New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

NWOGU v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-045-021, Claim No. 113727, Motion No. M-73728


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:
Chuks Nwogu, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Paul F. Cagino, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
October 5, 2007

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


The following papers were reviewed by the Court on this motion: Defendant’s Notice of Motion to Dismiss Claim, Defendant’s Affirmation in Support of Motion to Dismiss Claim with Annexed Exhibits A-C, “Claimant’s Affidavit in Opposition Motion to Dismiss” with Annexed Exhibits 1 and 2, and the filed Claim. Defendant, the State of New York, has brought this pre-answer motion pursuant to Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) 3211(2) and (8) as well as Court of Claims Act (CCA) § 10(9) seeking an order dismissing the claim.

Claimant, Chuks Nwogu, a pro se inmate, alleges that on September 1, 2006 he resided at the Altona Correctional Facility. On that date he packed his personal property into four “draft” bags in preparation for his transfer to the Otisville Correctional Facility. Claimant received only three of his bags when he arrived at the Otisville Correctional Facility on September 8, 2006. Claimant then pursued an administrative remedy at the facility seeking reimbursement in the amount of $807.66 for the various items of personal property lost as well as shipping and handling costs. Initially the claim was administratively approved for a reimbursement offer of $125.00. Claimant appealed that determination and thereafter on November 16, 2006 the claim was approved in the amount of $150.00 (Def Ex C).

Defendant argues that since the claim concerning this matter was filed in the Court of Claims on May 18, 2007 it must be dismissed as untimely.

Court of Claims Act § 10(9) provides in pertinent part that a claim of any inmate in the custody of the Department of Correctional Services for the recovery of damages due to the loss of personal property must be filed and served within one hundred twenty days after the date on which the inmate exhausted the administrative remedies established by the Department. Claimant contends that his administrative remedies were not exhausted until January 22, 2007. In support of his position claimant has submitted a copy of New York State Department of Correctional Services Directive #2733 which states that appeals of personal property claims over $500 shall be made to the Division of Program Services, Office of Inmate Accounts (Cl Ex 1). It appears from claimant’s submissions that the Central Office Department of Inmate Claims further reviewed claimant’s lost personal property claim. Claimant received a memorandum dated January 22, 2007, informing him that the Central Office Department of Inmate Claims concurred with the previous approval of the claim by the Facility in the amount of $150.00. The memorandum instructs claimant that if he is “unwilling to accept this offer in full settlement of the claim, your remaining option is to pursue the claim in the Court of Claims” (Cl Ex 2).

Accordingly, the Court finds that claimant exhausted his administrative remedies when he received notice of the final determination of his personal property claim from the Central Office Department of Inmate Claims on January 22, 2007. Thus, claimant had until May 22, 2007 in which to timely file his claim in the Court of Claims. Based upon the documentation submitted with this motion, the Court finds that the claim was timely filed with the Clerk of the Court on May 18, 2007 and timely served upon the Office of the Attorney General on May 17, 2007. Therefore, for the foregoing reasons, defendant’s motion is denied.

October 5, 2007
Hauppauge, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims