New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JACKSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-031-003, Claim No. 100626, Motion No. M-65924


Synopsis


Court dismisses claim sua sponte, Claimant's request for assignment of counsel is denied as moot.

Case Information

UID:
2003-031-003
Claimant(s):
JOE JACKSON
Claimant short name:
JACKSON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
100626
Motion number(s):
M-65924
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
JOE JACKSON, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: GREGORY P. MILLER, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
February 4, 2003
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers, numbered 1 and 2, were read on motion by Claimant for appointment of counsel:
1. Notice of motion filed October 18, 2002;
2. Affirmation of Joe Jackson, affirmed to October 14, 2002. This is Claimant's motion seeking the appointment of counsel to represent him in the preparation and trial of his claim against the State. In his claim, filed June 28, 1999, Claimant seeks to recover damages in the amount of $5,000,000.00, allegedly incurred as a result of being denied access to the court system. Defendant has notified the Court that it takes no position with regard to Claimant's request for counsel.

In reviewing a motion for assignment of counsel, however, one must necessarily review the nature of the underlying claim. In this instance, such a review raises a very different question, one of a jurisdictional nature, which must be addressed. An action, such as Claimant's, for denial of access to the courts is premised upon a violation of the Federal Constitution, and must be pursued in Federal Court (Davis v State of New York, 124 AD2d 420). This Court, therefore, lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this claim (Brown v State of New York, 89 NY2d 172, 184). It is well settled that a court cannot ignore the fact that subject matter jurisdiction over an action brought before it is lacking. Such a jurisdictional defect can be raised at any time, or even sua sponte (CPLR 3211(e); Eckert v Eckert, 34 AD2d 684; Williams v State of New York, Ct Cl, Collins, J., August 17, 2001, [Claim No. 102081; Motion Nos. M-63063, M-63531], UID No. 2001-015-171; see also Fry v Village of Tarrytown, 89 NY2d 714, 718).

Based on the foregoing, it is;

ORDERED, the claim in this matter is dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Clerk is directed to close the file. Claimant's motion for the assignment of counsel to represent him in this matter is denied as moot.

February 4, 2003
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims