New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GEORGE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-031-002, Claim No. 108007, Motion No. M-67317


Synopsis


Case Information

UID:
2004-031-002
Claimant(s):
LLEWELLYN GEORGE
Claimant short name:
GEORGE
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
108007
Motion number(s):
M-67317
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
LLEWELLYN GEORGE, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: THOMAS G. RAMSAY, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 6, 2004
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers were read on motion by Claimant for leave to proceed as a poor person and for appointment of counsel:
1. Claimant's Affidavit, sworn to July 7, 2003;
2. September 16, 2003 correspondence from Thomas G. Ramsay, Esq;
3. September 22, 2003 correspondence from Claimant;
4. Order of the Honorable Richard E. Sise, filed July 29, 2003;
5. Filed documents: Claim and Answer. This is Claimant's motion seeking leave to proceed as a poor person and for the appointment of counsel to represent him in the preparation and trial of his claim against the State. The claim, filed on July 14, 2003, alleges that Defendant negligently failed to protect Mr. George from being assaulted by two other inmates on April 23, 2003 at Attica Correctional Facility. To the extent that Claimant's motion is addressed to the Court's filing fee, that issue has already been resolved by the Honorable Richard E. Sise in an Order filed on July 29, 2003. Since there are no other costs or fees required by the Court of Claims to prosecute a claim, the Claimant's motion to proceed as a poor person is denied.

With regard to Claimant's request for the appointment of counsel, the Court of Appeals has held that there is no constitutional or statutory requirement that indigents be assigned private counsel in civil litigation of this nature (Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433). Smiley has been interpreted for the proposition that Courts should not routinely approve requests made by indigents for the assignment of private counsel without compensation unless the litigation involves grievous forfeiture or loss of a fundamental right (Wills v City of Troy, 258 AD2d 849, lv to app dismissed, 93 NY2d 1000; Morgenthau v Garcia, 148 Misc 2d 900, 903). I have examined the underlying claim and find that this matter involves neither a fundamental right, nor is of sufficient complexity to warrant assignment of counsel (see Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433, supra; Matter of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hosp. Ctr., 159 Misc 2d 932, 936, modified and remanded, 215 AD2d 337).

Based on the foregoing, it is;

ORDERED, Claimant's motion for permission to proceed as a poor person and for the assignment of counsel to represent him in this matter is denied.

January 6, 2004
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims