New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JOHNSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-031-003, Claim No. 107832, Motion No. M-67064


Synopsis


Case Information

UID:
2004-031-003
Claimant(s):
JOHNATHAN JOHNSON
Claimant short name:
JOHNSON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107832
Motion number(s):
M-67064
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
JOHNATHAN JOHNSON, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: TIMOTHY P. MULVEY, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 8, 2004
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers were read on motion by Defendant for an order dismissing the claim pursuant to CPLR 3211:
1. Defendant's Notice of Motion, filed July 7, 2003
  1. Affirmation of Timothy P. Mulvey, Esq., dated July 2, 2003, with attached exhibits; This is Defendant's motion, made in lieu of an Answer, to dismiss the claim filed in this matter. In his underlying claim filed on June 5, 2003, Mr. Johnson appears to allege that his legal mail was improperly handled by employees of Auburn Correctional Facility. According to Claimant, his application to reargue the dismissal of a previous claim before the Honorable Donald J. Corbett (now retired) was not properly mailed to Defendant. As Defendant did not receive that application, Judge Corbett denied Claimant's request for reargument. He seeks damages alleging violations of his constitutional rights.
Defendant brings this motion to dismiss the claim, alleging that Claimant has failed to set forth a valid cause of action. Defendant argues that the claim in this matter is merely an attempt to reinstate his previously dismissed claim. While I disagree with Defendant's interpretation of the claim, I do agree that no valid cause of action has been set forth.

I find that Claimant is not alleging the same matters contained in his previously dismissed claim, but rather that he was damaged by Defendant's improper handling of the legal mail that related to that previous claim. However, as the Honorable Francis Collins opined in a similar matter:
"As to the cause of action premised upon the interference with claimant's access to the Courts by the failure to promptly deliver his legal mail, such a cause of action is based upon a violation of the Federal Constitution and must be pursued pursuant to 42 USC § 1983 (Chriceol v Phillips, 169 F3d 313 [5th Cir 1999]; Salahauddin v Jones, 992 F2d 447 [2nd Cir 1993]; Washington v James, 782 F2d 1134 [2nd Cir 1986]; Breazil v Bennett, 1999 WL 603851 [W.D.N.Y., 1999])."
(Matagrano v State of New York
, Ct Cl July 13, 2000 [Motion No. M-61531], Collin, J., UID #2000-015-050). For this reason, I find that this Court does not have jurisdiction over the cause of action alleged in the claim (see Zagarella v State of New York, 149 AD2d 503; Davis v State of New York, 124 AD2d 420).

The Claimant has submitted no opposition to this motion. Therefore, based upon the papers submitted, it is

ORDERED, that Defendant's motion for dismissal of the claim is granted. The Clerk is directed to close the file.

January 8, 2004
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims