New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JERMAN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2005-033-110, Claim No. 109649, Motion Nos. M-69449, CM-69541


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2005-033-110
Claimant(s):
LESHAWN JERMAN
Claimant short name:
JERMAN
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
109649
Motion number(s):
M-69449
Cross-motion number(s):
CM-69541
Judge:
James J. Lack
Claimant’s attorney:
Michael A. Montesano, P.C.By: Michael A. Montesano, Esq.
Defendant’s attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, New York State Attorney GeneralBy: Victor J. D’Angelo, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
March 25, 2005
City:
Hauppauge
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

This is a claim for the alleged false arrest and unlawful imprisonment of Leshawn Jerman (hereinafter “claimant”) on May 12, 2004,[1] by members of the New York State Police (hereinafter “State”).

Claimant moves this Court for an order pursuant to CPLR 3025 allowing the amendment of the claim to include the year 2004[2]. Defendant opposes the motion and cross-moves this Court for an order dismissing the claim for being jurisdictionally defective pursuant to Court of Claims Act §11[3].

The original claim states “[t]he claim arose on May 12th, at 6:45 a.m., at 24 Stewart Avenue, Hempstead, New York” (claimant’s Exhibit A, ¶3). The next paragraph of the claim also refers to May 12th, at 6:45 a.m., without referencing a year. The claim was verified on June 29, 2004 and states that it is being served within 90 days of the date of accrual.

The requirements of the Court of Claims Act are jurisdictional in nature and must be strictly construed (Lurie v State of New York, 73 AD2d 1006, aff’d 52 NY2d 849). The purpose of these requirements is to give the State prompt notice of an occurrence and an opportunity to investigate the facts and prepare a defense. There must be sufficient detail to enable the State to investigate (Schwartzberg v State of New York, 121 Misc 2d 1095, aff’d 98 AD2d 902). Pursuant to the Court of Claims Act, a claim must include the time when and place where the claim arose, the nature of the claim, items of damage or injuries sustained as well as the total sum claimed. If the original document does not include all that is essential to constitute a claim, the document is jurisdictionally defective (Grande v State of New York, 160 Misc 2d 383). The claim is subject to dismissal and “a lack of prejudice to the State is an immaterial factor” (Byrne v State of New York, 104 AD2d 782, 784, lv den 64 NY2d 607). However, in Harper v State of New York, 34 AD2d 865, the Court stated “[a]ll elements of the claim need not be set out with formalistic rigidity, but it must convey notice to the State to enable it to properly investigate, defend, and/or settle the claim.”

Claimant relies on CPLR 3025 (b) which states
A party may amend his pleading, or supplement it by setting forth additional or subsequent transactions or occurrences, at any time by leave of court or by stipulation of all parties. Leave shall be freely given upon such terms as may be just including the granting of costs and continuances.

In reading the claim as a whole, the Court finds that the claim satisfies the requirements of Court of Claims Act §11. While the claim does not say “May 12th, 2004", it does give the May 12th date and the filing of the claim within 90 days of the date of accrual is verified by the claimant. The claim was served upon the Attorney General’s office on July 23, 2004 and filed with the Clerk of the Court on July 26, 2004. The claim conveys notice to defendant to enable it to properly investigate, defend and/or settle the claim.

Based upon the foregoing, claimant’s motion to amend the claim is granted and defendant’s cross-motion to dismiss the claim is denied. Claimant shall serve and file the amended claim within forty-five (45) days of the filing date of this decision and order.


March 25, 2005
Hauppauge, New York

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




[1].This is the year referred to by claimant in the amended claim. The original claim omits the year of the occurrence.
[2].The following papers have been read and considered on claimant’s motion: Notice of Motion dated December 1, 2004 and filed December 6, 2004; Attorney’s Affirmation of Michael A. Montesano, Esq. with annexed Exhibits A-C dated December 1, 2004 and filed December 6, 2004.
[3].The following papers have been read and considered on defendant’s cross-motion: Notice of Cross-Motion to Dismiss dated January 3, 2005 and filed January 5, 2005; Affirmation in Support of Defendant’s Cross-Motion and in Opposition to Claimant’s Motion to Amend the Claim of Victor J. D’Angelo, Esq. with annexed Exhibits A-B dated January 3, 2005 and filed January 5, 2005; Attorney’s Opposition to Defendant’s Cross-Motion of Michael A. Montesano, Esq. with annexed Exhibits A-B dated January 12, 2005 and filed January 18, 2005.