Correspondence from claimant dated December 12, 2006, with Attachments 4
Filed Papers: Claim.
In his filed claim, claimant alleges that Anne Joslyn, a Senior Corrections
Counselor at Mid-State Correctional Facility, improperly filed a misbehavior
report against him on January 26, 2006, while claimant was incarcerated at that
facility. Claimant further alleges that prior to this date, he had submitted
complaints alleging that Correction Counselor Ronald Lanaux had made improper
sexual advances against him, and that the misbehavior report filed by Ms. Joslyn
was in direct retaliation for these complaints. Based upon these allegations,
claimant has filed an 18 page claim, consisting of 67 separately delineated
paragraphs and seven separately stated causes of action.
Regardless of how the different causes of action are framed by claimant, each
and every cause of action is based upon the misbehavior report filed against
claimant by Ms. Joslyn. However, the actions of Correctional Department
employees in preparing and filing misbehavior reports are considered
quasi-judicial in nature and are entitled to absolute immunity (Arteaga v
State of New York, 72 NY2d 212). As a result, this claim seeking damages
based upon the actions of Ms. Joslyn in preparing and filing the misbehavior
report against claimant is precluded, since she was exercising a quasi-judicial
function entitling her to absolute immunity from liability. This immunity
applies even where it has been asserted, as is the case here, that her decision
was the result of an improper motive such as retaliation (Tarter v State of
New York, 68 NY2d 511; Mosher-Simons v County of Allegany, 99 NY2d
214; Topal v State of New York, 263 AD2d 414).
Furthermore, since departmental regulations prohibit the institution of prison
disciplinary proceedings for the purpose of retaliation or revenge (7 NYCRR
250.2[f]), the proper forum for litigating such allegations is an Article 78
proceeding instituted in Supreme Court (Matter of Godwin v Goord, 270
AD2d 881; Matter of Walker v Goord, 266 AD2d 778).
Additionally, even though claimant has asserted alleged violations of various
constitutional rights in his seven causes of action, it is well settled that
this Court has no jurisdiction over claims which are premised upon alleged
violations of the Federal Constitution (Davis v State of New York, 124
AD2d 420; Zagarella v State of New York, 149 AD2d 503).
On the other hand, it has been established that this Court may entertain a
claim based upon alleged violations of the State Constitution (Brown v State
of New York, 89 NY2d 172), although only in certain limited situations.
Even though claimant did not specifically allege any violations of State
constitutional rights, even if this Court interprets his allegations as
asserting violations of his State constitutional rights, such a claim is not
recognized in situations where claimant has adequate alternative remedies
available to him. This premise applies even if such remedy is an administrative
one such as an Article 78 proceeding (Bullard v State of New York, 307
AD2d 676). As discussed previously herein, even though claimant has couched
his claim in terms of alleged violations of his constitutional rights, the
proper forum for the relief sought by claimant, based upon the factual
allegations set forth in this claim, is an Article 78 proceeding in Supreme
Court (Matter of Godwin v Goord, supra; Matter of Walker v
For all of the above reasons, therefore, it is
ORDERED, that Motion No. M-72615 is hereby GRANTED; and it is further
ORDERED, that Claim No. 112942 is hereby DISMISSED.