2-7 Filed Papers: Claim; Answer; Ramirez v State of New York, Claim No.
111052, Motion No. M-70572, unreported decision (Scuccimarra, J., November 4,
2005); Ramirez v State of New York, Claim No. 111052, Motion No. M-70598,
unreported decision (Scuccimarra, J., November 7, 2005); Ramirez v State of
New York, UID# 2005-030-555, Claim No. 111052, Motion No. M-70559
(Scuccimarra, J., November 9, 2005); Ramirez v State of New York, UID#
2006-030-514, Claim No. 111052, Motion No. M-70923 (Scuccimarra, J., March 7,
No opposition filed
Cesar A. Ramirez alleges in Claim Number 111052 that Defendant’s agents
at Green Haven Correctional Facility negligently or intentionally lost and/or
damaged Claimant’s personal property during a transfer to Sullivan
Correctional Facility. In addition to general denials, in its Answer the
Defendant asserts five (5) affirmative defenses, including the contributory
negligence of claimant or others, immunity, assumption of risk, that the claim
is barred by regulations promulgated by the New York State Department of
Correctional Services, and failure to exhaust administrative remedies.
Claimant has made a request that his claim be marked “ready for
trial” asserting that a substantial amount of time has passed since he
first served a Notice of Intention to file a claim and the claim itself. There
is no such relief to have a claim marked ready for trial in the Court of Claims.
The Court notes that the Claim was filed in the Office of the Chief Clerk of the
Court of Claims on June 23, 2005 and issue was joined on or about July 28, 2005
with service of the Answer.
Thereafter, Claimant commenced a course of motion practice whereby the ink was
barely dry on one motion, when another was made. Claimant made a motion for an
Order appointing counsel [M-70572]; a motion for an Order granting him an
extension of time in order to respond to discovery requests [M-70598]; a motion
for leave to depose certain listed individuals [M-70559] and a motion for an
Order striking affirmative defenses [M-70923]. The last Decision and Order on
the motion to strike affirmative defenses was filed on March 7, 2006.
The present motion will be treated as one requesting a trial preference, since
there is no motion in the Court of Claims to declare a matter ready for trial.
Under the Civil Practice Law and Rules §3403 provisions concerning trial
preferences, no grounds for preference have been adequately asserted.
The Court is not convinced by the bare assertion on Claimant’s part that
“prolonging the instant case . . . [would deprive claimant] of his
constitutional right to due process in lieu of his poverty, older age, and
severe ongoing medical problems.” [Letter Motion by Cesar A. Ramirez,
Claimant dated March 6, 2006, Page 2]. No supporting information concerning
Claimant’s age or medical condition has been provided, and many
incarcerated persons have limited means. Because this is a Claim against the
State of New York - as are all matters heard in this Court - claims are
scheduled to be heard as quickly as possible. See Civil Practice Law and
A note of issue and certificate of readiness is not required for prisoner pro
se claims. See 22 NYCRR §206.12(a). Court rules require that after
a note of issue is filed, trial should be scheduled within fifteen (15) months
unless there is good cause for delay. 22 NYCRR §206.12 (g). By making a
motion for a preference Claimant implies that the case is now trial ready, that
discovery is complete, and that it may be scheduled for trial at the
Court’s convenience, assuming Claimant does not bring on yet another,
Claimant’s motion [M-71481] is in all respects denied.