New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

OLADOKUN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK and SUNY MARITIME COLLEGE, #2004-016-058, Claim No. 108526, Motion Nos. M-68480, CM-68584


Claim alleging wrongful disenrollment from SUNY Maritime College was dismissed on the grounds that the proper forum for such claim would be an Article 78 proceeding in Supreme Court, not a claim for money damages in the Court of Claims.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):
Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
James M. Maloney, Esq.
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Victor J. D'Angelo, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
September 22, 2004
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This is defendant's[1] motion to dismiss the claim of Sulaiman Oladokun. Claimant opposes the motion and cross-moves for: (1) permission to file a late claim pursuant to §10.6 of the Court of Claims Act (the "Act"); and (2) a preliminary injunction compelling defendant to provide third parties with claimant's official SUNY Maritime College transcript. In the claim, it is alleged that defendant "disenrolled" claimant from SUNY Maritime after it conducted a hearing without his presence. That being so, a fundamental issue must be addressed - - whether this Court has jurisdiction over the claim. In Maxim v State of New York, Ct Cl dated September 19, 2001 (motion no. M-63428, unreported, Midey, J., UID #2001-009-042[2]), claimant sought permission to file a late claim pursuant to §10.6 of the Act. The proposed claim alleged that claimant had been wrongfully denied re-admission to the State University of New York College at Cortland. Judge Midey stated that:
claimant contends that the decision of SUNY-Cortland in denying his application for re-admission was arbitrary, capricious and without merit. These standards, although applicable in Article 78 proceedings in Supreme Court, do no apply in the Court of Claims. This Court except in extremely limited circumstances not applicable herein, does not possess equitable jurisdiction . . . This claim, although not expressly requesting the Court to overturn the school's decision and readmit claimant, instead seeks money damages for its refusal to readmit claimant. Such a claim, however, would of necessity require this Court to review the college's decision. However, the proper forum for a review of the college's decision is Supreme Court, pursuant to Article 78 . . .

See also Baldridge v State of New York, Ct Cl dated July 3, 2001 (claim no. 102684, motion no. M-62752, cross-motion no. CM-62932, unreported, Sise, J., UID #2001-028-0540), in which the Court held that review of a decision to not reinstate claimant in a doctoral degree program at SUNY Albany was beyond the scope of review of the Court of Claims and was "appropriate in an Article 78 proceeding . . ." See also, e.g., Lublin v State of New York, 135 Misc 2d 419, 515 NYS2d 385 (Ct Cl 1987), affd 135 AD2d 1155, 523 NYS2d 21 (1st Dept 1987), lv denied 71 NY2d 802, 527 NYS2d 768 (1988). In short, claimant's remedy for the relief sought in this claim lies in an Article 78 proceeding in Supreme Court, not in an action for monetary damages in the Court of Claims.

As to a State constitutional claim under Brown v State of New York, 89 NY2d 172, 652 NYS2d 223 (1996), in Martinez v City of Schenectady, 97 NY2d 78, 735 NYS2d 868 (2001), the Court of Appeals described a Brown cause of action as a narrow remedy addressing two interests: "the private interest that citizens harmed by constitutional violations have an avenue of redress, and the public interest that future violations be deterred." 97 NY2d at 83, 735 NYS2d at 871. The facts alleged in Sulaiman Oladokun's claim[3] do not fall within the protection of Brown.

For the foregoing reasons, having reviewed the submissions[4], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-68480 be granted and claim no. 108526 be dismissed. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that cross-motion no. CM-68584 be denied.

September 22, 2004
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]As the State of New York alone is the properly named defendant in claims arising from the actions of SUNY Maritime College, the Court will refer to the defendant in the singular in this Decision and Order.
  2. [2]This and other decisions of the Court of Claims may be found on the Court's website:
  3. [3]With regard to the late claim motion here, claimant submits his previously filed claim - - no. 108526 - -as his proposed claim. See ¶10 of the June 7, 2004 affirmation of James M. Maloney.
  4. [4]The following were reviewed: defendant's notice of motion with affirmation in support and exhibits A-D; claimant's notice of cross-motion with affirmation in support, exhibits 1-12 and memorandum of law; defendant's affirmation in opposition to claimant's cross-motion and further support of defendant's motion with exhibits A and B; and claimant's affirmation in reply.