New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

EDWARDS v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-015-128, Claim No. 106372, Motion No. M-71946


Synopsis


Claim dismissed for failure to file and serve the claim within the time limitations set forth in Court of Claims Act § 10 (3).

Case Information

UID:
2006-015-128
Claimant(s):
CHRISTOPHER EDWARDS
Claimant short name:
EDWARDS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
106372
Motion number(s):
M-71946
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant’s attorney:
Christopher Edwards, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Saul Aronson, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
September 25, 2006
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant's motion to dismiss the instant claim for lack of jurisdiction is granted. Claimant served a notice of intention to file a claim upon the Attorney General's Office by certified mail, return receipt requested on August 13, 2001 (defendant's Exhibit A). The notice contained the following allegations naming both the City Department of Corrections, over which this Court has no jurisdiction, and the State Department of Correctional Services:
1. The time when and place where such claim arose and the nature of my claim are as follows; the nature of this claim is against NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS et al. Where it was just confirmed in 2001 that they illegally with held (sic) the defendant during the period of August 27, 1991, through June 18, 1993, on his Manhattan indictment, which defendant was free to leave.1

1 and may also be accountable and charged for the periods from june 19,1993 to september 9, 1993.

2. The nature of this claim is against the NEW YORK STATE DIVISION OF PAROLE et al. whom recently confirm without any legal basis to do so, illegally and intentionally withheld defendant during the period of August 27, 1991 thru August 05, 1993, helded (sic) defendant over his minimum time to serve. When brought to their attention in 2001, defendant was told not to worry about.

3. The nature of this claim is against the NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES et al., whom has violated and is intentionally continuing to violate defendant his right to be free from Double Jeopardy, New York Constitutional Article 1, § 6; CPL § 40.20; and the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, (and out of spite has changed the defendant's Parole from 2005 to 2006! "which is still not February - - , 2004")

4. The nature of this claim is against Mr. Smith my Court Appointed Attorney whom violated defendant's rights to effective assistance of counsel. In accordance to County Law Art. § 722, 18-B New York Constitutional Article 1 sec. § 6 Amendment and the 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Which New York Supreme Court Trial judge just confirmed in 2000 and 2001. That Mr. Smith indeeded (sic) was ineffective during the period from August 1991 thru June 1993 in defendant's case.

5. The nature of this claim is against TRANSIT AUTHORITY CLEANING TEAM SUPERVISOR RANDOLPH LOWE whom bearded (sic) false witness against defendant's at trial back in June 1993.

The claim seeking $13,577,531 in damages was filed with the Clerk of the Court and served upon the Attorney General's Office on July 17, 2002. The claim alleges that it is against the New York State Division of Parole, which held the claimant beyond his minimum period of imprisonment fixed by the Court, and which failed to properly credit claimant's prison service of 694 days against indictment number 9577/91 and failed to add credit against service under this indictment from August 26, 1991 through September 9, 1993. The claim contains five separately stated causes of action including one seeking money damages in the total sum of $577,531.00 ($3,000 per day x 221 days)[1].

Defendant served an answer to the claim on August 21, 2002 which, in relevant part, stated the following defenses:
AS AND FOR A NINTH DEFENSE:

ELEVENTH: This Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claim and personal jurisdiction over defendant, the State of New York, as the claim is untimely in that neither the claim nor notice of intention was served within ninety (90) days of the accrual of the claim, as required by Court of Claims Act, Sections 10 (3) and 11.

AS AND FOR A TENTH DEFENSE:

TWELFTH: This Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claim as the claim is untimely in that the claim was not timely served, as required by Court of Claims Act, Sections 10 (3) and 11, as it was served more than two years after the accrual of the claim.
The defendant now moves for dismissal pursuant to CPLR 3211 based on its defenses that both the notice of intention and claim were untimely. Claimant opposed the motion by affidavit sworn to on July 13, 2006, alleging that the claim accrued "affirmatively July 10, 2001". No evidentiary or documentary proof to support such an accrual date was offered. In fact, the only reference to the accrual date propounded by the claimant is found in paragraph "17" of the claim which reads as follows:
17. Claimant whom also notified his counsel Mrs. K. Richardson of the problem, and she also looked into it and confirmed exactly what IRC Ms Wright said in her letter dated July 10, 2001, enclosed is a copy of that your/claimant new time computation sheet. (See Exhibit F-1. (7/9/01 From Mrs Richardson; F-2. (received from Ms. Richardson 7/12/01).[2]

The claim herein is untimely to the extent it seeks to recover for alleged wrongful detention during the periods August 27, 1991 through August 5, 1993 and/or June 19, 1993 through September 9, 1993. Court of Claims Act § 10 (3) requires that a claim or notice of intention to file a claim alleging negligence on the part of the State be filed and/or served upon the Attorney General within 90 days following its accrual. Service of the notice of intention received by the Attorney General on August 13, 2001 clearly occurred outside the 90 day period prescribed by Court of Claims Act § 10 (3) as did service and filing of the claim which occurred on July 17, 2002 (Conner v State of New York, 268 AD2d 706).

The time requirements set forth in section 10 of the Court of Claims Act are more than Statutes of Limitation. Indeed, they have been found to be conditions precedent to the commencement and maintenance of a claim against the State and are to be strictly construed (Pelnick v State of New York, 171 AD2d 734). The Court of Appeals has held that the limitations contained in Article II of the Court of Claims Act represent an integral part of the State's waiver of sovereign immunity and that a failure to comply therewith deprives this Court of jurisdiction to entertain the claim (Lichtenstein v State of New York, 93 NY2d 911, Dreger v New York State Thruway Auth., 81 NY2d 721). Failure to file a claim within the time permitted in section 10 (3) of the Act is a fatal jurisdictional defect requiring dismissal of a claim (Philippe v State of New York, 248 AD2d 827; Collado v State of New York, 207 AD2d 936).

Although a defense based upon untimeliness may be waived pursuant to Court of Claims Act § 11(c), no such waiver occurred here since the defendant raised the issue with particularity in the eleventh and twelfth paragraphs of its answer quoted above.

The proof submitted on the motion establishes that the claimant failed to serve the claim within the time period provided therefor in Court of Claims Act § 10 (3). Having properly raised the issue in its answer, the defendant is entitled to dismissal for claimant's failure to satisfy the time limitations contained in section 10 of the Court of Claims Act. The claim is, accordingly, dismissed.




September 25, 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 June 30, 2006;
  2. Affirmation of Saul Aronson dated June 30, 2006 with exhibits;
  3. Notice of motion dated July 11, 2006;
  4. "Affirmation" of Christopher Edwards dated July 13, 2006 with exhibits;
  5. Affirmation of Saul Aronson dated July 19, 2006.

[1].The claim does not explain how the claimant calculated the 221 day illegal detention period alleged in the claim.
[2].Exhibits F-1 and F-2 attached to the filed claim but not submitted on the instant motion fail to substantiate claimant's assertion that his claim accrued on July 10, 2001.