New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GRACIA v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-032-013, Claim No. 105447, Motion No. M-70668


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2006-032-013
Claimant(s):
JASON GRACIA
Claimant short name:
GRACIA
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
105447
Motion number(s):
M-70668
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
JUDITH A. HARD
Claimant's attorney:
Jason Gracia, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Hon. Eliot Spitzer, NYS Attorney GeneralBy: Kathleen M. Arnold, Assistant Attorney General, Of Counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 3, 2006
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant moves the Court to dismiss this bailment claim for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, and claimant fails to submit opposition to this request. For the reasons to be stated, the Court grants defendant's motion.


In January 2002, claimant, an inmate incarcerated at Upstate Correctional Facility, filed this action alleging that approximately 100 photos were missing from his property bin. Claimant alleges that upon his arrival at the special housing unit in September 2001, he could only retain 20 photos in his cell and placed approximately 100 photos in a property bin for storage. In November 2001, when he requested to exchange some of the photos in his cell for his stored photos, he learned that his property bin was empty. Claimant filed a grievance and an institutional claim, which was denied on December 24, 2001. Claimant did not appeal the denial of his institutional claim and filed this action in January 2002.

A trial was held in this matter on November 10, 2005. Prior to trial, defendant moved to dismiss the claim for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Court of Claims Act § 10 (9) allows an inmate to recover damages for loss of personal property provided, however, that the inmate has exhausted administrative remedies established for inmates by the Department of Correctional Services. The Department has established a two-tier system for handling bailment claims consisting of an initial review and an appeal (7 NYCRR 1700.3). Both of these separate and distinct steps must be completed at the time a claim is filed and served in order for a claimant to be deemed to have exhausted his administrative remedies pursuant to Court of Claims Act § 10 (9).

Given that claimant did not appeal the denial of his institutional claim to the Superintendent, he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. As such, his claim must be dismissed.

Accordingly, defendant's motion M-70668 is granted.



March 3, 2006
Albany, New York

HON. JUDITH A. HARD
Judge of the Court of Claims


Papers Considered:


1. Notice of Motion filed September 8, 2005;

2. Affirmation of Kathleen M. Arnold dated September 7, 2005; Exhibits A-C annexed.