New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

NEGRON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-031-049, Claim Nos. 106858, 107252, 107531, 107539, 107611, Motion Nos. M-67231, M-67357


Synopsis


Case Information

UID:
2004-031-049
Claimant(s):
ELVIS NEGRON
Claimant short name:
NEGRON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
106858, 107252, 107531, 107539, 107611
Motion number(s):
M-67231, M-67357
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
ELVIS NEGRON, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: THOMAS G. RAMSAY, ESQ. and
REYNOLDS E. HAHN, ESQ.Assistant Attorneys General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 3, 2004
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers were read on motion by Claimant for a change of venue in five claims filed in the Court of Claims and on motion by Defendant for dismissal of one of those five claims:
1. Claimant's Notice of Motion (M-67357), dated August 10, 2003;
  1. Claimant's unsworn "Motion to Change Venue" (M-67357), filed August 22, 2003;
3. Defendant's Notice of Motion (M-67231), filed August 8, 2003;
4. Affirmation of Thomas G. Ramsay, Esq. (M-67231, Claim No. 107252), dated August 6, 2003;
5. Claimant's unsworn statement (denominated Notice of Motion and Affirmation), filed August 18, 2003, with attached exhibits;
6. Claimant's unsworn Affirmation (sic) (M-67357), filed August 22, 2003;
7. Affirmation of Reynolds E. Hahn, Esq. (M-67357, Claim No. 107611), affirmed August 7, 2003;
8. Affirmation of Reynolds E. Hahn, Esq. (M-67357, Claim No. 107531), affirmed August 7, 2003;
9. Affirmation of Reynolds E. Hahn, Esq. (M-67357, Claim No. 107539), affirmed August 7, 2003;
10. Affirmation of Thomas G. Ramsay, Esq. (M-67357, Claim No. 106858), dated August 6, 2003;
11. Correspondence of Thomas G, Ramsay, Esq. (M-67231, Claim No.107252), dated September 16, 2003. Claimant has filed a motion for a change of venue in five claims that are or were pending in the Court of Claims. Two of these five claims have previously been dismissed. The first (Claim No. 106858) was dismissed by Decision and Order of this court filed April 29, 2003. With regard to this claim, Claimant has requested that the Court "renew" this claim, but gives no indication as to the basis for this request.

The second (Claim No. 107252) was dismissed by an Order of this court filed March 22, 2004. Defendant has also made a motion for dismissal of this claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Defendant's argument is well presented and I would otherwise dismiss the claim on this basis. However, as this claim has already been dismissed, Defendant's motion is denied as moot.

In his motion, Claimant requests a change of venue for his five claims from Rochester, New York to New York City. Claimant provides little information concerning the basis for his request, but does say that he has recently been released from custody and is now living in the New York City area, and that it would be hard for him to travel to Rochester.

The Court of Claims Act does not specifically provide for motions for change of venue; consequently, the relevant provisions of the CPLR apply (see Court of Claims Act § 9 [9]; Richards v State of New York, 281 App Div 947; Poolet v State of New York, 56 Misc 2d 933). CPLR 510 (3) provides for a discretionary change of venue where "the convenience of material witnesses and the ends of justice will be promoted by the change." The moving party bears the burden of proof (see Andros v Roderick, 162 AD2d 813, 814) and must identify, inter alia, the witnesses and the substance of their testimony (Stainbrook v Colleges of Senecas, 237 AD2d 865).

While motions to change the venue of an action are not unusual, they do present considerations with respect to Court of Claims actions that are not present in Supreme Court actions. Each change of venue in the Court of Claims could, arguably, negatively affect the general public, who bear the burden of all defense costs. As observed in Poolet v State of New York (56 Misc 2d 933, 935), "changes of venue in the Court of Claims should only be granted for overriding and substantial reasons" in order to avoid severe problems with the efficient administration of the Court.

Claimant apparently seeks the change in venue for his own convenience, as he has identified no witnesses who would be inconvenienced by a trial in Rochester, New York. However, convenience of a party is not a factor that should be considered in deciding a motion to change venue (A.M.I. Int. v Gary Pool Sales & Serv., 94 AD2d 890). Claimant has failed to establish a basis for changing the venue of his claims and his motion must be denied.

To the extent that Claimant's submissions subsequent to filing his original motion papers can be construed as a motion to reinstate claim number 106858, he has failed to offer any justification for this request and it is, therefore, denied.

Based on the foregoing, it is

ORDERED, that Claimant's motion M-67357 is denied in all respects. And it is further,

ORDERED, that Defendant's motion to dismiss Claim No. 107252 (M-67231) is denied as moot.

May 3, 2004
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims