New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GRIFFIN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-015-232, Claim No. 113558, Motion No. M-73532


Bailment claim was dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies as required by Court of Claims Act § 10 (9).

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant’s attorney:
Frederick Griffin, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Paul F. Cagino, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
August 23, 2007
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Defendant moves for dismissal of this bailment claim on the ground that the claimant failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as of the date the claim was filed. The claim alleges that two days after his initial confinement in the special housing unit at Washington Correctional Facility on November 13, 2006, his personal property was placed on a table at which time he discovered that "all my valuable new stuff was gone and I was left with all the old stuff". It is undisputed that a notice of intention to file a claim was served on February 28, 2007 and that the claim was filed and served on April 9, 2007.

In support of its motion for dismissal the defendant established that the claimant filed Inmate Claim Form # 1421 on November 18, 2006 and that this administrative property claim was denied on February 8, 2007. Claimant's appeal of the denial of his administrative claim to the Superintendent was denied on May 10, 2007. Thus, the instant claim was filed prior to the date that the administrative appeal was decided.

Court of Claims Act § 10(9) provides that an inmate's claim "for recovery of damages for injury to or loss of personal property may not be filed unless and until the inmate has exhausted the personal property claims administrative remedy, established for inmates by the department". The Department of Correctional Services has established a two-tier system for the administrative review of inmate personal property claims (see 7 NYCRR 1700.3).

Here, despite the clear and unambiguous language of the statute requiring the exhaustion of administrative remedies prior to the filing of a claim, the claim was filed before the claimant's appeal to the Superintendent was decided. In light of the statutory mandate that a claim may not be filed "unless and until the inmate has exhausted the personal property claims administrative remedy" the claim must be dismissed (Court of Claims Act § 10 [9]; see also Tafari v State of New York, Ct Cl, December 9, 2002 [Claim No. 106576, Motion No. M-65889, UID # 2002-019-591] Lebous, J., unreported). Notably, claimant may file and serve a new claim within 120 days after the date his administrative remedy was exhausted.

For the foregoing reasons, the defendant's motion is granted and the claim is dismissed.

August 23, 2007
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated May 25, 2007;
  2. Affirmation of Paul F. Cagino dated May 25, 2007 with exhibits;
  3. Response of Frederick Griffin sworn June 13, 2007.