New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BONDS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-031-015, Claim No. 107857, Motion No. M-67160


Synopsis


Case Information

UID:
2004-031-015
Claimant(s):
JOHNNIE BONDS
Claimant short name:
BONDS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107857
Motion number(s):
M-67160
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
JOHNNIE BONDS, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: HEATHER R. RUBINSTEIN, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
February 11, 2004
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers, numbered 1 to 4, were read on motion by Defendant for an order dismissing the claim:
1. Notice of Motion, filed July 28, 2003;
2. Affirmation of Heather R. Rubinstein, Esq., dated July 24, 2003 with attached exhibit;
  1. Claimant's Affidavit (denominated Affirmation In Answer to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss), sworn to July 29, 2003 with attached exhibits;
4. Filed Papers: Claim. This is Defendant's motion filed in lieu of an answer seeking dismissal of the claim. The claim, filed on June 11, 2003, alleges that, on March 16, 2003, while confined at Willard Drug Treatment Center, Claimant received an inmate misbehavior report. The claim also alleges that Claimant was found guilty at a disciplinary hearing relating to the inmate misbehavior report, and that this determination was affirmed on appeal.

In support of its motion, Defendant asserts that the claim failed to set forth a cause of action upon which relief can be granted. I agree.

The claim sets forth only the minimal facts that Claimant was found guilty of violations of the Inmate Disciplinary Code. Claimant does not indicate that his confinement was improper. Even if one were to indulge the natural inclination to assume that Claimant believes that his confinement was improper, the claim gives no indication as to why Claimant believes this is the case.

In a motion to dismiss a claim, the pertinent provisions of § 3211(a)(7) of the Civil Practice Law and Rules provide that a ". . . party may move for judgment dismissing one or more causes of action asserted against him on the ground that . . . the pleading fails to state a cause of action . . . ." In such a motion, the movant, here Defendant, is held to have conceded the truth of every fact alleged by the Claimant for purposes of the motion. Determination of the motion, generally, does not rest upon resolution of the ultimate facts, but rather on whether the facts asserted adequately set forth a viable cause of action (see Stukuls v State of New York, 42 NY2d 272, 275; cf. Rovello v Orofino Realty Co., Inc., 40 NY2d 633).

With regard to his alleged illegal confinement, Claimant has failed to identify what rule or regulation was violated during the hearings that resulted in his confinement. In fact, Claimant does not allege anything improper at all.

The actions of prison personnel involving inmate disciplinary matters are generally quasi-judicial and, unless they exceed the scope of their authority or violate applicable rules, are afforded absolute immunity (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212; Davis v State of New York, 262 AD2d 887, lv denied 93 NY2d 819).

The claim contains no indication that Defendant violated any of its own rules and regulations in conducting the hearing which resulted in Claimant's confinement, or that Defendant otherwise acted outside the sphere of privileged actions (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212, supra; Holloway v State of New York, 285 AD2d 765; cf. Gittens v State of New York, 132 Misc 2d 399 [Ct Cl 1986]). Accordingly, their determinations are entitled to immunity and the claim for illegal confinement must be dismissed.

Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, it is hereby

ORDERED, that Defendant's motion for dismissal of the claim is granted and the claim is dismissed in its entirety. Claimant's request for assignment of counsel is denied as moot.

February 11, 2004
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims