New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

NIEBLAS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-016-084, Claim No. None, Motion No. M-67151


Synopsis


Case Information

UID:
2003-016-084
Claimant(s):
PEDRO NIEBLAS
Claimant short name:
NIEBLAS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
None
Motion number(s):
M-67151
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
Pedro Nieblas
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Grace A. Brannigan, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
October 29, 2003
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

This is Pedro Nieblas' motion for permission to file a late claim pursuant to §10.6 of the Court of Claims Act (the "Act"). Mr. Nieblas' proposed claim arises from the revocation of his parole following a hearing conducted on October 1, 2002.

According to Nieblas, he was arrested on June 26, 2002 and charged with nine violations of parole conditions: one related to a positive drug test result; four related to his failure to attend a drug treatment program; and four related to his arrest in connection with a dispute with his business partner. He contends that at a preliminary hearing on July 9, 2002, his Parole Officer testified as to a drug test which came back positive from an outside laboratory, but failed to testify as to an on-site test that had come back negative. Nieblas also alleges the following improprieties at his final hearing: that his Parole Officer lied by testifying that he had in fact raised the negative test at the preliminary hearing; that toxicology reports different from those introduced at the preliminary hearing were introduced; and that claimant's ex-business partner was called and allowed to perjure himself as to the events leading to claimant's arrest. In deciding this motion, the Court would ordinarily consider the six factors enumerated in the Act: whether (1) defendant had notice of the essential facts constituting the claim; (2) defendant had an opportunity to investigate the circumstances underlying the claim; (3) defendant was substantially prejudiced; (4) claimant has any other available remedy; (5) the delay was excusable and (6) the claim appears to be meritorious. In this case, however, a more fundamental issue must be addressed – whether this Court has jurisdiction over the proposed claim.

As in the case of Mr. Nieblas, the claimant in Lublin v State of New York, 135 Misc 2d 419, 515 NYS2d 385 (Ct Cl 1987) sought monetary damages in the Court of Claims following various alleged improprieties in the conduct of his parole revocation hearing. The Court dismissed the claim on the ground that:
[the Court of Claims] lacks subject matter jurisdiction. The Legislature has not vested the Court of Claims with the power to review determinations of administrative agencies. . . where statutes provide a method for review of adjudications by administrative agencies, they must be followed. A collateral review may not be sought under the guise of a claim for money damages. . . Judicial review [of the proprieties of parole revocation hearings] is obtained either by a proceeding against the State Board of Parole (CPLR Article 78) or by writ of habeas corpus . . . jurisdiction over which has been vested in the Supreme Court

. . . Under limited circumstances, a remedy in the Federal courts may also be available . . .


135 Misc. 2d at 420, 515 NYS2d at 386-87 (citations omitted).

See also Semkus v State of New York, 272 AD2d 74, 75, 708 NYS2d 288, 289 (1st Dept 2000) (citations omitted) in which the First Department stated that "[d]eterminations pertaining to parole and its revocation . . . are deemed strictly sovereign and quasi-judicial in nature and, accordingly, the State, in making such determinations, is absolutely immune from tort liability

. . . Since claimant seeks damages attributable to the State's decision to revoke his parole, his claim is barred . . . "

In sum, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Nieblas' proposed claim. Accordingly, having reviewed the parties' submissions[1], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-67151 be denied.


October 29, 2003
New York, New York

HON. ALAN C. MARIN
Judge of the Court of Claims





  1. [1]The following were reviewed: claimant's notice of motion with affidavit in support and exhibits 1-13; defendant's affirmation in opposition with exhibits A and B; and claimant's reply.