New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BROWN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-015-381, Claim No. 107831, Motion No. M-67656


Synopsis


Court of claim lacks jurisdiction over claim seeking to recover overtime pay from NYS Power Authority. Claim dismissed without deciding issue of the claim's untimeliness.

Case Information

UID:
2004-015-381
Claimant(s):
RALPH BROWN
1 1.The Court hereby amends the caption sua sponte to name the only proper defendant before the Court.
Claimant short name:
BROWN
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
The Court hereby amends the caption sua sponte to name the only proper defendant before the Court.
Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107831
Motion number(s):
M-67656
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant’s attorney:
Ralph A. Brown, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Kevan J. Acton, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
January 23, 2004
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant's motion to dismiss the instant claim for lack of jurisdiction is granted. The claim filed on June 5, 2003 seeks $2,235.92 plus expenses for alleged eligible overtime pay earned by claimant during the period from October 26, 2002 to November 2, 2002 while he was employed as a senior communications engineer by the New York State Power Authority (Power Authority).

In its answer filed with the Court on July 21, 2003 the State raised as affirmative defenses the claim's untimely service and filing and this Court's lack of jurisdiction over the New York Power Authority, the defendant named in the claim. The State now moves for dismissal of the claim for lack of jurisdiction. Claimant has not opposed the motion.

It has long been settled that "[t]he Power Authority is a public corporation established by statute, a legal entity separate and distinct from the State of New York (Public Authorities Law, § 1002)" (Cole v State of New York, 64 AD2d 1023, 1024). In instances where the State Legislature has chosen to confer jurisdiction over public authorities in the Court of Claims it has done so specifically by statute (see, e.g., Jones Beach State Parkway Authority [Public Authorities Law § 163-a], New York State Thruway Authority [Public Authorities Law § 361-b]). The legislation creating the Power Authority (Public Authorities Law § § 1000-1017) does not confer jurisdiction upon the Court of Claims except with reference to determining the value of property appropriated by the Authority (see Public Authorities Law § 1007[10]). The limited nature of the jurisdiction provided this Court in Public Authorities Law § 1007 (10) together with § 1017 (1) and (2) which require a notice of claim conforming to the provisions of General Municipal Law § 50-e in tort and wrongful death actions, respectively, lead the Court to conclude that jurisdiction over the instant matter lies in Supreme Court and not the Court of Claims (Gembala v Audobon Assn. 97 AD2d 345; Hampton v State of New York, 168 Misc 2d 1036).

The claim is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction upon the reasons stated above. The dismissal of the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction renders it unnecessary to address the allegedly untimely service and filing of the claim.

Defendant's motion is granted and the claim is dismissed.


January 23, 2004
Saratoga Springs, New York

HON. FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Judge of the Court of Claims


The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated November 13, 2003;
  2. Affirmation of Kevan J. Acton dated November 13, 2003.