New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MORINE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-031-053, Claim No. 106757, Motion No. M-67750


Synopsis


Case Information

UID:
2004-031-053
Claimant(s):
FRED MORINE
Claimant short name:
MORINE
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
106757
Motion number(s):
M-67750
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
FRED MORINE, 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:
May 17, 2004
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers, numbered 1 to 3, were read on motion by Claimant requesting a change of venue for his claim:
1. Claimant's Notice of Motion, filed December 8, 2003;
2. Claimant's Affidavit, sworn to December 3, 2003;
3. Affirmation of Heather R. Rubinstein, Esq., dated January 20, 2004, with attached exhibit. In his underlying claim, Claimant asserts that he was illegally confined following a disciplinary hearing which occurred on December 26, 2001 at Willard Drug Treatment Campus in Seneca County. That disciplinary determination was administratively reversed on March 8, 2002.

With this motion, Claimant requests that I change the venue of this claim from Syracuse, New York to Albany, New York. As a basis for this request, Claimant asserts that he has recently been released from custody and is now living in the Albany area, and that it would be financially difficult for him to travel to Syracuse.

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 in such motions 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 the 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 seeks the change in venue for his own convenience, as he has identified no witnesses who would be inconvenienced by a trial where the claim is currently venued. 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 the action and his motion must be denied.

Accordingly, it is hereby,

ORDERED, that Claimant's motion for a change of venue is denied.

May 17, 2004
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims