New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

LAMAGE v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-015-243, Claim No. 109310, Motion No. M-73740


Synopsis


Motion to vacate judgment in favor of claimant on wrongful confinement claim was granted on ground of res judicata. Same claim had been previously filed and dismissed by Judge Minarik.

Case Information

UID:
2007-015-243
Claimant(s):
EDWIN LAMAGE
Claimant short name:
LAMAGE
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
109310
Motion number(s):
M-73740
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant’s attorney:
Edwin Lamage, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Michael T. Krenrich, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
October 18, 2007
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant's motion to vacate the judgment of the Court of Claims dated June 8, 2007 pursuant to Court of Claims Act § 9 (8) and CPLR 5015 (3) is granted. Four unrelated causes of action asserted in claim number 109310 proceeded to trial on February 21, 2007. In a decision dated May 10, 2007 this Court dismissed the first three causes of action and awarded claimant damages on his fourth cause of action for wrongful confinement in the amount of $80.00. This fourth cause of action was premised on the allegation that the defendant wrongfully confined the claimant to his cell for eight days - from January 14, 2003 through January 21, 2003 - following the claimant's transfer to Auburn Correctional Facility. At trial it was uncontroverted that the claimant was confined without the issuance of a misbehavior report and that no hearing was held within the time limitations of 7 NYCRR § 251-5.1 (a). At no time prior to trial or the entry of judgment on this cause of action did the claimant disclose that this same cause of action had been brought under claim number 107654 and dismissed on the merits by Judge Minarik on January 21, 2004. Claimant subsequently moved to "restore" that claim and, deeming the motion as one to reargue pursuant to CPLR 2221, Judge Minarik denied the motion on June 16, 2004.

A comparison of the two wrongful confinement causes of action at issue leaves no doubt that they arise out of the same occurrence and that the claimant wilfully failed to disclose to this Court and the defendant the fact that the identical claim had been previously dismissed.

CPLR 5015 (a) (3) provides that the court which rendered a judgment or order may relieve a party from it upon such terms as may be just upon the ground of "fraud, misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party. . . ". The claimant's failure to disclose that the very same cause of action for wrongful confinement had been previously dismissed on the merits by Judge Minarik constitutes misconduct warranting vacatur of the judgment of this Court dated June 8, 2007 (Oppenheimer v Westcott, 47 NY2d 595, 604 [1979]; Birsett v General Acc. Ins. Co. of Am., 241 AD2d 683 [1997]; Yip v Ip., 229 AD2d 979 [1996]). Had such a disclosure been made, the instant wrongful confinement claim would have been barred under the doctrine of res judicata (see generally Matter of Hunter, 4 NY3d 260 [2005]).

Accordingly, the Judgment dated June 8, 2007 is vacated, the decision dated May 10, 2007 is modified to reflect that the cause of action for wrongful confinement is barred under the doctrine of res judicata, and the claim is dismissed.


October 18, 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 July 12, 2007;
  1. Affirmation of Michael T. Krenrich dated July 12, 2007 with exhibits;
  2. "Affirmation" of Edwin Lamage sworn to August 9, 2007 with exhibit.