New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

TRAVIS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2005-015-009, Claim No. 107027, Motion No. M-69482


Synopsis


At trial claimant failed to refute State's proof that inmate's claim for loss of personal property was never served upon the Attorney General.

Case Information

UID:
2005-015-009
Claimant(s):
SAMUEL TRAVIS The caption of this claim has been amended sua sponte to reflect the only properly named defendant.
Claimant short name:
TRAVIS
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
The caption of this claim has been amended sua sponte to reflect the only properly named defendant.
Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107027
Motion number(s):
M-69482
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney:
Samuel Travis, Pro SeNo Appearance
Defendant's attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Stephen Maher, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
February 10, 2005
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

The defendant's motion to dismiss the instant claim for lack of jurisdiction on the basis that the claimant failed to serve a copy of the claim upon the Attorney General as required by Court of Claims Act § 11 (a) is granted. The claim was filed with the Clerk of the Court on December 4, 2002 and assigned claim number 107027. It alleges that the claimant's personal property valued at $113.74 was lost or stolen while in the possession of the Department of Correctional Services. The loss was discovered on July 23, 2002 following claimant's release from the Special Housing Unit at Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility, Wilton, New York.

The claimant failed to oppose the motion in support of which the defendant offered an affidavit of Janet Barringer, a Senior Clerk in the Albany Office of the Attorney General. In that affidavit Ms. Barringer states:
a. The Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York, Claims Practice Group, received a letter from the Court of Claims dated January 6, 2003 acknowledging receipt by the Court on December 4, 2002 of a Claim of Samuel Travis against STATE OF NEW YORK. This was given the reference number: OAG # 03-000666-O. A copy of this document is attached as Exhibit "A".

4. Based on my review of the files in the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York, Claims Practice Group, I find no record that the Claim in this matter was ever served on the Attorney General.

It is well established that the service and filing requirements of the Court of Claims Act are jurisdictional in nature. In Lichtenstein v State of New York, 93 NY2d 911, the Court of Appeals, quoting from its earlier decision in Dreger v New York State Thruway Auth., 81 NY2d 721, 724, stated: "[B]ecause suits against the State are allowed only by the State's waiver of sovereign immunity and in derogation of the common law, statutory requirements conditioning suit must be strictly construed."

The defendant has established that the claimant failed to serve a copy of the claim herein upon the Attorney General as required by Court of Claims Act § 11. Accordingly, the claim must be dismissed as the claimant has failed to meet the literal requirements of the Court of Claims Act relative to commencement of an action against the State of New York in the Court of Claims (Dreger v New York State Thruway Auth., supra, at 723).



February 10, 2005
Saratoga Springs, New York

HON. FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Judge of the Court of Claims


The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated December 10, 2004;
  2. Affirmation of Stephen J. Maher dated December 10, 2004 with exhibit.