New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SPAVONE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-016-031, Claim No. 113498, Motion No. M-73176


Case Information

1 1.The caption has been amended to reflect that the sole proper defendant is the State of New York.
Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :
The caption has been amended to reflect that the sole proper defendant is the State of New York.
Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

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

Alan C. Marin
Claimant’s attorney:
Steven Spavone, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Carol A. Cocchiola, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
July 26, 2007
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant Steven Spavone moves for an order permitting him to proceed as a poor person, reducing his filing fee pursuant to CPLR 1101(f) and for the assignment of counsel. In his underlying claim, Mr. Spavone alleges that he was wrongfully assigned to a double cell at Sullivan Correctional Facility and thereafter assaulted by his cellmate on April 12, 2005. There are no provisions in the Court of Claims Act concerning the prosecution of actions under poor person status, and thus the Civil Practice Law and Rules govern. See Court of Claims Act §9, subdivision 9; Wilson v State of New York, 101 Misc 2d 924, 925, 422 NYS2d 347, 349 (Ct Cl 1979). Poor person status is authorized under CPLR 1101, which addresses, among other things, filing fees. In this case, claimant has already made an application pursuant to CPLR 1101(f) for a reduction in the filing fee required by Court of Claims Act §11-a(1). In an order of the Hon. Richard E. Sise dated and filed on April 4, 2007, it was found that claimant was entitled to a reduced filing fee of $35.00. Aside from the filing fee, there are no other fees in the Court of Claims and in fact, section 27 of the Court of Claims Act prohibits certain costs, fees and disbursements. Nevertheless, payment of a particular item of expense as the need arises may be available at the proper time upon a showing of sufficient cause. Mapp v State of New York, 69 AD2d 911, 415 NYS2d 278 (3d Dept 1979); Wilson, supra. Because no such showing has been made by claimant at this time, his motion for poor person status must be denied.

Finally, as to claimant’s request for the assignment of counsel, such is generally not available for civil cases. See Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433, 369 NYS2d 87 (1975).

Accordingly, having reviewed the submissions[2], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-73176 be denied.

July 26, 2007
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [2]The following were reviewed: claimant’s notice of motion with affidavit in support; and defendant’s affirmation in opposition.