New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

EVANS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2005-015-036, Claim No. 108714, Motion No. M-70296


Synopsis


Court lacked jurisdiction to handle claim which could not be deciphered

Case Information

UID:
2005-015-036
Claimant(s):
GEORGE EVANS
Claimant short name:
EVANS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
108714
Motion number(s):
M-70296
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant’s attorney:
George Evans, Pro SeNo Appearance
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Kathleen M. Arnold, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
September 1, 2005
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)

.
Decision


The defendant's motion to dismiss the claim for lack of jurisdiction alleging that the claimant failed to serve a copy of the claim upon the Attorney General as required by Court of Claims Act § 11 (a) (i) is granted. The claim identified as "a supplement to the legal brief I filed" was filed with the Court on January 2, 2004. It contains no substantive factual allegations but seeks an order issuing a deed to certain real property located in East Greenbush, New York, a $50,000 payment plus $2,500 per year for 25 years.

Although personally served with the motion papers (see, Affidavit of Patricia A. Kinary) the claimant has failed to oppose the motion which includes the affidavit of Janet A. Barringer, a Senior Clerk in the Albany Office of the Attorney General. Ms. Barringer states the following:
a. The Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York, Litigation Bureau, Albany Office, received a letter from the Court of Claims dated March 24, 2004 acknowledging receipt by the Court on January 2, 2004 of a Claim of George Evans against Mental Hygiene Legal Service. This was given the reference number: OAG# 04-001785-0. A copy of the court letter 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, Albany Litigation Bureau, 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 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).


September 1, 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 June 16, 2005;
  2. Affirmation of Kathleen M. Arnold dated June 16, 2005;
  3. Affidavit of Janet A. Barringer sworn to June 16, 2005 with exhibit;
4. Affidavit of personal service on claimant sworn to June 16, 2005.