New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MITCHELL v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-015-103, Claim No. 111167-A, Motion No. M-71366


Limited jurisdiction of the Court of Claims prevents consideration of case seeking primarily equitable relief.

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:
Mark Mitchell, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Dennis M. Acton, Esquire
Assistant Attorney GeneralNo Appearance
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
July 14, 2006
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


By notice of motion dated February 17, 2006 and by a document labeled "Affidavit In Support of Motion For Judicial Intervention" which was not sworn to before a notary public the claimant moves for multiple forms of relief. The relief requested includes a court order (1) mandating the superintendent of Auburn Correctional Facility to stop interfering with claimant's prosecution of a habeas corpus appeal by denying him normal prisoner's pay; (2) directing the New York State Governor's Office to conduct an investigation of the denial of claimant's idle pay while under medical keeplock; and (3) directing an unspecified officer of Auburn Correctional Facility to complete a habeas corpus " 'in forma pauperis form', AO 240" to be submitted with claimant's habeas corpus petition. The motion papers contain an unsworn affidavit of service alleging that the motion was served upon the Attorney General on some unspecified date. The Attorney General did not oppose the motion received on February 21, 2006 but instead informed claimant by letter dated March 6, 2006 that claimant had failed to serve the claim upon the Attorney General. It appears, in fact, that

the claim was not served upon the defendant until April 10, 2006, five days after the return date of the motion.

Despite the lack of opposition to the motion it must be denied since the relief requested lies outside the limited jurisdiction of the Court.

It is settled that the Court of Claims has no jurisdiction to order a State officer to take action (see Matter of Silverman v Comptroller of State of N.Y., 40 AD2d 225). "[T]he extraordinary remedy of mandamus will lie only to compel the performance of a ministerial act and only when there exists a clear legal right to the relief sought (see, Matter of Legal Aid Socy. v Scheinman, 53 NY2d 12, 16)" (Matter of Ceballos v Starky, 239 AD2d 414). The Court of Claims is a court of limited jurisdiction and the powers conferred upon it do not include the authority to provide the type of equitable relief requested even had the motion been properly supported by an affidavit (Madura v State of New York, 12 AD3d 759; Ozanam Hall of Queens Nursing Home v State of New York, 241 AD2d 670).

Claimant's motion is in all respects denied.

July 14, 2006
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated February 17, 2006;
  2. Unsworn "Affidavit" of Mark Mitchell dated February 17, 2006.