New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ALI v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-028-516, Claim No. 110988, Motion Nos. M-70517, M-70665, CM-70622


Defendant’s motion to dismiss is granted on the grounds that the claim served on the Attorney General is not a copy of the claim filed with the Court; that any cause of action asserted in the claim is untimely; and that Claimant’s pleadings are so confusing and prolix that it is impossible to decipher a viable cause of action.

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):
M-70517, M-70665
Cross-motion number(s):
Claimant’s attorney:
Defendant’s attorney:
BY: Belinda A. Wagner, Esq.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
February 7, 2006

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


The following papers were read on Defendant’s motion for an order of dismissal (Motion No.

M-70517); Claimant’s cross motion captioned “Stipulation Motion” (CM-70622); and Claimant’s motion for “ad testificandum & ad prosequendum” (M-70665)

1. Notice of Motion (M-70517) and Supporting Affirmation of Belinda A. Wagner, AAG, with annexed Exhibits

2. Notice of Stipulation Motion (designated CM-70622) of Minister Taliv Ali, pro se

3. Submission captioned CPLR § 408.2214(a) (designated M-70665) and supporting affidavit of Minister Taliv Ali, pro se

4. Reply Affirmation of Belinda A. Wagner, AAG

5. Claimant’s submission captioned “Complaint Objection”

6. Claimant’s submission captioned “A Fortiori” with annexed “Writ of Composmentis”

7. Reply Affirmation of Belinda A. Wagner, AAG

8. Claimant’s submission described as “application pur. to CPLR § 3102", with attachments

9. Claimant’s submission described as “affirmation of cruel treatment as torturous (sic)”

10. Claimant’s submission captioned “Appeal,” with attachments

Filed papers: Claim

The first page of the Claim in this action, which altogether is approximately one inch thick, contains the following statement of Claimant’s overall grievance:
As earily (sic) as 1995 plaintiff (sic) has complained to the governor for bigger law library like recreation, from that was retaliation; Where they kept me keep lock and denied claimant from exerising (sic) his Constitutional Rights to Appellate Review, until on: January 17th of 1998 (1) Where they buffeted and flagellate, leaving Complaint with a broken nose, ribs, and wrist without a Cast for 6 months (2) plus 6 months keep lose and locked up. (3) When released, within two weeks they brokened my teeths (sic) and busted my lips up (4) plus keep lock for 45 days (5) Then three weeks later on October 9th of 1998 Claimant was sodomize by a Lieutenant with a Baton (6) plus 6 months keep lock (7) When I again wrote I.G. Mr. Tanko Warner to arrest the Superintendent orchestrated another flagellation where they whipped (8) me with an Extension Cord (9) Then claimed that I assaulted two officers without any medical record gave claimant 10 year, then 11 and (10) Now 15 yrs without an Appeal from Segregation (11) Plus the rights to appeal my Criminal conviction.
The rest of the Claim contains a number of purported affidavits and applications, copies of correspondence relating to Claimant’s numerous grievances filed with prison officials, and several decisions from other courts. These include a Decision and Order issued by Chief Judge Scullin of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (Taliv Ali v Goord, et al., 9:02-CV-1173 [FJS][DRH], Sept. 25, 2002), in which Claimant is directed to file an amended complaint or have his Federal action dismissed. This Claim was filed with the Court on June 9, 2005.

Rather than filing and serving an answer, Defendant has moved for an order dismissing the Claim on the ground that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claim and personal jurisdiction over the Defendant. Attached to the attorney’s affirmation in support of the motion is a copy of the Claim that was served on the Attorney General on June 23, 2005. This document, appears to be an entirely different document than the Claim that was filed with the Court. The substantive statements contained on the first page of the “served claim” (as opposed to the “filed claim”) are as follows:
1. The claim is for negligence of the State’s Supreme Criminal Court for an Unauthorized and unlawful Arrest pursuant to: CPL § 140.25 on March 30, 1994.

2. During this unlawful apprehension, claimant was assaulted by several officers who received no injuries because there were no charges of resisting an arrest for the injuries that claimant received during apprehension by tackling while carrying, pulling a dolly with a BIG BLACK GARBAGE BAG, full of Books.

3. Made Claimant like, looked like the ELEPHANT MAN and altered claimant’s identity.
(Wagner affirmation, Exhibit A. Additional documents that were served on the Attorney General (one captioned a “Negligent Claim” and the other a “Notice of Intention to File a Claim” are found in Exhibits B and C of the affirmation.) The content quoted above can be found on page 11 of the “filed claim.”

There are several grounds that require dismissal of this action.

First, Claimant has failed to comply with the pleading requirements of section 11(a) of the Court of Claims act which requires that, in order to institute an action in this Court, a claim must be filed with the Court and “a copy shall be served upon the attorney general” (emphasis provided). The document that was served on the Attorney General in this instance was not a copy of the claim that was filed with the Court.

Second, as defense counsel notes, any cause of action alleged in the “served claim” would be untimely. The majority of allegations refer to Claimant’s criminal conviction, which occurred in 1994, and disciplinary measures taken against him in 1998. The latest date mentioned in the “served claim” is June 2002 (on page 39) when, it is alleged, Claimant was required to wear shackles so tight that he had to receive hospital treatment. With respect to the “filed claim,” most of his allegations also refer to or stem from the 1994 conviction and his subsequent efforts to appeal, although there is also reference to an assault that is alleged to have taken place in October 1998 (“filed claim”, p 22).

Although section 10 of the Court of Claims Act sets different time periods for commencing an action (either by filing and serving a claim or serving a notice of intention. Depending on the nature of the cause of action, in all cases except one the latest that the claim itself can be filed and served (i.e., if a notice of intention has been employed) is two years after accrual. (The exception is section 10[1], which provides that appropriation claims must be filed three years after accrual.) Even if the Court could overlook the significant differences between the claim that was filed and the “copy” that was served on the Attorney General, 2005 is simply too late to commence any cause of action arising in 1998 or before.

Finally, either of the claims fails almost totally to comply with the rules relating to the content of pleadings. Pursuant to CPLR 3013, “[s]tatements in a pleading shall be sufficiently particular to give the court and parties notice of the transactions, occurrences, or series of transactions or occurrences, intended to be proved and the material elements of each cause of action or defense.” Separate causes of action or defenses are to be stated separately. As to form, pleadings are to “consist of plain and concise statements in consecutively numbered paragraphs” with each paragraph containing a single allegation “as far as practicable” (CPLR 3014). The principle purpose of a pleading, particularly a claim or complaint, is to provide notice, to advise the opposing party of the claim (Foley v D’Agostino, 21 AD2d 60).

While the rules of pleading under the CPLR are to be interpreted liberally and with regard to substance rather than form, particularly where a litigant is appearing pro se (see Campaign for Fiscal Equity v State of New York, 86 NY2d 307, 318; see also CPLR 3026), there are nevertheless some essential, common sense limits that must be recognized. The Third Department has recognized that “a confusing discourse of conclusory allegations with cross-references to voluminous documents” can make it “impossible to decipher a viable cause of action” (Hodge v State of New York, 213 AD2d 766, 768 [3d Dept 1995], and cases cited therein; see also Jacobs v State of New York, Claim No. 105897, Motion No. M-68119, UID #2004-031-140, Minarik, J. [“[t]o deny Defendant’s motion {to dismiss} would, in effect, be rewarding the Claimant for merely filing as confusing and prolix a document as possible in the hope that it would confuse Defendant’s counsel”] )

For the reasons set forth above, Defendant’s motion is granted and Claim No. 110988 is dismissed; Claimant’s cross-motion and motion are rendered moot.

February 7, 2006
Albany, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims