New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SILAS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-009-068, Claim No. 112285, Motion Nos. M-71864, M-72047


Synopsis


Defendant’s motion to dismiss this bailment claim was granted based upon a failure of claimant to exhaust his administrative remedies. Claimant’s motion for summary judgment was denied as moot.

Case Information

UID:
2006-009-068
Claimant(s):
RODNEY SILAS
Claimant short name:
SILAS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
112285
Motion number(s):
M-71864, M-72047
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Claimant’s attorney:
RODNEY SILAS, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General
BY: Kathleen M. Arnold, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney GeneralOf Counsel.
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
November 28, 2006
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant has brought a motion (M-71864) seeking an order dismissing this bailment claim based upon an alleged failure of claimant to exhaust his administrative remedies. Claimant has responded with a motion (M-72047) seeking an order striking defendant’s answer and granting him summary judgment on his claim.

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with these motions:
Notice of Motion to Dismiss, Affirmation, with Exhibits (M-71864) 1,2


Correspondence from Claimant, with Attachments, dated June 19, 2006 (M-71864) 3


Notice of Motion for Summary Judgment, Affidavit in Support (M-72047) 4,5

Affirmation in Opposition, with Exhibit (M-72047) 6


Filed Papers: Claim

Initially the Court notes that defendant has brought a pre-answer motion to dismiss, and therefore has not yet served and filed an answer to this claim. Accordingly, claimant’s motion (M-72047) seeking to strike defendant’s answer and for summary judgment is, at best, premature, and is denied as moot. The Court, however, has this motion as claimant’s response in opposition to defendant’s motion to dismiss (M-71864).

On May 3, 2006, claimant served this claim, sounding in bailment, upon the Office of the Attorney General. This claim was filed with the Clerk of the Court of Claims on May 1, 2006. Inmate bailment claims are governed by Court of Claims Act § 10(9), which requires that an inmate must first exhaust the administrative remedies established by the Department of Correctional Services prior to instituting such a claim. The Department of Correctional Services has established a two-tier system for handling bailment claims, consisting of an initial review and appeal process (see 7 NYCRR § 1700.3). Pursuant to Court of Claims Act § 10(9), in order for a claimant to be deemed to have exhausted his administrative remedies, both of these separate and distinct steps must be completed prior to the service and filing of a claim.

In this particular matter, and after an examination of the claim and all papers submitted herein, the Court finds no evidence, aside from the unsupported statements of claimant, that he has exhausted his administrative remedies. To the contrary, the papers submitted by claimant in response to defendant’s motion (see Item 3) merely establish that claimant had taken the initial steps to pursue an administrative claim, but they provide no evidence that claimant had taken all necessary steps to exhaust his administrative remedies. Similarly, the papers submitted with claimant’s supposed motion for summary judgment (M-72047) contain no evidence indicating that claimant had pursued his administrative claim through the process established by the Department of Correctional Services, as required by statute.

Accordingly, this claim must be dismissed based upon the failure of claimant to exhaust his administrative remedies.

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-71864 is hereby GRANTED; and it is further

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-72047 is DENIED as moot; and it is further

ORDERED, that Claim No. 112285 is hereby DISMISSED.


November 28, 2006
Syracuse, New York

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