New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ELDRIDGE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-009-54, Claim No. 108797, Motion Nos. M-68118, CM-68181


Synopsis


Defendant's motion to dismiss the claim was denied and claimant's cross-motion seeking permission to amend his claim was granted.

Case Information

UID:
2004-009-54
Claimant(s):
THAMUD M. ELDRIDGE
Claimant short name:
ELDRIDGE
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
108797
Motion number(s):
M-68118
Cross-motion number(s):
CM-68181
Judge:
NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Claimant's attorney:
DAVID GERALD JAY, ESQ.
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General
BY: Heather R. Rubinstein, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney GeneralOf Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
September 15, 2004
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

Defendant has brought this motion (M-68118) seeking an order dismissing the claim. Claimant has responded with a cross-motion (CM-68181), not only in opposition to defendant's motion, but also seeking an order permitting claimant to amend his claim[1].

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with these motions:
Notice of Motion, Affirmation, with Exhibit 1,2


Notice of Cross-Motion, Affirmation, with Exhibit (Proposed Amended Claim) 3,4

Affirmation in Opposition (to Cross-Motion No. CM-68181) 5

In his claim, claimant seeks damages based upon allegations of unjust conviction and imprisonment asserted under Court of Claims Act § 8-b. In its motion (M-68118), defendant seeks dismissal of the claim on the basis that claimant has failed to comply with the pleading requirements of that section. Specifically, defendant contends that claimant has failed to set forth "facts in sufficient detail to permit the court to find that claimant is likely to succeed at trial" (Court of Claims Act § 8-b[4]). Defendant further contends that claimant has failed to allege the accrual date for this claim, as well as the period of time that he was allegedly unlawfully confined.

In response to this motion, and apparently in an attempt to satisfy the objections raised by defendant, claimant seeks permission to amend his claim, and has submitted a proposed amended claim with his cross-motion (see Exhibit A to Items 3,4).

In her affirmation in opposition to the cross-motion, defendant's attorney apparently concedes that claimant has satisfied the pleading objections originally set forth in the State's motion to dismiss, but that claimant has still failed to allege a specific date of accrual and has not alleged a definitive time period for the alleged wrongful confinement.

Under Court of Claims Act § 8-b, the Legislature has clearly evidenced an intention to limit damages to confinement which has been imposed by a sentence of imprisonment following conviction (see Vigliotti v State of New York, Ct Cl, June 21, 2004, Midey, J., Claim No. 106892-A, Motion No. M-68004 [UID No. 2004-009-36]).[2] In his proposed amended claim, claimant has properly alleged that this claim arose, and claimant began to suffer damages on June 15, 1993, the date of his conviction.

With regard to the length of time of the alleged wrongful confinement, although specifically not set forth in his proposed amended claim, such information should be readily available through records maintained by the Department of Correctional Services. Accordingly, defendant certainly cannot claim any prejudice due to claimant's failure to have set forth a specific date of release in the proposed amended claim, and such failure cannot be considered a jurisdictional defect.

Accordingly, based on the foregoing, it is

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-68118 is hereby DENIED; and it is further

ORDERED, that Cross-Motion No. CM-68181 is hereby GRANTED; and it is further

ORDERED, that claimant is hereby directed to serve his amended claim upon the Attorney General either personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, and file his amended claim with the Clerk of the Court of Claims, within 45 days from the date of the filing of this decision and order.


September 15, 2004
Syracuse, New York

HON. NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1] Although the original document filed by claimant with the Clerk of the Court of Claims is labeled "Notice of Claim", and his cross-motion seeks permission to file an "Amended Notice of Claim", the Court of Claims Act contains no references to a "Notice of Claim", and such document should properly be referred to as a "Claim".
[2] Unpublished decisions and selected orders of the Court of Claims are available via the Internet at