New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BELOT v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-031-104, Claim No. 109222, Motion No. M-68539


Synopsis


Court of Claims has no jurisdiction over claim. Claimant failed to file his claim for alleged wrongful confinement within 90 days after the claim accrued

Case Information

UID:
2004-031-104
Claimant(s):
JEAN BELOT, JR.
Claimant short name:
BELOT
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
109222
Motion number(s):
M-68539
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
JEAN BELOT, JR., 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:
August 30, 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 Defendant to dismiss the claim for lack of subject matter and personal jurisdiction:
1. Defendant's Notice of Motion, filed May 20, 2004;
2. Affirmation of Heather R. Rubinstein, Esq., dated May 18, 2004, with attached exhibit;
3. Claimant's "Answer to Motion to Dismiss," dated May 25, 2004, with attachment.This is Defendant's motion for dismissal of the claim as untimely. In his underlying claim in this matter, Claimant alleges he was illegally confined to the Special Housing Unit in Auburn Correctional Facility for a period of 75 days beginning on April 4, 2003 when he received a Tier III inmate misbehavior report. He was found guilty in a subsequent disciplinary hearing and ordered to serve a 45 day penalty. He then received another misbehavior report on May 13, 2003, was found guilty after a Tier II disciplinary hearing and received a 30 day penalty on that particular charge. Claimant then availed himself of the appellate process within the New York State Department of Corrections on each proceeding. The results of those two appeals are not relevant to the determination of this motion.

There is no dispute that Claimant served the full term of each penalty. He had 90 days from the date of his release in which to serve a Notice of Intention to File a Claim or to serve and file a Claim (Henriquez v State of New York , Ct Cl, April 3, 2003 [Claim No. 106593-A, Motion No. M-66149], Minarik, J., UID No. 2003-031-015). He filed his claim on April 21, 2004, well beyond 90 days from his release.[1] Claimant states that his participation in the appellate process tolled the statute of limitations. That assertion is false (Emanuele v State of New York, 43 Misc 2d 135). There is no tolling of the 90 day statute of limitations. This Court lacks both subject matter and personal jurisdiction, therefore the claim is dismissed.

I also note that, even if the claim were filed in a timely manner, it would be dismissed, nonetheless, for failing to state a cause of action. Although Claimant alleges in conclusory fashion that his due process rights were violated during the hearings, he cites no specific shortcoming upon which an action for illegal confinement can be based. Claimant implicitly equates the success of his appeals regarding the hearings with his right to recover in this action.

However, 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 fact that the disposition from a disciplinary hearing is later reversed does not necessarily remove the matter from the blanket of immunity (Arteaga v State of New York, supra; Bonacorsa v State of New York, Ct Cl, May 31, 1994 [Claim No. 86522], Bell, J.). There is no indication in the claim that Defendant violated any of its own rules and regulations in conducting either hearing, or that it otherwise acted outside the sphere of privileged actions (Arteaga v State of New York, supra; Holloway v State of New York, 2001 WL 777553 (3d Dept 2001); cf. Gittens v State of New York, 132 Misc 2d 399 (Ct Cl 1986). Accordingly, I find that the claim fails to set forth a valid cause of action upon which relief can be granted.

For the reasons set forth above, it is hereby

ORDERED, that Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted.

August 30, 2004
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims



[1]Nowhere in the claim or in Defendant's papers is a specific release date given. Inasmuch as there is no disagreement that Claimant served 45 days and 30 days, taken consecutively, I come up with a release date on or about June 18, 2003. Claimant would have had to serve a Notice of Intention to File a Claim or serve and file a Claim on or before September 16, 2003.