New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WARREN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-037–016, Claim No. 112790, Motion No. M-72692


Synopsis


The Court does not have jurisdiction over pro se inmate’s claim because it fails to comply with § 11 (b) of the Court of Claims Act. Claim dismissed.

Case Information

UID:
2007-037–016
Claimant(s):
MICHAEL WARREN
1 1.The caption has been amended to reflect the correct spelling of Claimant’s name.
Claimant short name:
WARREN
Footnote (claimant name) :
The caption has been amended to reflect the correct spelling of Claimant’s name.
Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
112790
Motion number(s):
M-72692
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
JEREMIAH J. MORIARTY III
Claimant’s attorney:
Michael Warren, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
New York State Attorney General
By: Thomas G. Ramsay, Esq.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
April 2, 2007
City:
Buffalo
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

The following were read and considered with respect to Defendant’s motion to dismiss:

1. Notice of motion and supporting affirmation of Assistant Attorney General Thomas

G. Ramsay dated December 18, 2006, with annexed Exhibits A-C.


Filed papers: Claim filed September 20, 2006; Answer filed October 19, 2006.

Defendant moves to dismiss the claim of Michael Warren on the grounds that the Court lacks jurisdiction because the claim does not comply with § 11 (b) of the Court of Claims Act. Court of Claims Act § 11 (b) requires a claim to “state the time when and place where such claim arose, the nature of same, and the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained and the total sum claimed.” While absolute exactness is not required, there must be substantial compliance with § 11 (b) to enable the State to promptly investigate the claim and to ascertain its potential liability (see Lepkowski v State of New York, 1 NY3d 201 [2003]; Heisler v State of New York, 78 AD2d 767 [1980]).

According to the claim, it accrued on August 24, 2006 when an incident occurred in the mess hall at Groveland Correctional Facility (Groveland) where Claimant was incarcerated. Nothing in the claim, however, alleges any facts or circumstances that occurred on August 24, 2006. Rather, Claimant alleges in his claim that a civilian cook on August 8, 2006 used a racial epithet. This allegation is followed by a few unintelligible sentences wherein it is generally alleged that “inmate Warren approached me” and “inmate Warren followed me ... .” It is impossible to tell if the Claimant is referring to himself in the third person or if he is speaking of another inmate with the same last name. These unintelligible sentences end with the notation “(contd [sic]).” While two additional paragraphs are attached to the claim as filed, nothing additional is attached to the claim as served. Where, as here, jurisdiction is implicated, Defendant is not required to go beyond the four corners of the claim to ascertain additional information which should have been provided in the claim as served (see Davis v State of New York, Ct Cl, November 19, 2004, Marin, J., Claim No. none, Motion No. M-69014, UID # 2004-016-071).[2] Nothing in the claim as served gives the Defendant notice of the nature of the claim or of the items of damage or injuries sustained. Simply stated, claim no. 112790 fails to comply with § 11 (b) of the Court of Claims Act and must be dismissed. Because the claim has been dismissed, the Court need not address the “Agreement for Disclosure” which Claimant served on Defendant.

Accordingly, it is hereby

ORDERED, that Defendant’s motion no. M-72692 is granted and claim no. 112790 is dismissed.



April 2, 2007
Buffalo, New York

HON. JEREMIAH J. MORIARTY III
Judge of the Court of Claims



[2]. This and other unreported Court of Claims decisions may be found on the Court’s web site at www.nyscourtofclaims.state.ny.us.