New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

DAVIS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-016-071, Claim No. None, Motion No. M-69014


Late claim motion was denied as proposed claim failed to comply with §11(b) of the Court of Claims Act.

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:
Law Offices of Michael Singer, P.C.By: Michael Singer, Esq.
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Grace A. Brannigan, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
November 19, 2004
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This is the motion of Charles Davis for permission to serve and file a late claim pursuant to §10.6 of the Court of Claims Act. The proposed claim arises from a December 17, 2003 incident in which claimant, a pedestrian, was struck by a vehicle registered to the New York State Office of Court Administration at Worth and Lafayette Streets in Manhattan. Ordinarily, in determining a motion for permission to file a late claim, six factors enumerated in the Act must be considered: whether (1) defendant had notice of the essential facts constituting the claim; (2) defendant had an opportunity to investigate the circumstances underlying the claim; (3) defendant was substantially prejudiced; (4) claimant has any other available remedy; (5) the delay was excusable and (6) the claim appears to be meritorious.

Here, however, a more fundamental issue must be addressed, i.e., whether the proposed claim complies with §11(b) of the Act, because §10.6 specifically requires that on a late claim motion, claimant must submit a proposed claim "containing all of the information set forth in section eleven of this act . . ."

Section 11(b) provides that a "claim shall state the time when and place where such claim arose, the nature of same, and the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained and the total sum claimed." The purpose of §11 "is to give the State prompt notice of an occurrence and an opportunity to investigate the facts . . ." Cannon v State of New York, 163 Misc 2d 623, 626, 622 NYS2d 177, 179 (Ct Cl 1994). Moreover, the requirements of §11(b) are jurisdictional in nature. See Lepkowski v State of New York, 1 NY3d 201, 207, 770 NYS2d 696, 700 (2003), in which the Court of Appeals stated that "section 11(b) places five specific substantive conditions upon the State's waiver of sovereign immunity by requiring the claim to specify (1) ‘the nature of [the claim]'; (2) ‘the time when' it arose; (3) the ‘place where' it arose; (4) ‘the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained'; and (5) ‘the total sum claimed.'"

In this case, the descriptive portion of the proposed claim reads as follows:
. . .

  1. This claim arises from the acts or omissions of the defendant. Details of said acts or omissions are as follows:
On December 17, 2003, Jewel Williams, operating a 2002 Dodge motor vehicle, license plate number BKL3874, registered in the State of New York to the Office of Court Administration, at the intersection of Worth Street and Lafayette Street, City and State of New York, operated said vehicle in a negligent and reckless manner, by failing to abide by the rules of the road, by failing [to] operate the vehicle in a safe and prudent manner, by failing to observe those things which should be seen, by not abiding by the traffic controls at the subject intersection, by not allowing pedestrians such as claimant the right of way, thereby causing the subject accident and bodily injuries sustained by claimant in the subject accident.

  1. The place where the act took place is): Intersection of Worth and Lafayette Street, City and State of New York.
  1. This claim accrued on the 17th day of December, 2003 at 7:30 A.M.
. . .

By reason of the foregoing, Claimant was damaged in the amount of $1,000,000.00 . . .

. . .

With regard to the nature of the claim, aside from referring to an accident and making general allegations about negligence, the claim contains no description of the accident and does not even indicate that the claimant was struck by the State's car.[1] Considerably more specificity is contained in the attachments that are part of claimant's motion papers, which indicate that Davis was struck in the hand or wrist by the car's side view mirror. However, where jurisdiction is implicated, defendant is not required to go beyond the four corners of the claim to ascertain information which should have been provided in the claim itself. See, e.g., Schneider v State of New York, Ct Cl filed September 14, 1995 (unreported, claim no. 91422, motion no. M-51856, cross-motion no. CM-52045, Silverman, J.), affd 234 AD2d 357, 650 NYS2d 798 (2d Dept 1996).

It should be noted that claimant had the opportunity in his reply papers, after the specificity issue was raised in defendant's opposition papers, to submit a proposed claim that was compliant with §11(b) of the Act; he failed to do so.

I find that Mr. Davis' proposed claim fails to comply with the specificity requirements of §11(b) of the Act and that his late claim motion must thus be denied. See, e.g., Lightbody v State of New York, Ct Cl dated August 7, 2002 (unreported, motion no. M-65146, cross-motion no. CM-65478, Marin, J., UID #2002-016-080[2]).

Accordingly, having reviewed the parties' submissions[3], IT IS ORDERED that motion no M-69014 be denied.

November 19, 2004
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]Similarly, no information is provided as to the injuries claimed to have been sustained; the proposed claim refers only to "bodily injuries."
  1. [2]This and other decisions of the Court of Claims may be found on the Court's website:
  2. [3]The following were reviewed: claimant's notice of motion with affirmation and affidavit in support and exhibits A-D; defendant's affirmation in opposition with exhibit A; and claimant's reply affirmation with exhibits A-D.