New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GATES v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-038-504, Claim No. 112850, Motion No. M-72522


Synopsis


Defendant’s motion to dismiss for untimely filing of claim granted.

Case Information

UID:
2007-038-504
Claimant(s):
JAMES GATES
Claimant short name:
GATES
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
112850
Motion number(s):
M-72522
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
W. BROOKS DEBOW
Claimant’s attorney:
JAMES GATES, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
ANDREW M. CUOMO, Attorney General of the State of New York
By: Paul F. Cagino, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
February 15, 2007
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

This claim was filed on October 6, 2006, alleging that items were missing from a package that was sent to claimant through the U.S. Postal Service and delivered to him at Franklin Correctional Facility in Malone, New York. It is undisputed that claimant’s institutional administrative remedies were exhausted on May 12, 2006 upon the disapproval of his appeal in the administrative review of his allegations regarding the lost property.

Court of Claims Act § 10 (9) requires incarcerated claimants to exhaust the established personal property claims administrative remedy before filing a claim for damaged or lost personal property, and it further requires that such a claim “must be filed and served within one hundred twenty days after the date on which the inmate has exhausted such remedy” (Court of Claims Act § 10 [9]). The filing requirements of the Court of Claims Act, including Court of Claims Act § 10 (9), are jurisdictional (see Roberts v State of New York, 11 AD3d 1000, 1001 [4th Dept 2004]), and a claim for lost personal property that is filed and served more than one hundred twenty days after the exhaustion of administrative remedies must be dismissed (see Matter of McCullough v State of New York, 3 AD3d 749 [3d Dept 2004]; Blackshear v State of New York, UID # 2006-042-504, Claim # 112775, Motion # M-72426, Siegel, J. [Jan. 9, 2007]).

Claimant’s administrative remedies were exhausted on May 12, 2006, and thus his time for filing expired September 9, 2006. Therefore, the claim filed on October 6, 2006 is clearly untimely, and the Court is required to dismiss this claim. Claimant’s contention that his time to file did not begin to run until the U.S. Postal Service responded to his postal claim on June 15, 2006 is entirely without merit. While his U.S. Postal Service claim may have been related to the package at issue in the claim before this Court, it was not a claim against the State within the meaning of the Court of Claims Act. To the extent the response of the U.S. Postal Service – a Federal entity – may have provided claimant with evidence in support of his claim, the date of its response has no bearing on the date upon which claimant’s State institutional administrative remedies were exhausted.

Accordingly, defendant’s motion to dismiss the claim is GRANTED.


February 15, 2007
Albany, New York

HON. W. BROOKS DEBOW
Judge of the Court of Claims



Papers Considered:

(1) Claim, filed October 6, 2006;

(2) Notice of Motion to Dismiss, dated November 13, 2006;

(3) Affirmation of Paul F. Cagino, AAG, dated November 13, 2006, with exhibits A-B;

(4) Reply “Affirmation” of James Gates, sworn to December 15, 2006, with exhibits.