This is a claim by Roman Kevilly (hereinafter “claimant”) for
alleged damages based upon false arrest and false imprisonment. Claimant
alleges that a conspiracy began on May 28, 1992 and that an overt act of the
conspiracy occurred on July 19, 2006.
Claimant was sentenced to prison by Judge Alan Honorof in Nassau County, New
York. Claimant was indicted on November 9, 1992, for Robbery 1o and Kidnaping
2o. Claimant was convicted of the charges on November 19, 1996.
Claimant’s conviction was affirmed (People v Kevilly, 249 AD2d
328). On June 19, 2006, Judge Honorof denied a CPL 440 motion of claimant.
In the claim, many people are referred to as defendants. However, most of the
people referred to are employees of the County of Nassau. The only person
referred to in the claim that is an employee of the State of New York is Judge
Claimant is seeking damages for the intentional torts of Judge Honorof. The
latest date claimant can allege as to the actions of Judge Honorof for false
imprisonment is December 17, 1996. Thus, the filing of the claim in 2006 is
untimely (Court of Claims Act §10). In addition, defendant alleges that
Judge Honorof is protected by judicial immunity.
The doctrine of judicial immunity is one of the oldest concepts in our common
law judicial system (see Floyd v Barker, 77 Eng. Rep. 1305 [Star
Chamber 1607]). The concept was later adopted in the United States. In 1871,
the Supreme Court in Bradley v Fisher, 80 US (13 Wall) 335, recognized
and embraced the doctrine. In Mosher-Simons v County of Allegany, 99
NY2d 214, 219, the Court of Appeals held that “it is imperative to the
nature of the judicial function that Judges be free to make decisions without
fear of retribution through accusations of malicious wrongdoing" (Tarter v
State of New York, 68 NY2d 511, 518, 510 NYS2d 528, 503 NE2d 84 ;
see also Antoine v Byers & Anderson, 508 US 429, 435, 124 L Ed 2d
391, 113 S Ct 2167 ). Judicial immunity discourages inappropriate
collateral attacks on court rulings and fosters judicial independence by
protecting courts and judges from vexatious litigation. Indeed, "[m]ost judicial
mistakes or wrongs are open to correction through ordinary mechanisms of review,
which are largely free of the harmful side-effects inevitably associated with
exposing judges to personal liability” (Forrester v White, 484
US 219, 227, 98 L Ed 2d 555, 108 S Ct 538 ). Allowing members of the
judiciary to exercise independent judgment, without the threat of legal
reprisal, is "critical to our judicial system" (Tarter, 68 NY2d at 518).
In Tucker v Outwater, 118 F3d 930, 933, the court developed:
a two-part test for determining whether a judge is entitled to absolute immunity
from damage claims. [Stump v Sparkman, 435 US 349] First, "[a] judge will
not be deprived of immunity because the action he took was in error, was done
maliciously, or was in excess of his authority; rather, he will be subject to
liability only when he has acted in the 'clear absence of all jurisdiction.'"
Id. at 356-57... (emphasis added) (quoting Bradley, 80 US at 351).
Second, a judge is immune only for actions performed in his judicial capacity.
Id. at 360-63...; see also Gregory v Thompson, 500 F2d 59, 62 (9th Cir
1974) (finding no immunity for assaulting litigant).