This is a claim by Injah Tafari (hereinafter “claimant”) for
monetary damages as the result of claimant being denied physical contact during
visitation by defendant. Claimant was an inmate at Eastern Correctional
Facility, Napanoch, New York.
According to the claim and the parties’ motion papers, the Court has
found the following allegations which have led to claimant’s lawsuit. On
December 17, 2005, claimant was visited by his “common-law” wife.
During the visit, the wife got onto claimant’s lap. There are allegations
that claimant and his wife were engaged or about to be engaged in sexual
intercourse. The visit was terminated by defendant’s employees. As
claimant was being lead away from the visiting area he became agitated and
violent. It is alleged that claimant assaulted a correction officer and threw a
chair through a window. On December 27, 2005, visitation sanctions were imposed
on claimant. The determination of guilt was affirmed by the Superintendent on
January 9, 2006. On January 12, 2006, claimant appealed the findings to the
Commissioner. The Commissioner had not issued a decision prior to the claim
Claimant seeks damages for the time that the sanctions are in place. Claimant
asks this Court by way of the claim to find that the sanctions were not
warranted and were improperly placed upon him.
Defendant moves this Court to dismiss the claim because it lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over the claim
. Defendant argues
that a proper review of the hearing decisions should be done by a CPLR Article
78 review brought in Supreme Court.
In order to find compensatory damages, this Court must review the evidence
presented at the Superintendent’s hearings and determine whether or not an
error was made as to the final determination by the Superintendent. The Court
of Claims Act does not empower this Court to make such a review of
administrative determinations (see Court of Claims Act §10).
Article 78 of the CPLR is the appropriate mechanism to review administrative
determinations. A determination that the administrative determination, via an
Article 78 review, is the necessary step before claimant may bring a suit for
damages. Claimant must proceed in Supreme Court to have the administrative
Based upon the foregoing, defendant’s motion to dismiss the claim is
granted. The Clerk of the Court is directed to close the file.
.The following papers have been read and
considered on defendant’s motion: Notice of Motion dated June 13, 2006 and
filed June 13, 2006; Affirmation in Support of Defendant’s Motion to
Dismiss of Frederick H. McGown, III, Esq. dated June 13, 2006 and filed June 13,
2006; Notice of Motion of Injah Tafari dated June 20, 2006 and filed July 3,
2006; Affidavit in Support of Motion to Strike Defense From the
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss of Injah Tafari sworn to June 20, 2006 and
filed July 3, 2006.