New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

INMAN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-031-042, Claim No. 107077, Motion No. M-66490


Synopsis


Claimant's request for assignment of counsel in personal injury action is denied.

Case Information

UID:
2003-031-042
Claimant(s):
ANTHONY INMAN Caption amended sua sponte to show the only proper defendant.
Claimant short name:
INMAN
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Caption amended sua sponte to show the only proper defendant.
Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107077
Motion number(s):
M-66490
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
ANTHONY INMAN, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: TIMOTHY P. MULVEY, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
July 1, 2003
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers, numbered 1 to 4, were read on motion by Claimant for appointment of counsel:
1. Claimant's Notice of Motion, filed February 28, 2003;
2. Claimant's Supporting Affidavit, sworn to February 27, 2003;
3. Claimant's Memorandum of Law, dated February 27, 2003;
4. Correspondence of Timothy P. Mulvey, Esq., dated March 14, 2003. With this motion, Claimant requests the appointment of counsel to assist him with the preparation and trial of his claim. In his underlying action, Claimant alleges that he was assaulted by Correction Officers and then denied proper medical treatment for the injuries sustained in that assault.

In correspondence dated March 14, 2003, the Defendant notified the Court that it had not been served with motion papers. Claimant has not disputed this assertion.

Applications for the appointment of counsel are governed by CPLR §§ 1101 and 1102. CPLR § 1101 requires that:
(c) Notice. ...[I]f an action has already been commenced, notice of the motion shall be served on all parties, and notice shall also be given to the county attorney in the county in which the action is triable . . .
Claimant's motion must be denied as Claimant's motion papers were never served upon the parties.

Additionally, the Court of Appeals has held that there is no constitutional or statutory requirement that indigents be assigned private counsel in civil litigation of this nature (Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433). Smiley has been interpreted for the proposition that Courts should not routinely approve requests made by indigents for the assignment of private counsel without compensation unless the litigation involves grievous forfeiture or loss of a fundamental right (Wills v City of Troy, 258 AD2d 849, lv to app dismissed, 93 NY2d 1000; Morgenthau v Garcia, 148 Misc 2d 900, 903). I find that this matter involves neither a fundamental right, nor is of sufficient complexity to warrant assignment of counsel (see Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433, supra; Matter of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hosp. Ctr., 159 Misc 2d 932, 936, mod and remanded, 215 AD2d 337).

Based on the foregoing, it is;

ORDERED, that Claimant's motion for the assignment of counsel to represent him in this matter is denied.

July 1, 2003
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims