New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SYDNEY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2005-010-009, Claim No. 107353-A


Synopsis


Inmate's claim alleging excessive force by correction officers was dismissed. The Court found that claimant's testimony was not credible and found the CO's testimony forthright and credible.

Case Information

UID:
2005-010-009
Claimant(s):
JOHNNY SYDNEY
Claimant short name:
SYDNEY
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107353-A
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
JOHNNY SYDNEYPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General for the State of New YorkBy: Elyse Angelico, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 24, 2005
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
Claimant
seeks damages for injuries he allegedly sustained while he was incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Claimant testified that on April 19, 2002, he refused a direct order to put his hands through a slot in his cell door and two correction officers used excessive force. He further stated that the officers wanted to escort him to the mental health unit and that he had never been there previously.
Lieutenant Lawrence Phipps testified that he has been employed by the New York State Department of Correctional Services for 25 years. On April 19, 2002, he was the supervisor of the mental health unit and was familiar with
claimant because claimant was a regular patient on the unit. Phipps recalled that on the day of the incident, claimant had been in general population and was acting in a disruptive manner, upsetting the other inmates. Because he knew claimant, Phipps was directed to move claimant from general population to a mental health strip cell. Claimant refused to leave his cell. Phipps and two other correction officers entered claimant's cell. Claimant retreated to the back of the cell and was physically and verbally resistant. The officers placed claimant on the bed and applied handcuffs. Claimant tried to remain upright and cut his chin on the metal bedframe. Claimant was taken to the mental health unit. Phipps was not brought up on charges for excessive force.
Upon listening to the witnesses testify and observing their demeanor as they did so, the Court finds that
claimant's testimony strains credulity and that the testimony of Phipps was forthright and credible. Accordingly, the Court finds that claimant did not meet his burden of proof.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED DISMISSING CLAIM NO. 107353-A.

January 24, 2005
White Plains, New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims