New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GRIFFITH v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-015-064, Claim No. 110936, Motion No. M-70914


Claimant's second motion for summary judgment denied. Claimant seeks to recover damages for attack by fellow inmate caused by facility's use of tunnel which limits the view of passing inmates by correction officers.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant’s attorney:
Joseph Griffith, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Frederick H. McGown, III, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
February 15, 2006
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant's second motion for summary judgment seeking a determination of the State's liability and an award of damages in the amount of $350,000 is denied. By decision and order dated October 18, 2005 the Court denied a prior motion (M-70568) and cross-motion (CM-70641) by the parties in which each sought summary judgment. In that decision the Court found multiple questions of fact precluding summary judgment. By notice of motion and an undated, unsigned and unsworn document entitled "Affidavit In Support Of In Notice Of Summary Judgment in Opposition Of The Defendant(s) Cross Motion on Summary Judgment" claimant asserts that the State is liable for injuries he received in an attack by another inmate because the tunnel at Great Meadow Correctional Facility is constructed in such a fashion that it obstructs the view of correction officers and the State failed to provide active supervision of inmates in the tunnel during "go back" on March 26, 2005. Claimant has again moved for summary judgment.

By letter dated November 1, 2005 defense counsel noted the similarity between the instant motion papers, the papers submitted on the prior motion/cross-motion and advised that the State would not be submitting papers in response to the motion.

As the Court noted in its October 18, 2005 decision and order "[t]he proponent of a summary judgment motion may only meet its initial burden through the submission of evidentiary proof in admissible form (Rifenburgh v Wilczek, 294 AD2d 653)". Since the claimant herein failed to supply an affidavit or sworn statement of fact (see CPLR 3212 [b]) the motion lacks the support required by the statute and must be denied.

Moreover, "[m]ultiple summary judgment motions should be discouraged in the absence of newly discovered evidence or sufficient cause (Public Serv. Mut. Ins. Co. v Windsor Place Corp., 238 AD2d 142, Forte v Weiner, 214 AD2d 397, lv dismissed 86 NY2d 885)" (National Enters. Corp. v Dechert Price & Rhoads, 246 AD2d 481). Even if claimant's motion papers contained proof in admissible form they offer no new facts and resolve none of the factual issues found by the Court on the initial motion/cross-motion (see Tuttle v McQuesten Co., 243 AD2d 930).

The instant motion is therefore denied.

February 15, 2006
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion, undated, filed November 4, 2005;
  2. Affidavit of Joseph Griffith, undated, unsworn, filed November 4, 2005;
  3. Letter dated November 1, 2005 from Frederick H. McGown, III.