New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WOODALL v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-019-580, Claim No. 109624, Motion No. M-69028


Synopsis


Claimant's motion for assignment of counsel is denied.

Case Information

UID:
2004-019-580
Claimant(s):
BRYAN WOODALL, #99-R-6078
Claimant short name:
WOODALL
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
109624
Motion number(s):
M-69028
Cross-motion number(s):

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

Signature date:
October 4, 2004
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate appearing pro se, moves for an order assigning counsel to assist him in litigating this claim pursuant to CPLR 1101. The State of New York (hereinafter "State") opposes the motion.

The underlying claim asserts a negligence cause of action arising at Elmira Correctional Facility when correction officers allegedly failed to intervene when claimant was physically assaulted by another inmate on October 30, 2003. An Order has previously been issued by this court denying claimant's application for a reduction of the filing fee as required by Court of Claims Act 11-a (1) because claimant was found to possess sufficient resources to pay the statutory fee. (Woodall v State of New York, Ct Cl, July 29, 2004, Sise, P.J., Claim No. 109624).


It is well-settled that the appointment of counsel is discretionary in civil matters. (Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433, 438). Generally, counsel will not routinely be assigned except in a proper case, such as one involving "grievous forfeiture or loss of a fundamental right". (Morgenthau v Garcia, 148 Misc 2d 900, 903). A review of the pleadings before the court in this case reveals a case of average complexity. In sum, this case fails to rise to the level warranting assignment of counsel. Consequently, the court declines to exercise its discretionary authority on this matter.


In view of the foregoing, it is ORDERED, that claimant's motion for the assignment of counsel, Motion No. M-69028, is DENIED.


October 4, 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 July 19, 2004.
  2. Order, Sise, P.J., Claim No. 109624, filed July 29, 2004.
  3. Notice of Motion No. M-69028, dated July 13, 2004, and filed July 19, 2004.
  4. Petition of Forma Pauperis, of Bryan Woodall, in support of motion, dated July 13, 2004.
  5. Affidavit of Bryan Woodall, in support of motion, sworn to July 15, 2004.
  6. Affirmation of Joseph F. Romani, AAG, in opposition to motion, dated September 28, 2004, and filed September 30, 2004.