Claimant, De'Andre Wilson, an inmate appearing pro se, alleges that certain
personal property belonging to him was lost during his incarceration in
Southport Correctional Facility. A trial was held in this matter on October 25,
2005 at the Elmira Correctional Facility.
At trial, claimant testified that on or about July 26, 1999 he was put in the
special housing unit in Southport and thereafter discovered that the following
items belonging to him were missing, namely a radio cassette player; a walkman;
one pair of headphones; five cassette tapes; four bath towels; and 200
The claimant, to the court's satisfaction, established the existence of a
bailment to the extent noted below by proving that his property was deposited
with the defendant and that the latter failed to return it. (
Weinberg v D-M Rest. Corp
., 60 AD2d 550; Heede Hoist & Mach. Co. v
Bayview Towers Apts
., 74 AD2d 598). More specifically, the court found that
claimant established the existence of a bailment with respect to the five
cassette tapes; four bath towels; and 200 photographs, but not the remaining
items. Due to claimant's lack of receipts, the court determined damages based
upon the fair market value of said missing property less depreciation from the
credible evidence presented at trial. However, personally meaningful items,
such as photographs have no fair market value.
Upon close of the claimant's case, the State did not sufficiently refute the
allegations of claimant.
Consequently, at the conclusion of the trial, a decision was rendered on the
record on behalf of the claimant. Therefore, after due deliberation having been
had the court finds for the claimant in the amount of $75.00 with the
appropriate statutory interest from July 26, 1999.
Any and all motions on which the court may have previously reserved or which
were not previously determined, are hereby denied.
Finally, to the extent that claimant has paid a filing fee, it may be recovered
pursuant to Court of Claims Act 11-a (2).
The clerk of the court is hereby directed to enter said judgment