New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

HARRIS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-009-045, Claim No. 109335, Motion No. M-71584


Synopsis


Claimant’s motion for summary judgment was denied.

Case Information

UID:
2006-009-045
Claimant(s):
GEORGE HARRIS
Claimant short name:
HARRIS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
109335
Motion number(s):
M-71584
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Claimant’s attorney:
GEORGE HARRIS, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General
BY: G. Lawrence Dillon, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney GeneralOf Counsel.
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
August 17, 2006
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant has brought this motion seeking an order granting him summary judgment.

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with this motion:
Notice of Motion, Affidavit, with Attachments 1,2


Defendant’s Response, with Exhibits 3


Claimant’s Response (Reply), with Attachment 4

In this claim, claimant, then an inmate at Mid-State Correctional Facility, alleges that the State is responsible for his self-inflicted injuries, based upon its failure to provide him with emergency mental health treatment by competent mental health personnel. He further alleges that he was placed in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) at the facility without lawful authority. His claim is based upon causes of action sounding in negligence and ministerial neglect.

Summary judgment is a drastic remedy which deprives a party of its day in court and should not be granted where there is any doubt as to the existence of a material issue of fact (Moskowitz v Garlock, 23 AD2d 943). It is the procedural equivalent of a trial (Andre v Pomeroy, 35 NY2d 361). The role of the Court, therefore, on a motion for summary judgment is not to resolve material issues of fact, but instead to determine if such issues exist (Sillman v Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 3 NY2d 395). In doing so, the Court must examine the submitted proof in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Summary judgment may only be granted if the movant provides evidentiary proof in admissible form to demonstrate that there are no material questions of fact (Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Center, 64 NY2d 851). The threshold to be met is high, since “there must be only one conclusion that can be drawn from the undisputed facts” (Sanchez v State of New York, 99 NY2d 247, 254). Negligence actions are rarely appropriate for resolution by summary judgment, since they typically involve numerous factual issues and require an assessment of whether the defendant’s actions were reasonable (Davis v Federated Dept. Stores, 227 AD2d 514).

In support of his motion for summary judgment, claimant has submitted his personal affidavit, together with attachments pertaining to a Tier 2 disciplinary hearing held on December 26, 2003. The documentation submitted with his affidavit, however, is insufficient evidentiary proof to establish his right to judgment as a matter of law. Essentially, claimant has alleged that the State failed to adequately address his requests for mental health treatment. Claimant has not submitted any proof in proper evidentiary form that would enable this Court to make such a determination as a matter of law.

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-71584 is hereby DENIED.


August 17, 2006
Syracuse, New York

HON. NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Judge of the Court of Claims