New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

LYNCH v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2005-033-105, Claim No. 108985, Motion No. M-69114


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2005-033-105
Claimant(s):
SEAN LYNCH
Claimant short name:
LYNCH
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
108985
Motion number(s):
M-69114
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
James J. Lack
Claimant's attorney:
Sean Lynch, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, New York State Attorney GeneralBy: Todd A. Schall, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 18, 2005
City:
Hauppauge
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

This is a claim for damages by Sean Lynch (hereinafter "claimant") as the result of actions by the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (hereinafter "Foundation"). Claimant alleges three causes of action. First, that he was not completely compensated for accumulated leave. Next, that his civil rights were violated and, third, claimant alleges a cause of action for wrongful termination.

Defendant moves to dismiss the claim for lack of jurisdiction[1] arguing that the Foundation is not an agency of the State of New York and, therefore, the Court of Claims has no jurisdiction. In support of its motion, defendant includes an Affirmation of Lynette M. Phillips, Esq., Associate Counsel for the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Ms. Phillips indicates that the Foundation is a private corporation and is not funded by the State of New York, nor is it governed by the State of New York.

In opposition to defendant's motion, claimant submits an unsworn letter to the Court. Claimant argues that his boss told him that the University is all run by the State of New York.

The establishment of the court system is found in article VI of the New York State Constitution. Article VI §7 states that the Supreme Court shall "have general original jurisdiction in law and equity and the appellate jurisdiction herein provided."
The Supreme Court in this State is a court of general original jurisdiction in law and equity (see N. Y. Const., art. VI, § 7, subd. a.) and, in conformity with its all inclusive powers, the court is authorized in any action to render such judgment as is appropriate to the proofs received in conformity with the allegations of the pleadings, irrespective of the nature of the relief demanded, subject, of course, in a proper case, to the imposition of such terms as may be necessary to protect the rights of any party.
(Kaminsky v Kahn, 23 AD2d 231, 236).

Separately, the Court of Claims is established by NY Const. Art. VI §9, which states, in relevant part that "[t]he court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine claims against the state or by the state against the claimant or between conflicting claimants as the legislature may provide." The Court of Claims is limited to awarding money damages against the State of New York (Matter of Silverman v Comptroller, 40 AD2d 225).

Regardless of claimant's belief as to the control of the Foundation, the Foundation is a separate and distinct entity and not an agency of the State of New York. Thus, the Supreme Court and not the Court of Claims has jurisdiction over the defendant.

Based upon the foregoing, the Court grants defendant's motion to dismiss ths claim. The Clerk of the Court is directed to close the file.


March 18, 2005
Hauppauge, New York

HON. JAMES J. LACK
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1]The following papers have been read and considered on defendant's motion: Notice of Motion to Dismiss dated September 10, 2004 and filed September 13, 2004; Affirmation in Support of Todd A. Schall, Esq. with annexed Exhibits A-B dated September 10, 2004 and filed September 13, 2004; Letter of Sean Lynch dated October 13, 2004 and received in Hauppauge on October 13, 2004; Letter of Sean Lynch dated November 5, 2004 and received in Hauppauge on November 8, 2004.