7-10 Filed Papers: Claim, Answer, Zorrilla v State of New York, Claim
No. 107131, Decision (Scuccimarra, J., filed November 23, 2005); Judgment
entered November 30, 2005
This bailment claim was heard at a trial held on October 17, 2005, a decision
was filed on November 23, 2005, and served with notice of entry upon Claimant on
December 16, 2005, and a Judgment in Claimant’s favor was entered in the
amount of $40.00, plus interest, totaling $51.12 on November 30, 2005. Claimant
was also entitled to recovery of his filing fee in the amount of $30.00. Court
of Claims Act §11-a(2).
The present motion appears to be either an attempt to set aside the trial
decision in this matter, or to appeal or vacate the judgment: it is not clear
from the papers. The lack of clarity is largely because Claimant, a pro se
litigant, refers to federal laws and the laws of the uniform commercial code
that has no relevance or pertinence here to make his
A motion to set aside a trial decision or the judgment entered based upon that
decision, and for a new trial, is made pursuant to Civil Practice Law and Rules
§4404(b), applicable in the Court of Claims since no provisions in the
Court of Claims Act concern setting aside trial decisions or judgments.
See Court of Claims Act §9(9); see also Clark v State of
New York, 35 Misc 2d 577, 578 (Ct Cl 1962), mod, 20 AD2d 182 (4th
Dept 1964), affd, 15 NY 2d 990 (1965). Such a motion must be made within
fifteen (15) days of the decision, [Civil Practice Law and Rules §4405]
although because the Court in a non-jury trial has the power to set aside its
decision on its own initiative, the Court of Claims has not always been strict
about this time constraint because of the discretionary nature of the review.
See Moore v State of New York, 45 Misc 2d 1060, 1061 (Ct Cl 1965);
cf. Gildea v State of New York, 133 Misc 2d 269, 270-271 (Ct Cl
The Court “. . . may make new findings of fact or conclusions of law,
with or without taking additional testimony, render a new decision and direct
entry of judgment, or it may order a new trial of a cause of action or separable
issue.” Civil Practice Law and Rules §4404(b). The party making the
motion should specify what aspect of the trial or decision he disagrees with,
and what additional testimony or evidence he would proffer. Osann v Sears,
Roebuck & Co., 205 Misc 33, 34 (Sup Ct, Westchester County 1953).
Accordingly, even assuming that the present motion is timely, the papers
submitted do not establish that the Court misapplied any controlling principle
of law or misunderstood the facts, or that any fraud or misrepresentation
occurred. Similarly, the papers submitted do not contain additional facts -
indeed the papers are a series of arguments asserting, variously, that Mr.
Zorrilla is a holder in due course, or has somehow been wronged, linked by Latin
phrases - nor do they present any rationale for the failure to present any
additional information earlier. Finally, the Court is not convinced that the
damages awarded Claimant are inadequate or do not provide reasonable
compensation. Accordingly, treated as an application to set aside the decision
and grant a new trial Claimant’s motion is denied.
If this is a motion to vacate the judgment pursuant to Civil Practice Law and
Rules §5015, [see Gildea v State of New York, supra],
Claimant has not raised any of the enumerated grounds and the motion is
therefore denied. Moreover, given that it was Claimant who prevailed, it is not
clear how he needs to be “relieved” from the terms of the judgment.
Appeals from judgments in the Court of Claims are governed by Court of Claims
Act §§24 through 26, as well as the applicable provisions of Article
55 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
In any event, what relief is requested here is largely guesswork, and even the
most generous interpretation of the papers submitted does not make them
Claimant’s motion [M-71151] is in all respects denied.