New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

TAYLOR v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-039-048, Claim No. 111520, Motion Nos. M-71929, M-72024


Synopsis


Claimant moves the Court for an order to recover the monetary value of property allegedly lost and defendant moves the Court for an order dismissing the claim. Claimant’s motion is denied with leave to renew on proper papers. Claimant failed to provide the Court with, among other things, any supporting affidavits or a copy of the pleadings. Defendant’s motion is granted to the extent that claimant seeks to challenge the outcome of his Tier II disciplinary hearing on the ground that the Court is without jurisdiction of the claim since the primary relief sought is obtainable in an article 78 proceeding.

Case Information

UID:
2007-039-048
Claimant(s):
BASHAN TAYLOR
Claimant short name:
TAYLOR
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
111520
Motion number(s):
M-71929, M-72024
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
JAMES H. FERREIRA
Claimant’s attorney:
Bashan Taylor, pro se
Defendant’s attorney:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: Kathleen M. Arnold, Esq.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
November 26, 2007
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

A misbehavior report was brought by prison officials against claimant Bashan Taylor on August 12, 2005 for conduct alleged to constitute unauthorized exchange. On August 17, 2005, a Tier II hearing was conducted, and the Hearing Officer’s determination was subsequently affirmed. On October 17, 2005, the instant claim was filed wherein it is alleged, in relevant part, that “this claim is for negligently costing me money about reporting an incident, as losing commissary an[d] phone calls to my family on August Seventeen 2005.” Claimant also alleges that the sum of $140.00 was removed from his inmate account and transferred to another inmate. Issue was joined, and defendant now moves the Court for an order dismissing the claim on the grounds that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction of the claim and that claimant fails to set forth a cause of action. Claimant moves the Court for an order to recover monies allegedly lost.

Defendant characterizes the claim as one for wrongful discipline allegedly imposed by DOCS in retaliation for claimant’s report to prison officials that money was wrongfully transferred from his account to another inmate. Defendant argues in support of its motion that the appropriate vehicle to challenge DOCS’ disciplinary determination is an Article 78 proceeding, and that the Court of Claims does not have subject matter jurisdiction of such a claim. To the extent that claimant seeks to challenge the outcome of his Tier II hearing, the Court finds that it is without jurisdiction of the claim since “the primary relief sought is obtainable in an article 78 proceeding” (see Guy v State of New York, 18 AD3d 936, 937 [2005], quoting Young v State of New York, 179 Misc 2d 879, 882 [1999]).

However, to the extent that claimant seeks damages to recoup monies he alleges were wrongfully transferred from his inmate account, the Court finds that the claim survives defendant’s motion. Defendant does not offer any proof in support of its motion with respect to this aspect of the claim. Defendant does offer proof that a Tier II hearing was held to determine whether claimant was guilty of unauthorized exchange and that the Hearing Officer’s determination was subsequently appealed and affirmed.[1] The Court is unable to discern from defendant’s proof, however, whether the transfer of monies at issue here was a subject of the Tier II hearing. Thus, “ ‘accept[ing] the facts as alleged in the [claim] as true, [and] accord[ing] [claimant] the benefit of every possible favorable inference,’ ” defendant’s motion to dismiss must be denied with respect to that aspect of the claim which alleges that defendant is responsible for the loss of claimant’s funds (Griffin v Anslow, 17 AD3d 889, 891 [2005], quoting Arnav Indus., Inc. Retirement Trust v Brown, Raysman, Millstein, Felder & Steiner, 96 NY2d 300, 303 [2001]).

The Court further finds that claimant’s motion for an order awarding him monies alleged to have been wrongfully transferred from his account to the account of another inmate must be denied. Claimant failed to provide the Court with, among other things, any supporting affidavits or a copy of the pleadings (see CPLR 2214 (a), (c); CPLR 3212 (b); Blam v Netcher, 17 AD3d 495, 496 [2005]; Bonded Concrete, Inc. v Town of Saugerties, 3 AD3d 729, 729 [2004], lv dismissed 2 NY3d 793 [2004]). Accordingly, claimant’s motion must be denied, with leave to renew on proper papers (see Blam v Netcher, supra at 496).

Accordingly, it is hereby

ORDERED that M-71929 is granted to the extent that claimant seeks to challenge the outcome of his August 17, 2005 Tier II hearing; and it is further

ORDERED that M-71929 is denied to the extent that claimant seeks to recover monies he alleges were wrongfully transferred from his account to the account of another inmate; and it is further

ORDERED that M-72024 is denied without prejudice.


November 26, 2007
Albany, New York

HON. JAMES H. FERREIRA
Judge of the Court of Claims


Papers Considered:
  1. Notice of Motion to Dismiss dated June 27, 2006;
  2. Affirmation in Support of Motion to Dismiss by Kathleen M. Arnold, AAG dated on June 27, 2006 with exhibits;
  3. Notice of Motion dated June 21, 2006, with attachments; and
  4. Affirmation in Opposition by Kathleen M. Arnold, AAG dated on August 3, 2006.

[1]. Defendant states that claimant was found guilty of unauthorized exchange following a Tier II hearing, but there is no documentation before the Court evidencing the outcome of the Tier II hearing.