New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WELLS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-016-044, Claim No. 113258, Motion Nos. M-73711, M-73712


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):
M-73711, M-73712
Cross-motion number(s):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant’s attorney:
Carl D. Wells, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Gwendolyn Hatcher, Esq., AAG and Ellen Matowik Russell, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
October 3, 2007
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


In motion no. M-73711, claimant Carl D. Wells moves for an order compelling discovery. In motion no. M-73712, defendant moves to dismiss the claim, in which Mr. Wells complains of his treatment while incarcerated on Rikers Island. Claimant also alleges that a judge sitting in Bronx County wrongly signed an order to produce him, and that an assistant district attorney acted wrongfully in requesting his production and in attempting to obtain his fingerprints. Rikers Island is a facility of the Department of Correction of the City of New York, not the State of New York. See The Green Book, The Official Directory of the City of New York (2005-2006 edition at p. 103). The Court of Claims has no jurisdiction over the City of New York, and thus as far as Wells’ alleged mistreatment at Rikers Island, this Court lacks jurisdiction over his claim.

With regard to the judge having signed an order to produce claimant, even assuming such was in error, it is well settled that judicial immunity bars claims against the State of New York for errors made by its judges. So long as there was subject matter jurisdiction, this immunity is absolute, even where the judge’s actions were malicious. See, e.g., Murray v Brancato, 290 NY 52 (1943); Rosenstein v State of New York, 37 AD3d 208, 829 NYS2d 93 (1st Dept 2007).

Finally, as to the assistant district attorney, the State is not liable for her actions as she is not an officer or employee of the State. See, e.g., Pettus v State of New York, Ct Cl, December 7, 2006 (unreported, claim no. 112425, motion no. M-72133, cross-motion no. CM-72320, Collins, J., UID #2006-015-137[1]).

Accordingly, having reviewed the submissions[2], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-73711 be denied, that motion no. M-73712 be granted and that claim no. 113258 be dismissed.

October 3, 2007
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]This and other decisions of the Court of Claims may be found on the Court’s website:
  2. [2]The following were reviewed: claimant’s notice of motion no. M-73711 with affidavit in support and exhibits “(A)-(1), (B)-(2) and (C)-(3)”; defendant’s affirmation in opposition to motion no. M-73711; defendant’s notice of motion no. M-73712 with affirmation in support and exhibits A and B; claimant’s “Affirmation in Response To ‘Defendant’s Notice of Motion Pursuant to CPLR §3212'”; and defendant’s affirmation in reply on motion no. M-73712.