Pre-Answer Notice of Motion, Affirmation, with Exhibits 1,2
Claimant has not submitted any papers in opposition, nor has he contacted the
Court in any manner whatsoever with regard to this motion.
Pursuant to Court of Claims Act § 11(a), a claim must be served upon the
Attorney General either personally or by certified mail, return receipt
requested (Hodge v State of New York, 213 AD2d 766). Such provisions are
jurisdictional prerequisites to the institution and maintenance of a claim, and
as such must be strictly construed (Greenspan Bros. v State of New York,
122 AD2d 249). Service of a claim by ordinary, first class mail is not one of
the methods of service authorized by Court of Claims Act § 11(a) (Turley
v State of New York, 279 AD2d 819), and service of a claim which is not made
in accordance with the provisions of § 11 is insufficient to confer
jurisdiction over the State (Hodge v State of New York, supra;
Philippe v State of New York, 248 AD2d 827).
In his supporting affirmation (see Item 2), defendant’s attorney contends
that claimant served his claim by mail on April 22, 2008, but that it was not
sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, and that such service is
jurisdictionally defective. Defendant has attached a copy of the envelope in
which the claim was mailed (see Exhibit B to Items 1,2), on which postage
in the amount of $1.14 is indicated. This amount of postage is less than the
amount required for certified mail, return receipt requested service.
Additionally, there are no other markings on the envelope to indicate that the
claim was served by certified mail, return receipt requested, as required by
statute. Based on these submissions, the Court finds that defendant has
established that claimant served his claim upon the Attorney General by
regular, first class mail, which is not a method of service authorized by Court
of Claims Act § 11. Accordingly, this Court lacks jurisdiction and the
claim must be dismissed.
Having determined that this claim was improperly served resulting in a
jurisdictional defect, there is no need for this Court to address
defendant’s remaining contention that the claim fails to adequately set
forth an amount of damages.
Based on the foregoing, therefore, it is
ORDERED, that Motion No. M-75021 is hereby GRANTED; and it is further
ORDERED, that Claim No. 115187 is hereby DISMISSED.