New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WILLIAMS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-037-024, Claim No. 103308, Motion No. M-73390


Synopsis


Claim dismissed for failure to serve the Attorney General.

Case Information

UID:
2007-037-024
Claimant(s):
MR. A.C. WILLIAMS, #04-A-5364
1 1.The caption has been amended sua sponte to reflect that the only proper Defendant is the State of New York.
Claimant short name:
WILLIAMS
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
The caption has been amended sua sponte to reflect that the only proper Defendant is the State of New York.
Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
103308
Motion number(s):
M-73390
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
JEREMIAH J. MORIARTY III
Claimant’s attorney:
A. C. Williams, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
New York State Attorney General
By: Richard B. FriedfertigAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
June 15, 2007
City:
Buffalo
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following were read and considered with respect to the Court’s order to show cause regarding service of the claim:
1. Order to show cause dated May 14, 2007;
2. Affidavit of Assistant Attorney General Richard B. Friedfertig, sworn to May 31,

2007, and affidavit of Janet A. Barringer, sworn to May 25, 2007, annexed as Exhibit A;


Filed papers: Claim filed October 30, 2000.


In order to commence an action in the Court of Claims, a claim must be filed and a copy served upon the Attorney General by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested (see § 11 (a) of the Court of Claims Act; Hodge v State of New York, 213 AD2d 766 [1995], appeal dismissed 87 NY2d 968 [1996]). No answer to the claim was ever filed by the Defendant, raising questions concerning service of the claim upon the Attorney General. As a result, the Court issued an order to show cause dated May 14, 2007, requesting that the parties submit statements regarding service of the claim.

In response, Defendant submitted an affidavit of Janet A. Barringer, Senior Clerk in the Office of the Attorney General, who is familiar with its records. Ms. Barringer conducted a search of the records in the Attorney General’s office by Claimant’s name, DIN number and incident date and found no record indicating that the claim in this matter was ever served on the Attorney General (see Defendant’s Exhibit A).

No affidavit of service is attached to the claim as filed and Claimant has failed to respond to the Court’s order to show cause. The Court concludes that claim number 103308 was never properly served on the Attorney General as required by the Court of Claims Act. The service requirements set forth in § 11 of the Court of Claims Act are jurisdictional in nature and must be strictly construed (Finnerty v New York State Thruway Auth., 75 NY2d 721 [1989]; Martinez v State of New York, 282 AD2d 580 [2001]; lv denied 96 NY2d 720 [2001]). The failure to serve the Attorney General is a fatal jurisdictional defect which precludes the Court from hearing the claim (Dreger v New York State Thruway Auth., 81 NY2d 721 [1992]). Accordingly, it is hereby

ORDERED, that claim number 103308 is dismissed.

The Clerk of the Court is directed to close the file.



June 15, 2007
Buffalo, New York

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