New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GILL v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-015-253, Claim No. 112424, Motion No. M-73765


Synopsis


Claimant's motion to amend claim to add factual detail was granted.

Case Information

UID:
2007-015-253
Claimant(s):
ANTHONY G. GILL
Claimant short name:
GILL
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
112424
Motion number(s):
M-73765
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant’s attorney:
Anthony G. Gill, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Saul Aronson, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
December 7, 2007
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate proceeding pro se, moves for an order permitting amendment of his claim pursuant to CPLR 3025 (b). Claimant alleged in the original claim that he has been confined to his cell since February 10, 2006 and unable to attend religious services, recreation and other services as the result of the defendant's failure to make reasonable accommodation for his disability. The claim sets forth two causes of action alleging various constitutional, statutory and regulatory violations. The first cause of action requested "compensatory damages for each and every Jehovah's Witness religious services claimant was denied to attend . . . " The second cause of action recited that the claimant has been wrongfully confined to his cell from February 10, 2006 and continuing and requested "compensatory damages for each day wrongfully confined in his cell location. . . "

The proposed amended claim includes additional factual allegations with regard to grievances submitted and decided subsequent to the date the claim was filed and amends the second cause of action to allege that the claimant was wrongfully confined to his cell from March 8, 2006, not February 10, 2006 as had been previously alleged.

Section 206.7(b) of the Uniform Rules for the Court of Claims ( 22 NYCRR § 206.7[b]) permits a pleading to be amended in the manner provided by CPLR 3025, "except that a party may amend a pleading once without leave of court within 40 days after its service, or at any time before the period for responding to it expires, or within 40 days after service of a pleading responding to it." CPLR 3025(b) provides that "a party may amend his pleading, or supplement it by setting forth additional or subsequent transactions or occurrences, at any time by leave of court or by stipulation of the parties. . ."
It is well settled that leave to amend a pleading “ 'shall be freely given' absent prejudice or

surprise resulting directly from the delay' ” (McCaskey, Davies and Assoc. v New York City Health and Hosps. Corp., 59 NY2d 755,757 [1983], quoting CPLR 3025[b]). To defeat a motion to amend, the opponent of the motion must show that it would be “significantly prejudiced” by the amendment (Garrison v Clark Mun. Equip., 239 AD2d 742, 742 [1997]). “Prejudice in this context means that the party opposing the amendment has been hindered in the preparation of its case or has been prevented from taking some measure in support of its position” (Garrison v Clark Mun. Equip., supra, 239 AD2d 742-743, quoting Pritzakis v Sbarra, 201 AD2d 797, 799 [1994]; see also, Chiapperini v Grossinger’s Hotel, 176 AD2d 1048 [1991]; Smith v Industrial Leasing Corp., 124 AD2d 413 [1986]).

Here, the claimant seeks to amend the claim to add additional facts related to the original allegations set forth in the claim and to amend the second cause of action to reflect the correct date the wrongful confinement allegedly commenced. No prejudice to the defendant is apparent from the amendments and the defendant has not established otherwise.

Although the defendant correctly points out that the claimant failed to set forth the nature of the amendments in his affidavit in support of his motion, the proposed amendments can reasonably be discerned from the proposed amended claim included in the motion papers. As it does not appear that the claimant is improperly seeking to circumvent the strictures of Court of Claims Act § 10 or § 11, claimant's motion to amend the claim is granted.

Accordingly, it is hereby

ORDERED, that the claimant's motion to amend his claim is granted; and it is further

ORDERED, that the claimant is directed to serve the proposed amended claim upon the Attorney General within 45 days of the date on which this Decision and Order is filed. Service by regular, first class mail shall be deemed sufficient service, and it is further

ORDERED, that the claimant shall file the original and two copies of the amended claim with the Clerk of the Court of Claims, together with his affidavit of service upon the Attorney General within 30 days of such service.



December 7, 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 11, 2007;
  2. Affidavit of Anthony G. Gill sworn to July 18, 2007 with exhibits;
  3. Affirmation of Saul Aronson dated September 24, 2007.