New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

CULBREATH v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-019-539, Claim No. 109106, Motion No. M-68314


Synopsis


Case Information

UID:
2004-019-539
Claimant(s):
JEFFREY M. CULBREATH
Claimant short name:
CULBREATH
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
109106
Motion number(s):
M-68314
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Claimant's attorney:
JEFFREY M. CULBREATH, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERALBY: Joseph F. Romani, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 5, 2004
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate appearing pro se, moves for an order striking the affirmative defenses contained in the defendant's Verified Answer. The defendant State of New York (hereinafter "State") opposes said motion.

This is a claim based upon wrongful confinement filed with the permission of this court. (Culbreath v State of New York, Ct Cl, March 1, 2004, Lebous, J., Claim No. None, Motion No. M-67963 [UID No. 2004-019-525]).[1] The claim was filed with the Clerk of the Court on March 29, 2004. The State filed a Verified Answer on April 9, 2004. The State's Verified Answer contains four affirmative defenses, namely: (1) entitlement to immunity from liability; (2) claimant's own culpable conduct; (3) defendant's actions were justified and based upon probable cause; and (4) defendant acted in good faith warranting only nominal damages, if any.


By way of this motion, claimant seeks an order dismissing each of the State's affirmative defenses alleging that each such defense is "[b]ereft of any factual data pointing to the particulars that would support such a defense...." (Claimant's Affidavit, ¶ ¶ 2-5).


It is well settled that "[a] party may move to strike any scandalous or prejudicial matter unnecessarily inserted in a pleading." (CPLR 3024 [b]). However, affirmative defenses are not dispositive of a claim and are merely assertions of a party, absent prejudice, that will not be stricken. (CPLR 3024; 5 Weinstein-Korn-Miller, NY Civ Prac ¶ 3018.14). The court has reviewed the State's affirmative defenses and finds that none are prejudicial or scandalous in any respect whatsoever and are properly included in the State's Verified Answer.


Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, it is ORDERED that claimant's motion to strike the defendant's affirmative defenses, Motion No. M-68314, is DENIED.


May 5, 2004
Binghamton, New York

HON. FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Judge of the Court of Claims



The court has considered the following papers in connection with this motion:
  1. Claim, filed March 29, 2004.
  2. Verified Answer, filed April 9, 2004.
  3. Notice of Motion No. M-68314, undated, filed April 14, 2004.
  4. Affidavit of Jeffrey M. Culbreath, in support of motion, sworn to April 10, 2004.
  5. Affirmation of Joseph F. Romani, AAG, in opposition to motion, dated April 20, 2004, and filed April 22, 2004.


[1]Unreported decisions from the Court of Claims are available via the Internet at