New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

NAPOLITANO v. THE NEW YORK STATE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE, ROBERT SALTZMAN (COUNSEL XX), NEW YORK STATE, #2005-030-915, Claim No. 110140, Motion Nos. M-69493, CM-69718


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2005-030-915
Claimant(s):
JOHN J. NAPOLITANO
Claimant short name:
NAPOLITANO
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE NEW YORK STATE GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE, ROBERT SALTZMAN (COUNSEL XX), NEW YORK STATE
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
110140
Motion number(s):
M-69493
Cross-motion number(s):
CM-69718
Judge:
THOMAS H. SCUCCIMARRA
Claimant's attorney:
John J. Napolitano, pro se
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney Generalby Ellen Matowik, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 6, 2005
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The court read and considered the following papers on defendant's motion to dismiss the claim and claimant's cross-motion for an order permitting late filing pursuant to Court of Claims Act §10(6): Notice of Motion, Affirmation and Exhibit; Notice of Cross-Motion, Affirmation and Exhibit; Affirmation in Opposition to Motion and in Support of Cross-Motion; Claimant's Memorandum of Law; Affirmation in Opposition to Cross-Motion.

Claimant is an attorney who was suspended from the practice of law twice, the first time in 1997 and the second time in 2001, with the suspension on the latter occasion running for three years (see Matter of Napolitano, 232 AD2d 51; and Matter of Napolitano, 282 AD2d 130). His license to practice law was apparently reinstated on October 15, 2004.

On November 24, 2004, claimant filed the instant claim, seeking damages of one billion dollars. Paragraph 2 of the claim alleges as follows:
This claim arises from the acts or omissions of defendant. Details of said acts or omissions are as follows . . . : SEE PAPERS ATTACHED

MORE SPECIFIC, THE AFFIRMATION IN EXHIBIT B DATED 1/30/03 AND 1/30/03.

LOSS OF LAW LICENSE ON TWO SUSPENSION FOR A TOTAL OF SEVEN YEARS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING;

1. "Renounced Agreement" on which there was reliance and damages

2. VINDICTIVENESS

3. Malicious abuse of one's position and authority and power

4. Lack of due process and unconstitutional conduct

5. Obstruction of Justice

6. Malicious intent to destory one's livelihood and practice (Malicious prosecution and misconduct)

7. Extortion to withdraw renewal application or 3rd pary to be brought in

8. Violation of the "EAUAL PROTECTION & RIGHTS" guaranteed by the Constitution
Attached to the claim are perhaps 70 to 80 pages of correspondence sent by claimant to the disciplinary committee over the years which apparently the reader is referred to for an explanation of what is contained in the claim.

Defendant's motion to dismiss must be granted and claimant's cross-motion for permission to late file must be denied for essentially the same reasons:

1. The claim was interposed way beyond the expiration of any applicable limitations period contained in Court of Claims Act §10 and Article 2 of the CPLR with respect to the intentional conduct which forms the basis of the claim. Claimant's argument that his claim did not accrue until October 2004 when his license was reinstated is illogical. Under that theory, if his license was never reinstated, or if he was disbarred, then his claim, whatever it is, would never accrue.

2. The claim does not comply with Court of Claims Act §11(b). A claimant cannot deliver a pile of exhibits and say that the nature of his claim is spelled out in those documents. It would not be possible for defendant to frame an answer to this document since it is not possible to ascertain what facts claimant alleges to be the basis of his claim.

3. This court does not sit in review of the actions of the Grievance Committee or the Appellate Division. The committee was created by the Appellate Division, Second Department, pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Judiciary Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder, to investigate allegations of attorney misconduct and to initiate disciplinary proceedings. Its actions are discretionary governmental functions, not subject to review in a civil action for damages in the Court of Claims. Any right to review the determinations made during the disciplinary process is found within that process itself, not in the guise of a collateral civil action for damages. Thus, the matters of which claimant complains are beyond the subject matter jurisdiction of this court.

Accordingly, the motion to dismiss is granted and the cross-motion is denied.

May 6, 2005
White Plains, New York

HON. THOMAS H. SCUCCIMARRA
Judge of the Court of Claims