New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MOSLEY v. ERIE COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT HOLDING CENTER, #2004-034-610, Claim No. 109371, Motion No. M-68542


Synopsis


Defendant's motion to dismiss claim for failure to state cause of action against The State of New York is granted. Claim filed against Erie County Sheriff's Department Holding Center cannot be heard in the Court of Claims.

Case Information

UID:
2004-034-610
Claimant(s):
EUGENE MOSELEY
Claimant short name:
MOSLEY
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
ERIE COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT HOLDING CENTER
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
109371
Motion number(s):
M-68542
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
MICHAEL E. HUDSON
Claimant's attorney:
EUGENE MOSELEY, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: GREGORY P. MILLER, ESQAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
November 26, 2004
City:
Buffalo
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

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 motion:

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 [1], 650 [1]). 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 [1961] [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.

November 26, 2004
Buffalo, New York

HON. MICHAEL E. HUDSON
Judge of the Court of Claims