New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SANTIAGO v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-037-015, Claim No. 107523, Motion No. M-72777


Synopsis


Claimant’s motion, whether treated as a motion to reargue or as a motion to vacate the Court’s prior decision and judgment, is denied.


Case Information

UID:
2007-037-015
Claimant(s):
JOSE A. SANTIAGO, 91-A-0586
Claimant short name:
SANTIAGO
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107523
Motion number(s):
M-72777
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
JEREMIAH J. MORIARTY III
Claimant’s attorney:
Jose A. Santiago, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
New York State Attorney General
By: Joseph F. Romani, Esq.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
March 20, 2007
City:
Buffalo
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

The following were read and considered with respect to Claimant’s motion to reargue:

1. Notice of motion and supporting affidavit of pro se Claimant, Jose A. Santiago,

sworn to December 26, 2006, with annexed Exhibits 1-4;

2. Opposing affirmation of Assistant Attorney General Joseph F. Romani dated

February 2, 2007, with annexed Exhibit A.


Filed papers: Claim filed March 24, 2003; Answer filed April 11, 2003.

Pro se Claimant Jose A. Santiago alleged in claim 107523 that Defendant’s agents negligently lost his personal property while he was in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) at Elmira Correctional Facility (Elmira). Following a trial of the matter held on November 1, 2006, the Court rendered a decision dismissing the claim and final judgment was entered thereon (Santiago v State of New York, Ct Cl, November 30, 2006, Moriarty, J., Claim No. 107523, UID # 2006-037-520; Judgment entered December 7, 2006). A notice of appeal from the judgment was filed on December 14, 2006, and an amended notice of appeal was filed on December 29, 2006.

Claimant now seeks leave to reargue his claim pursuant to CPLR 2221 (d). This remedy is not applicable, however, as it applies only to prior motions. When a decision has been rendered following trial and the decision has been reduced to a final judgment and more than 15 days has elapsed,[1] the proper procedural remedy to seek relief from the trial court is a motion pursuant to CPLR 5015 (Matter of Willard v Town Bd. of Town of Hamburg, 216 AD2d 861 [1995]; Matter of Reed v County of Westchester, 243 AD2d 714 [1997]). CPLR 5015 (a) authorizes a court to vacate its judgment “upon such terms as may be just” on motion based upon listed grounds: excusable default; newly discovered evidence; fraud; misrepresentation, or other misconduct; lack of jurisdiction; or reversal, modification or vacatur of a prior judgment upon which it is based.

If the Court were to exercise its discretion and treat Claimant’s motion to reargue as a motion to vacate the judgment pursuant to CPLR 5015, the facts and arguments raised by Claimant in his motion papers are simply “not susceptible, even with a little push, of being lodged under a listed ground” (Siegel, NY Prac § 426, at 725 [4th ed]). Because the motion contains no new evidence, Claimant is using this motion as a vehicle to reargue the very issues decided after trial. Accordingly, it is hereby

ORDERED, that Claimant’s motion (M-72777) is denied.



March 20, 2007
Buffalo, New York

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




[1]. If claimant had brought his motion within 15 days of November 30, 2006, when the underlying decision rendered after trial was filed, he could have brought his post-trial motion pursuant to CPLR 4404 (see Arlen of Nanuet, Inc. v State of New York, 52 Misc 2d 1009 [1967]). The outcome of such a motion, however, would have been the same.