New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

Johnson v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-018-503, Claim No. 111491, Motion No. M-70898


Synopsis


Defendant's motion to dismiss is GRANTED.

Case Information

UID:
2006-018-503
Claimant(s):
DAYQUAN JOHNSON
Claimant short name:
Johnson
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
111491
Motion number(s):
M-70898
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
DIANE L. FITZPATRICK
Claimant's attorney:
Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: Timothy P. Mulvey, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 17, 2006
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant brings a motion to dismiss a bailment claim on the ground that Claimant

served and filed his claim before exhausting his administrative remedies as required by Court of Claims Act § 10(9). Claimant readily disputes Defendant's position.

The claim served upon Defendant on October 7, 2005, and filed on October 12, 2005, seeks $836 for three bags of lost property, which includes $180 for the value of the property, $6 for his FOIL request charges, $50 for Court Filing Fees, $300 for personal suffering, and $300 for sentimental value. Defendant provided a copy of Claimant's administrative claim (Facility Claim No. 840-0078-05) dated June 22, 2005, as Exhibit C, with its motion papers. Claimant has attached to his claim, as an exhibit, a copy of the administrative review of claim (Facility Claim No. 840-0078-05) filed with the facility. That review form indicates that an initial review was made on June 24, 2005, and $44.55 was offered for Claimant's lost food items; the balance of the claim was denied because value and ownership was not substantiated. Claimant filed an appeal dated June 28, 2005 of the initial review determination. No appeal review determination is evident from the copy of the administrative review of claim form attached to the claim.

It is Defendant's position that Claimant served and filed his claim with this Court before ever receiving a determination on his administrative appeal. As a result, the claim was not filed in accordance with Court of Claims Act § 10(9) and must be dismissed.

Claimant, in opposition, attaches copies of letters he handwrote and allegedly sent to various people at the facility (Exhibits A-G). The majority of Claimant's handwritten letters question a facility request to resubmit his appeal of the initial review of his administrative claim to the facility superintendent indicating that he was previously offered $44.55, and advised that if he did not accept this amount he would need to take his claim to the Court of Claims. Claimant acknowledges in Exhibit C that he was advised that his claim was still under investigation. He does not attach copies of any of the correspondence received from the facility, and the facility claim review form, attached to his claim, clearly has no written response under the section for "Appeal Review."

Court of Claims Act § 10(9) requires that:

A claim of any inmate in the custody of the Department of Correctional Services for recovery of damages for injury to or loss of personal property may not be filed unless and until the inmate has exhausted the personal property claims administrative remedy, established for inmates by the department. Such claim must be filed and served within one hundred and twenty days after the date on which the inmate has exhausted such remedy.

The New York State Code of Rules and Regulations indicates that DOCS has established a two-tier system of administrative review for the loss of inmates' personal property which consists of an initial review and an appeal (7 NYCRR §1700.3).

Defendant has adequately established that Claimant's administrative review was not completed until October 19, 2005. Because Claimant filed and served his claim before the administrative review process was completed, he did not comply with the statutory requirements for bringing a claim for property lost by the Department of Correctional Services (Court of Claims Act § 10[9]). This Court, being a Court of limited jurisdiction, lacks the authority to hear cases against the State unless Claimant complies with the limitations of Article II of the Court of Claims Act (see Court of Claims Act § 8). Here, Claimant did not comply.

Accordingly, Claimant's claim must be DISMISSED without prejudice. A new claim may be brought within 120 days of the date of receipt of the October 19, 2005 appeal review (Blanche v State of New York, 17 AD3d 1069).


January 17, 2006
Syracuse, New York

HON. DIANE L. FITZPATRICK
Judge of the Court of Claims


The Court has considered the following documents in deciding this motion:


Notice of Motion................................................................................................1


Affirmation of Timothy P. Mulvey, Esquire, Assistant Attorney General,

in support with exhibits attached thereto................................................2


Unsworn Reply of Dayquan Johnson, in opposition, with exhibits attached

thereto......................................................................................................3