New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

NEGRON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-031-049, Claim No. 107531, Motion No. M-66654


Synopsis


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

Case Information

UID:
2003-031-049
Claimant(s):
ELIVS NEGRON
Claimant short name:
NEGRON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107531
Motion number(s):
M-66654
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
ELVIS NEGRON, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney GeneralBY: NO APPEARANCE
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
July 8, 2003
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers were read on motion by Claimant for appointment of counsel:
1. Claimant's Notice of Motion, filed March 26, 2003;
2. Claimant's Affidavit, sworn to March 21, 2003;
3. Order of the Honorable Richard E. Sise, filed April 9, 2003; This is Claimant's motion seeking appointment of counsel to represent him in the preparation and trial of his claim against the State. The claim, filed March 26, 2003, alleges that Claimant is being harassed by correction personnel at Attica Correctional Facility. He seeks to recover damages in the amount of $1,500,000.00 for his resulting injuries.

Neither the State nor the Wyoming County Attorney have responded to Claimant's motion. However, there is no indication in Claimant's moving papers that his motion was served on either of these parties.

In any event, 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 have examined the underlying claim and 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, Claimant's motion for the assignment of counsel to represent him in this matter is denied.

July 8, 2003
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims