Defendant has filed a motion to dismiss the claim for failure to state a cause
of action against the State of New York. The Court will grant the motion.
The Court has considered the following documents in connection with this
1. Claim, verified April 20, 2004, filed May 19, 2004;
2. Notice of Motion, dated May 19, 2004, filed May 21, 2004;
3. Amended Notice of Motion, dated June 18, 2004, filed June 21, 2004;
4. Affidavit of Gregory P. Miller, sworn to May 19, 2004.
Claimant has sought to recover for injuries allegedly sustained as the result
of an assault by Erie County Deputy Sheriffs at the Erie County Holding Center
on December 25, 2003. Defendant now moves to dismiss the claim pursuant to CPLR
3211, for failure to state a cause of action against the State of New York. The
Court will grant the motion.
Court of Claims Act § 9 (2) inter alia limits the tort jurisdiction of
this Court to claims against the State or "its officers or employees while
acting as such officers or employees...". Pursuant to the definitions set forth
in Public Officers Law § 2 a sheriff would not be a "state officer," and
instead must be deemed a "local officer." The position of sheriff is a
county-wide rather than statewide elective office, with official functions
limited to that political subdivision of the State (County Law § § 400
, 650 ). Deputy sheriffs are hired by a sheriff, and not a State officer,
and serve within that jurisdiction (County Law § §652, 652-a, 653).
For that reason they cannot be deemed officers or employees of the State (see
generally Fisher v State of New York, 10 NY2d 60  [an assistant
district attorney is not a State officer]). The matter, therefore, is not
properly triable in this Court.
Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
ORDERED, that Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted; and it is further
ORDERED, that the Clerk of the Court is directed to close the file.