New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ROSS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-045-028, Claim No. 114285, Motion No. M-74122


Synopsis


inmate motion for assignment of attorney.

Case Information

UID:
2007-045-028
Claimant(s):
MICHAEL J. ROSS
1 1.The caption has been amended, sua sponte, to reflect the State of New York as the proper defendant.
Claimant short name:
ROSS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
114285
Motion number(s):
M-74122
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
GINA M. LOPEZ-SUMMA
Claimant’s attorney:
Michael J. Ross, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: James E. Shoemaker, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
November 29, 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 letter to the Court of Claims filed September 26, 2007, Claimant’s Affidavit in Support with annexed documents, Defendant’s Affirmation in Opposition and the filed claim.

Claimant, Michael J. Ross, a pro se inmate, has brought this motion pursuant to Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) 1101 seeking an order granting him poor person status and assigning counsel to represent him in this matter. The underlying claim concerns an allegation that claimant’s mail was destroyed by employees of defendant, the State of New York.

By prior order of the Honorable Richard E. Sise, filed October 19, 2007, 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, 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.


November 29, 2007
Hauppauge, New York

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