New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

KATEHIS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-016-014, Claim No. 111064, Motion No. M-70593


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):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
Haralambos Katehis, Pro se
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Ellen Matowik, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 7, 2006
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Defendant moves for summary judgment dismissing the claim of Haralambos Katehis on the ground that it fails to state a cause of action against the State of New York. The motion is unopposed by Mr. Katehis.[1]

Essentially, claimant alleges that when he went to answer a summons at Queens Borough Hall, he had to wait outside in a long line, and Court Officers were "belligerent," refusing his request to come inside to wait, even though it was raining heavily and they were told he had "many chronic diseases." Claimant further alleges that when he began to feel dizzy and he collapsed, he still was not allowed to come inside as he waited for an ambulance. An "Aided Report" prepared as to the incident states as follows:
At t/p/o, aided was observed sitting at the entrance of the summons part, blocking pedestrian traffic, when approached by UCO Delcielo . . . aided requested an ambulance for an undisclosed illness. Aided refused to cooperate with UCO Delcielo and refused to provide any personal information. Aided's wife then stated she would call an ambulance herself.

See exhibit C to defendant's moving papers.

* * *
The damages alleged by claimant are "medical expenses" and "extreme emotional distress." There is no allegation that claimant's illness was caused by the Court Officers, and thus any medical expenses he incurred cannot be attributed to the State.

To the extent claimant is alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress, it is well settled that public policy prevents such a cause of action against the State of New York. See, e.g., Brown v State of New York, 125 AD2d 750, 509 NYS2d 169 (3d Dept 1986), appeal dismissed 70 NY2d 747, 519 NYS2d 1034 (1987); Kidd v State of New York, Ct Cl, November 19, 2003 (unreported, motion no. M-67198, Patti, J., UID #2003-013-030[2]); Collins v State of New York, Ct Cl, August 4, 2000 (unreported, motion no. M-61725, Read, J., UID #2000-001-042).

To the extent that claimant alleges negligent infliction of emotional distress, given the important security functions of Court Officers,[3] he fails to adequately allege such a cause of action. See, e.g., Sheila C. v Povich, 11 AD3d 120, 130-31, 781 NYS2d 342, 351 (1st Dept 2004).

For the foregoing reasons, having reviewed the submissions[4], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-70593 be granted and claim no. 111064 be dismissed.

March 7, 2006
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]The motion was originally returnable on September 21, 2005. At a December 8, 2005 conference, claimant, who had failed to submit any opposition papers as of that time, was granted an adjournment to a return date of January 18, 2006, but to date, has failed to submit any such opposition.
  2. [2]This and other decisions of the Court of Claims may be found on the Court's website:
  3. [3]See, e.g., Sanchez v State of New York, Ct Cl, January 10, 2005 (unreported, claim no. 109040, motion no. M-68543, cross-motion no. CM-68673, Waldon, J. ) ("Courthouse security is an essential component of the justice system in that it helps to provide a safe atmosphere where, inter alia, the courts of this state can properly function.")
  4. [4]The Court reviewed defendant's notice of motion with affirmation in support and exhibits A through C. As set forth above, claimant did not oppose the motion.