New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

STEED v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-019-526, Claim No. 101592, Motion No. M-67979


Case Information

THOMAS R. STEED, #93-A-8541
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):

Claimant's attorney:
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERALBY: James E. Shoemaker, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 1, 2004

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant, a pro se inmate, moves to amend his claim pursuant to CPLR 3025 (b). The State of New York (hereinafter "State") opposes the motion.

This claim relates to a slip and fall that occurred at Southport Correctional Facility (hereinafter "Facility") on February 2, 1999. More specifically, claimant alleges that he was outside in one of the recreational cages of the Facility when he was instructed to return to his cell. Claimant alleges that he was handcuffed, told to turn around and step over a 4-6 inch piece of metal, but when his foot came down it slipped on some ice causing him to fall injuring his head, shoulder and back. (Claim, ¶ 5).

By way of this motion, claimant does not seek to amend his claim in the conventional sense, but rather requests permission to use two documents at trial and/or to register his objections to their contents based upon allegations of forgery. The State argues that there is no requirement that a claimant submit each and every piece of potential trial evidence as an exhibit to a claim. In this court's view, this is exactly what claimant is attempting to do. Moreover, to the extent that claimant questions the validity and/or veracity of the contents of those documents, those are issues that are best left for trial regarding their admissibility and/or weight. In any event, claimant has not articulated, nor has this court found, any meritorious reason for necessitating the submission of these documents as part of the claim itself.

That having been said, upon review of the pleadings in this matter the court notes that the State raised as its first affirmative defense a jurisdictional issue relative to improper service of this claim in the first instance. (State's Verified Answer, ¶ 6).

The court has reviewed claimant's affidavit of service attached to the claim. The affidavit of service indicates that the claim was placed in "a Mail Box here at the [Southport Correctional Facility] for delivery", but does not recite whether is was served by certified mail, return receipt requested and was sworn to on October 15, 1999. (Claimant's Affidavit of Service). Also attached to the Affidavit of Service is a photocopy of what appears to be a green receipt card stamped as received by the Office of the Attorney General on March 5, 1999. Based on the time difference between these two dates, it does not appear that this green receipt card relates to the claim that was not signed until October 1999. Accordingly, the court is unable to determine on this record whether claimant has satisfied the requirements of CCA 10 and 11 relative to the service of his claim. As such, the court has this same date issued an Order to Show Cause directing the parties to submit written statements and any relevant proof to establish whether the claim was timely and properly served on the Office of the Attorney General in accordance with the requirements of Court of Claims Act 11.

In view of the foregoing, it is ORDERED that claimant's motion, Motion No. M-67979, to amend Claim No. 101592, is DENIED.

March 1, 2004
Binghamton, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims