New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

NOCO v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-013-026, Claim No. 103873, Motion No. M-70784


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2006-013-026
Claimant(s):
NOCO ENERGY CORP.
Claimant short name:
NOCO
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
103873
Motion number(s):
M-70784
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
PHILIP J. PATTI
Claimant’s attorney:
MICHAEL G. WOLFGANG, ESQ.
Defendant’s attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General of the State of New York
BY: REYNOLDS E. HAHN, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
May 29, 2006
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision


On December 14, 2005, the following papers were read on motion by Defendant for a new trial or reopening of the proof:

Notice of Motion and Affirmation Annexed


Opposing Affidavit


Reply Affirmation

Upon the foregoing papers, and after hearing Reynolds E. Hahn, Esq. on Defendant’s behalf and Michael G. Wolfgang, Esq. on Claimant’s behalf, this motion is granted in part.

In this motion the Defendant seeks either a new trial of this claim, or a reopening of the trial to allow additional proof.

During the now concluded trial of this matter, I granted Claimant’s application to stipulate to Defendant’s appraiser’s estimate of value for the building and land improvements. The Defendant was unwilling to so stipulate, but I granted that motion nonetheless. Since Claimant was willing to rely upon the Defendant’s valuation of the improvements in its appraisal, I declined to permit the Defendant to utilize all of Claimant’s appraisal for cross-examination of Claimant’s appraiser, specifically with respect to the valuation of the improvements.

It is from this ruling that Defendant sought relief at trial and now seeks similar relief post trial. I had deferred ruling upon this motion in the hope that the parties would be able to agree upon a settlement of the entire claim while this matter was pending. Unfortunately, that was not to be, and I now grant the Defendant’s motion in part.

To state the matter succinctly, the Claimant accepted the Defendant’s appraiser’s valuation of the improvements, without the necessity of litigating that valuation further, but contested his land value as determined by comparable sales. To the extent that Defendant is chagrined because its appraiser valued those improvements at a higher value than did Claimant’s appraiser, neither party knows what values the opposing appraiser will opine, until they each learn contemporaneously upon the exchange of the appraisals (22 NYCRR 206.21[c]).

While I denied Defendant’s request for this relief at trial, primarily in the interest of judicial economy, and the apparent absence of prejudice to the Defendant, I have now reconsidered. The motion seeking a new trial is denied, but I will reopen the proof for the limited purpose of allowing the Defendant the opportunity to cross-examine Claimant’s expert appraiser, Gregory C. Klauk, utilizing all of Claimant’s appraisal “to attack [his] credibility and competency... [and] probe... regarding any inconsistencies set forth in the appraisal” (¶ 22 of Defendant’s affirmation in support).

The trial herein will be continued on August 29, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. The motion is granted to the extent noted and otherwise denied.


May 29, 2006
Rochester, New York

HON. PHILIP J. PATTI
Judge of the Court of Claims