New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BROWN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-045-003, Claim No. 108217, Motion No. M-73144


Synopsis


inmate motion for assignment of attorney.

Case Information

UID:
2007-045-003
Claimant(s):
EVERTON BROWN (#94-A-5452)
Claimant short name:
BROWN
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
108217
Motion number(s):
M-73144
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
GINA M. LOPEZ-SUMMA
Claimant’s attorney:
Everton Brown, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Roberto Barbosa, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
April 24, 2007
City:
Hauppauge
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers were read and considered by the court on this motion: Claimant’s Notice of Motion for Assignment of Counsel, Claimant’s Affidavit in Support of Motion for Assignment of Counsel, Defendant’s Affirmation in Opposition to Claimant’s Motion for Assignment of Counsel and the filed claim.

Claimant, Everton Brown, a pro se inmate, who currently resides at the Attica Correctional Facility, has moved pursuant to § 722 of Article 18-B of the County Law for an order assigning counsel to represent him in this matter. The underlying claim contains various allegations of negligence brought against defendant, the State of New York. However, the gravamen of the claim concerns an assault by another inmate upon claimant which occurred while he was housed at the Elmira Correctional Facility on May 16, 2003.

At the outset the Court notes that § 722 of Article 18-B of the County Law covers only parties in an action before the Family Court or the Surrogate’s Court and is consequently not applicable in the Court of Claims. Since there are no provisions in the Court of Claims Act which govern either a request for poor person status or an application for the assignment of an attorney the provisions of the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) §§ 1101 and 1102 apply (see Court of Claims Act § 9[9]).

By prior order of the Honorable Richard E. Sise filed September 16, 2003, claimant received a reduction in the filing fee in this case but was not granted poor person status in the prosecution of this matter. Even assuming that claimant had been granted poor person status he is not entitled to the assignment of an attorney in this action. The appointment of an attorney is generally not available to civil litigants and would be inappropriate in this action given the allegations contained in the filed claim (see Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433 [1975]).

Additionally, negligence claims similar to those presented by claimant are typically handled by attorneys on a contingency fee basis. This affords claimant the opportunity to be represented by counsel without incurring any expenses unless he recovers an award in his favor.

Therefore, for the foregoing reasons, claimant’s motion for an assignment of counsel is denied.


April 24, 2007
Hauppauge, New York

HON. GINA M. LOPEZ-SUMMA
Judge of the Court of Claims