New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

McDANIEL v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-015-231, Claim No. 113659, Motion No. M-73598


Synopsis


Wrongful confinement claim was dismissed as untimely.

Case Information

UID:
2007-015-231
Claimant(s):
TIMOTHY McDANIEL
Claimant short name:
McDANIEL
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
113659
Motion number(s):
M-73598
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant’s attorney:
Timothy McDaniel, Pro SeNo Appearance
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Michael T. Krenrich, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
August 23, 2007
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant moves for dismissal of the claim pursuant to CPLR 3211(a) (2) and (8) and Court of Claims Act §§ 10 (3) and 11 alleging untimely filing and service of the claim[1]. The motion is granted without opposition for the reasons which follow. Claimant alleges that while he was housed at Great Meadow Correctional Facility in May, 2006 he sent a radio cassette player out for repair. According to the claim, the package was returned marked "undeliverable as addressed". On May 5, 2006 Correction Officer Howe examined the package prior to returning it to the claimant. The claim states the following:
Upon examining the package by officer howe (sic) he said he found one hardback razor wrapped into a paper towel in the bottom of the box. I left my program at 1:15 p.m. and I was keeplock (sic) and served a (sic) inmate misbehavior report tier 3. The rule violations they charged inmate McDaniel was 114.10 attempt to smuggle and 180.12 package room procedures. My hearing start date was 12-11-06. . . . I was found guilty of both above charges on 12-11-06. My penalty description was to be keeplock s.h.u. from 12-11-06 to 5-5-07 and loss of package for 18 monts (sic) and good time for 1 year and loss of phone and commissary for 6 months. . . . I was found guilty of both charges. I appealed the Superintendent's hearing on grounds of all documentation was falsified by one of the officers. And on January 30, 2007 the commissioner has reviewed and reversed based on my recent letter of appeal... (claim ¶ 2).

The claim was filed on May 4, 2007 and served, according to the defendant, on May 14, 2007. The claim alleges that a notice of intention to file a claim was served on May 2, 2007[2].

Documents attached to the claim include copies of the misbehavior report, the hearing disposition, the claimant's letter of appeal to the commissioner and the appeal decision. The misbehavior report indicates that the incident occurred on December 5, 2006, the same date the report was signed by Correction Officer Howe[3]. The hearing disposition reflects that the claimant was found guilty of smuggling and a facility packages violation following a hearing commenced and completed on December 11, 2006. Claimant's letter of appeal is dated December 13, 2006 and requests that the "disciplinary action imposed be expunge (sic) from record on grounds all documentation was falsefied (sic)". The decision following the appeal to the commissioner states that the "superintendent's hearing of December 11, 2006, has been reviewed and reversed on January 30, 2007". No basis for the reversal is stated.

In determining the accrual date of this claim it is significant that the claimant does not contend that the defendant failed to release him from confinement in the special housing unit upon the reversal of the hearing officer's determination of guilt. So far as discernible from the claim, claimant seeks damages for the period of confinement based solely on the fact that the hearing officer's determination was reversed. The claim, therefore, is one for wrongful confinement which accrues on the date that the wrongful confinement ends (Ramirez v State of New York, 171 Misc 2d 677 [1997]; see also Collins v McMillan, 102 AD2d 860 [1984]). Inasmuch as the hearing officer's determination of guilt was reversed on January 30, 2007, it must be presumed that the claimant was released from punitive confinement on that date in the absence of a contrary allegation in the claim or in opposition to the instant motion.

It is unnecessary for the Court to determine whether or not the alleged wrongful confinement claim was the product of intentional conduct for which Court of Claims Act § 10 (3-b) provides the applicable period of limitations or negligent conduct for which Court of Claims Act § 10 (3) provides the relevant limitations period. Both require that a claim be filed within ninety days following its accrual date unless a notice of intention to file a claim is served within that time period. Here, the claim was not filed until May 4, 2007 and, according to the defendant, was not served until May 14, 2007. The service of a notice of intention on May 2, 2007 as alleged in the claim is irrelevant here as such service occurred more than ninety days following the claim's accrual on January 30, 2007. Consequently, the claim must be dismissed as untimely.

Accordingly, the defendant's motion is granted and the claim is dismissed, without opposition.



August 23, 2007
Saratoga Springs, New York

HON. FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Judge of the Court of Claims


The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated June 18, 2007;
  2. Affirmation of Michael T. Krenrich dated June 18, 2007.

[1].Such a defense is asserted in the defendant's answer (Court of Claims Act § 11 [c]).
[2]. Defendant makes no mention of the service of a notice of intention to file a claim.
[3]. No explanation is apparent for the discrepancy between the date claimant asserts the contraband was allegedly discovered (May 5, 2006) and the date of the incident as reflected in the misbehavior report issued by Correction Officer Howe.