New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GREEN v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-045-018, Claim No. 110190, Motion No. M-73617


Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant’s attorney:
Shawn Green, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Joseph F. Romani, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
October 10, 2007

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


The following papers were reviewed by the Court on this motion: Claimant’s Notice of Motion for Summary Judgment, Claimant’s “Affirmation” in Support, Claimant’s Memorandum of Law with Annexed Exhibits A-F, Defendant’s Affirmation in Opposition to Claimant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, Claimant’s Reply, the filed Claim and the filed Answer. Claimant, Shawn Green, a pro se inmate, moves this Court for an order pursuant to Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) 3212 granting summary judgment in his favor.

Claimant alleges that he was involved in an assault with a fellow inmate on September 10, 2004 at the Southport Correctional Facility. He premises liability against defendant, the State of New York, based on negligent supervision provided by the Department of Correctional Services personnel at the facility. He asserts that as a result of the incident defendant improperly imposed restraint orders on him and deprived him of several privileges and services.

Claimant also alleges that he ordered and paid for a book in December 2003. He continues that he never received the book or received a return of his payment for the book due to the negligence of defendant’s agents at the Green Haven Correctional Facility. He contends that Correction Counselor, P. Klatt failed to return claimant’s documents that prove funds were embezzled from his inmate account.

As the party seeking summary judgment, claimant must make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, by offering sufficient evidence to eliminate any material issues of fact from the case (Cox v Kingsboro Medical Group, 88 NY2d 904 [1996]; Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Center, 64 NY2d 851 [1985]; Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557 [1980]). Failure to make a prima facie showing requires denial of summary judgment, regardless of the sufficiency of the opposing papers (Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Center, 64 NY2d 851, 853, [1985]). Once the proponent of a summary judgment motion establishes a prima facie showing then the burden shifts to the opposing party to produce evidentiary proof in admissible form sufficient to demonstrate the existence of material issues of fact which require a trial of action (Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562


The State owes a duty of care to safeguard inmates, however, that duty does not render the State an insurer of inmate safety (Sanchez v State of New York, 99 NY2d 247 [2002]). In order to establish that defendant is liable for the assault, claimant must prove that the State knew or should have known that there was a risk of harm to claimant which was reasonably foreseeable and which the State could have reasonably prevented under the circumstances (id.).

Claimant’s submission provides nothing more than a recitation of his allegations, a recitation of the duty of care owed by the defendant and general conclusory allegations that the duty was breached. It falls short of establishing as a matter of law that defendant failed to provide claimant with reasonable protection against foreseeable attacks by other inmates or that defendant was otherwise negligent.

In regard to claimant’s allegation that funds were embezzled from his account, claimant has similarly failed to eliminate all material issues of fact from the case. Claimant has failed to meet his burden of establishing his right to judgment as a matter of law in this matter.

Therefore, for the foregoing reasons, claimant’s motion for summary judgment is denied.

October 10, 2007
Hauppauge, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims