New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

EDWARDS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-028-517, Claim No. 106017, Motion No. M-66147


Synopsis


Claimant's motion for summary judgment is denied.


Case Information

UID:
2003-028-517
Claimant(s):
CHRISTOPHER EDWARDS
Claimant short name:
EDWARDS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
106017
Motion number(s):
M-66147
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RICHARD E. SISE
Claimant's attorney:
CHRISTOPHER EDWARDS, pro se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: Michael C. Rizzo, Esq.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 5, 2003
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers were read on Claimant's motion for summary judgment


pursuant to CPLR 3212:

1) Notice of Motion and Supporting Affidavit of Christopher Edwards filed December 2, 2002 (Edwards Affidavit) with annexed Exhibits A-D;

2) Affirmation in Opposition of Assistant Attorney General Michael C. Rizzo filed January 14, 2003 (Rizzo Opposition) with annexed Exhibit A; and

3) Letter from Christopher Edwards received January 8, 2003


Filed Papers: Claim and Verified Answer.

This bailment claim arose on or after December 28, 1999 when Claimant, an inmate at Eastern Correctional Facility, allegedly learned that hobby supplies which he had ordered from a vendor in Wisconsin were received by Eastern Correctional Facility and thereafter lost or stolen.
The rule governing summary judgment is well established: The proponent of a summary judgment motion must make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, tendering sufficient evidence to eliminate any material issues of fact from the case (Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851, 853), and such showing must be made "by producing evidentiary proof in admissible form" (Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562). " ‘[R]egardless of the sufficiency of the opposing papers' ", in the absence of admissible evidence sufficient to preclude any material issue of fact, summary judgment is unavailable (Ayotte v Gervasio, 81 NY2d 1062, 1063, quoting Alvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320, 324). The Court's function is to determine if an issue exists. In doing so, the Court must examine the proof in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion (Iwaszkiewicz v Callanan Indus. Inc., 258 AD2d 776).

A bailment exists when property is delivered from one person (the bailor) to another (the bailee) "for a particular purpose under an express or implied contract with the understanding that it shall be redelivered to the person delivering it, or kept until he reclaims it after fulfillment of the purpose for which it was delivered" (9 NY Jur 2d, Bailments and Chattel Leases, ¶ 1, p 9).
A cause of action for bailment accrues "when the bailor demands the property and the bailee refuses to deliver it" (Heede Hoist and Machine Co., Inc. v Bayview Towers Apartments, Inc., 74 AD2d 598). If the property is not returned or, where a demand is required, the bailee fails to return it upon demand, the bailor has established a prima facie case based on the presumption of negligence (9 NY Jur 2d, Bailments and Chattel Leases, ¶ 147, pp 177-178). The bailee must then rebut that presumption, if possible, by showing that the loss was due to circumstances not within his control or that it was damaged without his fault (id., ¶ 149, p 181; Singer Co. v Stott & Davis Motor Express, 79 AD2d 227).
Claimant has failed to establish his entitlement to summary judgment. The only documentary evidence submitted relating to the hobby materials is a disbursement authorization form (Edwards Affidavit, Exhibit C). As Defendant points out in opposition, there is nothing in the moving papers to establish the hobby materials were received at Eastern Correctional Facility. Claimant's other documentary evidence (Edwards Affidavit, Exhibits A and B) establish nothing more than an administrative claim was filed. Claimant's allegations regarding conversations with package room staff do not constitute admissible evidence and although reference is made to documentary evidence-logs and lists which purportedly show the items received - that documentary evidence was not supplied in support of the motion. Accordingly, Claimant's motion is denied.

March 5, 2003
Albany, New York

HON. RICHARD E. SISE
Judge of the Court of Claims