be granted to the extent that:
  1. Permission to withdraw is hereby granted to John N. Tasolides, Esq., only upon satisfaction of the requirements of ¶2 hereof.
  2. Within ten (10) days of the filing of this Decision and Order, John N. Tasolides, Esq. shall serve upon Helen Jiggetts a file-stamped copy of this Decision and Order by certified mail, return receipt requested and by regular mail. Counsel shall thereafter promptly file an affidavit of such service, with the return receipt attached, with the Clerk of the Court. Only upon the Clerk's receipt of such affidavit with return receipt shall John N. Tasolides, Esq. be relieved from representation of claimant; and
  3. No further proceedings shall take place with respect to this claim until ninety (90) days after the filing of this Decision and Order, so as to permit Helen Jiggetts to retain new counsel. Helen Jiggetts shall, within 90 days of the filing of this Decision & Order, ensure that new counsel files a notice of appearance, or, within such 90 days, notify the Clerk of the Court (New York State Court of Claims, Box 7344, Capitol Station, Albany, NY 12224) and the State of New York (Grace Brannigan, Esq., AAG, New York State Department of Law, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271) in writing of her intention to proceed without counsel (pro se).
  4. If Helen Jiggetts fails to so appear by new counsel or notify the Clerk of the Court within such 90-day period, the claim herein will be deemed dismissed (22 NYCRR 206.15), and no further order of this Court will be required.
5. With respect to counsel's request for a charging lien, such is denied without prejudice to whatever rights to compensation counsel may have pursuant to §475 of the Judiciary Law or otherwise.

July 21, 2003
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]The following were reviewed from John N. Tasolides, Esq.: Order to Show Cause with affirmation in support, exhibits A-D, affidavit of service, and Memorandum of Law. The Court also reviewed Helen Jiggetts' May 12, 2003 letter. Defendant submitted no papers.