This claim arises from an alleged breach of contract by defendant, the State of
New York while William Anthony Evans (hereinafter "claimant") was incarcerated
at Eastern Correctional Facility, Napanoch, New York. The breach of contract
occurred on July 19, 2005, when claimant was reassigned from his job as a food
service worker to work in the library.
Claimant became a food service worker in 1998, which is a higher paying job at
a correctional facility. At the time claimant became a food service worker, he
signed a paper which committed him to give at least 12 months of service in the
kitchen. In addition, there were rules listed which claimant had to abide by to
maintain his job. The parties agree that when an inmate, who is a food service
worker, is transferred he must maintain that job provided his agreement has not
expired. Since entering the food service training program in 1998, claimant has
continually held that job until July 2005.
When claimant was transferred to Eastern Correctional Facility in April 2002,
he maintained his position and pay rate as a food service worker. During his
time in Eastern Correctional Facility, claimant was repeatedly counseled to
participate in a drug program. Claimant refused. Claimant was reassigned to a
lower paying job due to his failure to participate in the drug program.
Claimant is seeking the difference in pay from the date of the breach until his
first possible parole date in 2015. Claimant
for summary judgment.
Summary judgment is a drastic remedy which deprives a party of its day in
court and should not be granted where there is any doubt as to the existence of
a material issue of fact (Moskowitz v Garlock, 23 AD2d 943; Epstein v
Scally, 99 AD2d 713). The Court's function is to determine if an issue
exists. In doing so, the Court must examine the proof in a light most favorable
to the party opposing the motion. Summary judgment may only be granted if
movant provides evidentiary proof in admissible form to demonstrate that there
are no questions of fact (Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Center, 64 NY2d
851; Wanger v Zeh, 45 Misc 2d 93, aff'd 26 AD2d 729). Once the
movant has demonstrated a prima facie entitlement to summary judgment as a
matter of law, the burden shifts to the opposing party to submit evidentiary
proof in admissible form sufficient to create an issue of fact or demonstrate an
acceptable excuse for his failure to submit such proof (Alvarez v Prospect
Hosp., 68 NY2d 320). Mere conclusions, speculation or expressions of hope
are insufficient to defeat the motion (Amatulli v Delhi Constr. Corp., 77
After examining the papers of the parties, it is clear that sufficient material
facts are in dispute so as to deny summary judgment to both parties.
Claimant insists that a contract exists, while defendant states that the papers
originally signed by claimant were not a contract. Yet, defendant’s
documents repeatedly make reference to a contract with the food service worker.
It is also unclear if a valid agreement was in place. The Court agrees with
defendant that the original paper was not to be considered as in
perpetuity. Defendant argues that claimant’s failure to participate
in the drug program was in violation of the facility’s rules and thus,
grounds for termination as a food service worker. However, there is no
explanation of the reference in the documents to the program being
Accordingly, the Court denies claimant’s motion and defendant’s
cross-motion for summary judgment.
.The following papers have been read and
considered on claimant’s motion: Notice of Motion for Summary Judgment
dated December 6, 2005 and filed January 9, 2006; Statement of Material Fact of
William Anthony Evans sworn to December 6, 2005 and filed January 9, 2006;
Affidavit in Support of Motion for CPLR § 3212 Summary Judgment of William
Anthony Evans dated December 6, 2005 and filed January 9, 2006; Memorandum of
Law of William Anthony Evans received January 9, 2006; Appendix of Exhibits of
William Anthony Evans received January 9, 2006.