New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JOHNSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2005-019-510, Claim Nos. 109372, 109864, 110055, Motion No. M-69522


Synopsis


Claimant's motion for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief is denied.

Case Information

UID:
2005-019-510
Claimant(s):
JOHNATHAN JOHNSON
Claimant short name:
JOHNSON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
109372, 109864, 110055
Motion number(s):
M-69522
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Claimant's attorney:
JOHNATHAN JOHNSON, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERALBY: Joseph F. Romani, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
February 8, 2005
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, a pro se inmate, moves for a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief in connection with three of his pending claims. The State of New York (hereinafter "State") opposes the motion.

Each of these claims arose during claimant's incarceration at Southport Correctional Facility (hereinafter "Southport"). In Claim No. 109372, claimant alleges that on May 5, 2004, Southport officials improperly refused to provide him with an advance for postage for a personal letter that was not legal in nature. In Claim No. 109864, claimant alleges that his personal letters were improperly searched and seized and that he was issued a misbehavior report in retaliation for refusing to testify against a person under investigation by State Police. In Claim No. 110055, claimant alleges that various prison officials improperly refused to issue him legal advances for the mailing of various legal documents. Now, by way of this motion, claimant seeks a declaratory judgment declaring his right to obtain legal advances for postage in order to file and serve his claims, as well as an injunction preventing the State from interfering with this right in the future.


It is well-settled that the Court of Claims lacks jurisdiction over declaratory judgment actions except in a limited range of cases involving insurance disputes as authorized by Court of Claims Act § 9 (9-a) and which are not applicable here. (CCA § 9 [9-a]; CPLR 3001; Fehlhaber Corp. v State of New York, 69 AD2d 362, 374). Nor does the court have the authority to issue injunctive relief. (Madura v State of New York, 12 AD3d 759). In sum, the Court of Claims is a court of limited jurisdiction and it is not authorized to provide the kind of equitable relief sought by claimant. (CCA § 9).


In view of the foregoing, it is ORDERED, that the claimant's motion for a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief, Motion No. M-69522, is DENIED.



February 8, 2005
Binghamton, New York

HON. FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Judge of the Court of Claims


The court has considered the following papers in connection with this motion:

  1. Claim No. 109372, filed May 19, 2004.
  2. Claim No. 109864, filed September 17, 2004.
  3. Claim No. 110055, filed November 4, 2004.
  4. Notice of Motion No. M-69522, dated December 8, 2004, and filed December 15, 2004.
  5. Affidavit of Johnathan Johnson, in support of motion, sworn to December 8, 2004, with attached exhibits.
  6. Affirmation of Joseph F. Romani, AAG, in opposition to motion, dated January 27, 2005, and filed January 31, 2005.