New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

DANIELS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-015-060, Claim No. 109346, Motion No. M-70920


Synopsis


Court denied inmate's motion for assignment of attorney on case involving an inmate-on-inmate attack. Claimant failed to notify appropriate County Attorney of his application.

Case Information

UID:
2006-015-060
Claimant(s):
SHAHEEM DANIELS
1 1.The caption of this claim is amended sua sponte to reflect the only properly named defendant.
Claimant short name:
DANIELS
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
The caption of this claim is amended sua sponte to reflect the only properly named defendant.
Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
109346
Motion number(s):
M-70920
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant’s attorney:
Shaheem Daniels, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Stephen Maher, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
January 13, 2006
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

This decision and order decides a motion seeking the assignment of an attorney and memorializes a bench decision rendered on November 17, 2005.

The motion of the claimant for an order pursuant to CPLR § 1102 (a) assigning him an attorney to represent him without fee is denied. This is a claim by an inmate appearing pro se to recover damages for personal injuries sustained in an attack by a fellow inmate. With respect to the application for the assignment of an attorney, the Court of Appeals has held that there is no constitutional or statutory requirement that indigents be assigned private counsel in civil litigation of this nature (Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433). Smiley has been interpreted for the proposition that Courts should not routinely approve requests made by indigents for the assignment of private counsel without compensation unless the litigation involves grevious forfeiture or loss of a fundamental right (Morgenthau v Garcia, 148 Misc 2d 900, 903). This claim does not rise to that level. Moreover, the application for the order assigning an attorney was not made by notice of motion or by order to show cause (see CPLR 2211 and 2214 [a]) and was not made on notice to the appropriate county attorney as required by CPLR 1101 [c].

Claimant's motion is accordingly denied.

At the conclusion of the trial of this claim held at Great Meadow Correctional Facility, Comstock, New York on November 17, 2005 the Court found that claimant had failed to meet his burden of proof establishing the liability of the defendant for the attack upon him by inmate Johnson. The claim was accordingly dismissed on the record. This decision and order memorializes that bench decision.

Let judgment be entered accordingly.

January 13, 2006
Saratoga Springs, New York

HON. FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Judge of the Court of Claims


The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated November 4, 2006;