New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

VALENTIN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-041-004, Claim No. 112774, Motion No. M-72747


Synopsis


Claimant’s application for appointment of counsel is denied.

Case Information

UID:
2007-041-004
Claimant(s):
LINDA VALENTIN
1 1.The caption has been amended sua sponte to reflect the only proper defendant.
Claimant short name:
VALENTIN
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
112774
Motion number(s):
M-72747
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANK P. MILANO
Claimant’s attorney:
Linda ValentinPro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
None
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
February 14, 2007
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision


Claimant moves for appointment of counsel to represent her in this action in which claimant seeks recovery for injuries allegedly sustained during her arrest. The injuries alleged include a fractured ankle and defendant’s “failure to properly conduct a strip search.” Claimant was previously denied a reduced filing fee to file her claim.

Claimant’s motion is denied.

Claimant’s application has not been served on the “county attorney in the county in which the action is triable” (CPLR § 1101 [c]) and the “application is [therefore] defective inasmuch as . . . no notice was given to the county attorney of the appropriate county as mandated” (Sebastiano v State of New York, 92 AD2d 966 [3d Dept 1983]).

Even had the claimant properly served the motion, the application would be denied.

While it is “clear that private litigants have no absolute right to assigned counsel, [Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433 (1975)] . . . recognized that courts have discretion to provide uncompensated representation for indigent civil litigants in a proper case” (Wills v City of Troy, 258 AD2d 849 [3d Dept 1999]; see CPLR 1102 [a]). A proper case may include proceedings where “there is the danger of grievous forfeiture or the deprivation of a fundamental liberty right” (Morgenthau v Garcia, 148 Misc 2d 900, 903 [Sup Ct, NY County 1990]).

A review of the claim reveals no “danger of grievous forfeiture or the deprivation of a fundamental liberty right.”

Further, this is not an appropriate case for appointment of counsel since claimant seeks money damages for personal injuries allegedly caused by defendant’s negligent or intentional acts or omissions. Such cases are typically handled by private attorneys, without cost to the litigant (other than disbursements), on a contingent fee basis. Claimant has not shown that she has made any attempt to retain an attorney on a contingent fee basis.

The motion is denied.


February 14, 2007
Albany, New York

HON. FRANK P. MILANO
Judge of the Court of Claims


Papers Considered:

  1. Claimant’s Affidavit in Support of Motion for Appointment of Counsel, sworn to
August 23, 2006.