New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BURKE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-031-503, Claim No. 100078


Synopsis


Prisoner - bailment - claimant established liability of the State for the loss of personal property. Claim granted in the amount of $85.00.

Case Information

UID:
2003-031-503
Claimant(s):
PATRICK T. BURKE
Claimant short name:
BURKE
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
100078
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
PATRICK T. BURKE, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: WILLIAM D. LONERGAN, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 14, 2003
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
Patrick T. Burke ("Claimant") filed claim number 100078 on March 30 1999, alleging that Defendant is responsible for the loss of Claimant's personal property valued at $349.56. I held a trial on this matter on October 22, 2002, at Wende Correctional Facility.

Claimant testified that on January 26, 1999, he was placed in the Special Housing Unit ("SHU") after being involved in a fight at Gowanda Correctional Facility. According to Claimant, the correction officers responsible for gathering his belongings after he was taken to SHU failed to properly pack and secure his personal property. Upon being released from SHU, Claimant was presented with his property which had been placed in bags and bore labels identifying them as Claimant's. One of these bags, though identified as Claimant's, actually contained the property of another unknown inmate. Claimant believes that at least one bag of his property was similarly improperly tagged, and was not returned to him. Claimant alleges that the value of this lost property is $349.56, and he seeks recovery of that amount.

Defendant does not dispute that certain items of Claimant's personal property were lost while in Defendant's possession. Defendant argues, however, that the value of the missing property is not as great as Claimant represents.

Claimant has established that one bag of his property was lost while in the possession of Defendant. I find, therefore, that Defendant is liable to Claimant for the loss of this property (
see 7 NYCRR § 1700.7; see also Weinberg v D-M Rest. Corp., 60 AD2d 550). Claimant is entitled to recover the fair market value of the lost property (see Phillips v Catania, 155 AD2d 866). Claimant submitted an I-64 Form (Ex. 2), a list of missing items (Ex. 3), several commissary receipts (Ex. 4), and his package room list (Ex. 5) to establish the value of his missing property.
Based upon Claimant's testimony and the other evidence before this Court, Claimant is entitled to an award of $85.00 for his lost property, together with the appropriate interest from January 26, 1999, until the date of this decision and thereafter to the date of entry of judgment pursuant to CPLR 5001 and 5002.

LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.

January 14, 2003
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims