New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

DOXEN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-016-091, Claim No. 107173, Motion No. M-67331


Case Information

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:
Dwayne Doxen
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Gwendolyn Hatcher, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
November 13, 2003
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


In his underlying claim, Dwayne Doxen alleges the following:
I claimant Dwayne Doxen a patient at [Manhattan Psychiatric Center,] a non-secure state facility was escorted by two state safety officer[s], and one staff member MHTA Mr. Daly in handcuffs behind my back to a Family Court hearing and was restrained in handcuffs for [fifteen] (15) hours straight without having the handcuffs remove[d] at all throughout the hearing. The handcuffs were tight and cutting into my flesh, skin causing numbness, pain, and a scar to my wrist, also causing pain to my shoulders, and back, pain and suffering.

This is defendant's motion to amend its answer by adding a counterclaim pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law §43.03 for services rendered to Mr. Doxen at Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center and Manhattan Psychiatric Center. Defendant has prepared a "claim" for services provided to claimant on various dates between April 1, 1997 and March 31, 2003, totaling $853,926.99, based upon a daily rate that varied from $403.54 to $624.17. See exhibit C to defendant's moving papers. Mental Hygiene Law §§43.03(a) and (c) provide that involuntary patients held under C.P.L. 320.20 are liable for the cost of their treatment. Claimant concedes that he is an "involuntary patient held under C.P.L. 330.20 status . . ." He opposes this motion on the grounds that he is "being held illegally by corrupt racist and bias[ed] psychiatrists [involuntarily] and should not be held liable for services that [were] not needed." See ¶¶ 4 and 5 of claimant's September 4, 2003 "Affirmation in Support."

Leave to amend shall be freely given if the opposing party is not prejudiced, meaning that there must be some indication that claimant has been hindered in preparing his case or has been prevented thereby from taking some measure in support of his position. CPLR 3025(b); Loomis v Civetta Corinno Construction Corp., 54 NY2d 18, 444 NYS2d 571 (1981), rearg denied 55 NY2d 801, 447 NYS2d 436 (1981). Claimant has identified no prejudice in this case.

To the extent that merit is a factor in granting leave to amend, defendant satisfies same. See Carlon v Regan, 98 AD2d 544, 471 NYS2d 896 (3d Dept 1984), affd as modified 63 NY2d 1011, 484 NYS2d 506 (1984); and Siegel v Surles, 239 AD2d 115, 657 NYS2d 549 (1st Dept 1997).[1] In short, such decisions upheld the right of the State to seek payment by way of offset for services provided by the Department of Mental Hygiene. If he chooses, claimant may move to challenge such right, on constitutional or other bases. See, e.g., Brown v Stone, 66 F Supp 2d 412 (EDNY 1999).

In view of the above, having reviewed the submissions,[2] IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-67331 be granted and within sixty (60) days of the filing of this Decision and Order, defendant shall serve and file the amended answer annexed to its moving papers as exhibit D.

November 13, 2003
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

[1] Siegel v Surles, app dismissed 90 NY2d 934, 664 NYS2d 271 (1997), lv denied 91 NY2d 804 , 668 NYS2d 559 (1997).
[2] The following were reviewed: defendant's notice of motion with affirmation in support and exhibits A-D; and claimant's "Notice of Motion to Defendant['s] Motion to Amend Answer" with "Affirmation in Support."