New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BROWN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2005-009-010, Claim No. 110036, Motion No. M-69459


Synopsis


Defendant's motion to dismiss this bailment claim based upon a failure of claimant to exhaust his administrative remedies, was both granted, in part, and denied, in part.

Case Information

UID:
2005-009-010
Claimant(s):
FRED BROWN
Claimant short name:
BROWN
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
110036
Motion number(s):
M-69459
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Claimant's attorney:
FRED BROWN, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General
BY: Joel L. Marmelstein, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney GeneralOf Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
February 23, 2005
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

Defendant has brought this pre-answer motion seeking an order dismissing the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with this motion:
Pre-Answer Notice of Motion, Affirmation, with Exhibits 1,2


"Proof of Service Claim #110036" 3

Filed Papers: Claim

In his filed claim, claimant seeks damages in the amount of $349.25 for the loss of personal property when he was transferred from one residence area at Mid-State Correctional Facility to another residence area on April 27, 2004.

According to the exhibits set forth with defendant's moving papers, claimant filed an administrative claim at Mid-State Correctional Facility on May 20, 2004 for lost items with a total value of $323.11.[1] This administrative claim was denied on August 2, 2004, and claimant's administrative appeal was also denied on August 10, 2004.

Pursuant to § 10(9) of the Court of Claims Act, an inmate must exhaust his administrative remedies prior to instituting an action for lost property in the Court of Claims. In this particular matter, since there are additional items set forth in his filed claim other than those included in his administrative claim, it is defendant's position that claimant has not exhausted his administrative remedies, thereby depriving this Court of jurisdiction to hear the claim. In other words, defendant seeks an order dismissing this claim since it does not conform in all aspects to the institutional claim for lost property previously filed by claimant.

A comparison of the institutional claim to the claim filed with this Court reveals that claimant now seeks damages for additional lost items of property which were not listed on his institutional claim form. Specifically, claimant now seeks damages for a jar of coffee ($3.85), a cup ($1.50), a deodorant ($1.85), three containers of cookies ($2.36), and one more typewriter ribbon than appeared on his institutional claim ($7.70). Claimant has placed a higher value (an additional $6.21) on an AM/FM cassette player than was set forth on his institutional claim.

Claimant has not provided any explanation whatsoever to this Court as to why the items set forth on his filed claim differ from those listed on his institutional claim. Without any satisfactory explanation, claimant has failed to establish that he exhausted his administrative remedies with respect to those items not listed on his facility claim form.

The Court notes, however, that the vast majority of the items included on his filed claim do conform, both as to identity and alleged value, to his institutional claim form. The Court, therefore, retains jurisdiction to hear and determine his claim as to those items listed on the institutional claim form which were then set forth in his filed claim.

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that defendant's motion is GRANTED, only to the extent that this Court will not entertain testimony at trial with respect to any allegedly missing items of personal property set forth in claimant's filed claim that were not included in his institutional claim; and it is further

ORDERED, that defendant's motion to dismiss the entire claim is otherwise DENIED.


February 23, 2005
Syracuse, New York

HON. NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1] Claimant's administrative claim alleges a loss of $328.79. Correct addition of the values listed by claimant for each individual item, however, results in the total of $323.11.