New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

TROTTIE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-032-070, Claim No. 104069, Motion No. M-68661


Synopsis


Claimant has failed to make a prima facie showing of entitlement to summary judgment on his claim for false imprisonment, and thus his motion is denied.

Case Information

UID:
2004-032-070
Claimant(s):
WILLIAM TROTTIE
Claimant short name:
TROTTIE
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
104069
Motion number(s):
M-68661
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
JUDITH A. HARD
Claimant's attorney:
William Trottie, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Hon. Eliot Spitzer, NYS Attorney General
By: Saul Aronson, Assistant Attorney General,Of Counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
September 22, 2004
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

On November 17, 2000, claimant was allegedly confined in the Special Housing Unit ("SHU") at Upstate Correctional Facility ("Upstate"). Following a disciplinary hearing, claimant was found guilty of violating a rule or rules of the Standards of Inmate Behavior in All Facilities and allegedly given 60 days in the SHU. Claimant further alleges that the disciplinary charges were reversed and expunged from his records on January 19, 2001, but that he was not released from the SHU until January 26, 2001. Claimant now moves for summary judgment in his favor alleging that the defendant's answer has no merit and that he is entitled to be compensated for being wrongfully confined.

Summary judgment is a drastic remedy that should only be granted when there are no outstanding issues of fact (Redcross v Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 260 AD2d 908, 914 [3d Dept 1999]), citing to Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851, 853 [1985]). The Court's task is "issue finding, rather than issue determination," and before judgment can be granted it must be clearly ascertained that there are no triable issues of fact outstanding (Matter of Hannah UU, 300 AD2d 942, 943 [3d Dept 2002], citing to Matter of Suffolk County Dept. of Soc. Servs. v James M., 83 NY2d 178 [1994] and Sillman v Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 3 NY2d 395 [1957]).

In determining if there are any issues of fact, the Court must examine the proof in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion (Iwaszkiewicz v Callanan Indus. Inc., 258 AD2d 776 [3d Dept 1999]). The moving party must make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, proffering sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of any material issues of fact (Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851, 853 [1985]; Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562 [1980]; Sillman v Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 3 NY2d 395, supra). This burden of proof can only be met by the submission of evidentiary proof in admissible form (Rifenburgh v Wilczek, 294 AD2d 653 [3d Dept 2002]; Toomey v Adirondack Surgical Assocs., 280 AD2d 754 [2001]).

There are numerous deficiencies in the submissions made by claimant in support of his motion for summary judgment. Claimant has failed to attach to his motion papers a copy of the claim and the answer as expressly required by CPLR 3212(b). "[F]ailure to include a copy of the pleadings in the papers supporting a motion for summary judgment ‘require[s] summary denial of the motion' ... [unless] the record is ‘sufficiently complete' " (Greene v Wood, 6 AD3d 976 [3d Dept 2004], quoting Welton v Drobnicki, 298 AD2d 757 [3d Dept 2002] and General Motors Acceptance Corp. v Albany Water Bd., 187 AD2d 894, 895 n [3d Dept 1992]). In Greene, supra, the Third Department affirmed denial of a motion for summary judgment because the moving papers failed to include a copy of one of two complaints against it.

Claimant has also failed to attach an affidavit and/or any evidentiary proof to establish that there is no defense to his cause of action for false imprisonment or to establish judgment in his favor as a matter of law. In fact, claimant submits no proof to even establish the dates of his confinement, his release from confinement or the date when his conviction of disciplinary rules was allegedly reversed. Moreover, in order to establish a prima facie case of false imprisonment, claimant must show that "(1) the defendant intended to confine him, (2) the ... [claimant] was conscious of the confinement, (3) the [claimant] did not consent to the confinement and (4) the confinement was not otherwise privileged..." (Broughton v State of New York, 37 NY2d 451, 456 [1975]). Claimant has proffered no evidence to establish that his confinement was not otherwise privileged. In fact, the actions of correction employees in carrying out their duties relating to security and discipline in conformance with the rules and regulations are considered quasi-judicial in nature and cloaked with absolute immunity (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212, 220 [1988]). At the very least, defendant may be entitled to immunity for all or a substantial portion of claimant's confinement. A resolution of this issue involves questions of fact which must await determination at trial.

Claimant's motion for summary judgment is thus denied.



September 22, 2004
Albany, New York

HON. JUDITH A. HARD
Judge of the Court of Claims


The following papers were read and considered by the Court:

1. Notice of motion and supporting affidavit of William Trottie, pro se;

2. Opposing affirmation of Saul Aronson, Esq., AAG with annexed Exhibits

Filed papers: claim, answer