New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JONES v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-031-184, Claim No. 108381, Motion No. M-69260


Synopsis


Claim for violation of inmate's federal constitutional rights relating to lack of access to law library fails to state a valid cause of action over which Court of Claims has jurisdiction. Defendant's motion to dismiss claim is granted

Case Information

UID:
2004-031-184
Claimant(s):
JASON JONES
Claimant short name:
JONES
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
108381
Motion number(s):
M-69260
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
JASON JONES, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: PAUL VOLCY, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
December 20, 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 for an order dismissing the claim:
1. Notice of Motion, filed October 21, 2004;
2. Affirmation of Paul Volcy, Esq., dated October 19, 2004, with attached exhibits;
3. Filed Documents: Claim and Answer. This is Defendant's motion seeking dismissal of the claim for failing to state a cause of action or, alternatively, to compel Claimant to respond to Defendant's discovery demands. In his claim filed on October 9, 2003, Mr. Jones alleges that between September 20 and September 30, 2003, his federal constitutional rights were violated when he was unable to obtain adequate access to a law library at Lakeview Shock Correctional Facility.

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

Claimant has submitted no opposition to Defendant's motion.

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).

The claim in this matter purports to seek redress for violations of Claimant's federal constitutional rights. However, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over such proposed causes of action (Brown v State of New York, 89 NY2d 172, 185) and such an action must be pursued in Federal Court (Davis v State of New York, 124 AD2d 420).

Further, the Claimant does not enjoy a "free-standing right" to unlimited access to a law library. His cause of action is not something for which this Court can compensate Claimant (Gagne v State of New York, Ct Cl, November 30, 2001 [Claim No. 98686, Motion No. M-63259], Patti, J., UID #2001-013-029]; Leach v Dufrain, 103 F Supp 2d 542 [authorities may regulate the time, place, and manner of library use]).

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. The Clerk of the Court is directed to close the file.

December 20, 2004
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims