New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SANTIAGO v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-014-519, Claim No. 111532, Motion No. M-71224


Synopsis


Claim based on disqualification from commercial driver’s license test administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles, is dismissed for failure to state a cause of action.

Case Information

UID:
2006-014-519
Claimant(s):
LUIS A. SANTIAGO
1 1.The caption has been amended to reflect the proper defendant.
Claimant short name:
SANTIAGO
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
The caption has been amended to reflect the proper defendant.
Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
111532
Motion number(s):
M-71224
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
S. MICHAEL NADEL
Claimant’s attorney:
Luis A. Santiago, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Paul F. Cagino, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
August 2, 2006
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers were read on defendant’s motion to dismiss the claim: Notice of Motion, Affirmation in Support; Letter in response.

Claimant alleges that he was damaged in the amount of fourteen thousand dollars ($14,000) as the result of being disqualified from his commercial driver’s license test, administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles, by one point. He asserts that certain multiple choice questions on the exam did not have any valid answers from which to choose.

Defendant moves to dismiss this claim on the ground that it fails to state a cause of action, arguing that claimant’s conclusory allegations of wrongdoing are insufficient to sustain a complaint sounding in either negligence or in breach of contract.

Claimant opposes the motion by making a number of arguments, the gist of which reason that there should be an adequate mechanism in place for him to challenge the overall design of the examination, and correctness of certain answers.

The facts as alleged do not fit within any cognizable legal theory of liability; they do not state a cause of action upon which the State could be found liable or over which the Court has jurisdiction. Inasmuch as this claim seeks to challenge a State agency’s determination, a CPLR Article 78 proceeding in Supreme Court is the proper forum for the relief sought (see e.g. Matter of Wright v New York State Education Department, 128 AD2d 989, in which the Supreme Court entertained an application by petitioner challenging the correctness of answers to an examination for certification as a massage therapist, which she had failed by one point).

Accordingly, defendant’s motion to dismiss the claim is granted.


August 2, 2006
New York, New York

HON. S. MICHAEL NADEL
Judge of the Court of Claims