New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

DORLINI v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-016-007, Claim No. 112641, Motion No. M-74226


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):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant’s attorney:
Russell A. Schindler, Esq.
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Karen G. Leslie, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
March 4, 2008
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Defendant moves for summary judgment dismissing the unjust conviction and imprisonment claim of Marc Dorlini, which was brought under §8-b of the Court of Claims Act (the “Act”). According to the claim, on September 8, 2004, Mr. Dorlini was “adjudicated a youthful offender upon a guilty finding on charges of arson in the fifth degree, criminal mischief in the fourth degree, and reckless endangerment in the second degree.” He was sentenced to two days incarceration in the Putnam County jail and three years of probation. He served the two days of incarceration from September 10 to 12, 2004, and was subsequently on probation until discharged. On May 23, 2006, the Appellate Term ordered that “the judgment adjudicating [Mr. Dorlini] a youthful offender is reversed on the facts, and [the] accusatory instrument dismissed.” Subdivision 3(a) of §8-b of the Act provides that to state an unjust conviction and imprisonment claim, claimant must establish by documentary evidence that “he has been convicted of one or more felonies or misdemeanors against the state and subsequently sentenced to a term of imprisonment, and has served all or any part of the sentence . . .” In this motion, defendant argues that claimant’s youthful offender adjudication does not constitute the conviction of a crime for the purposes of §8-b of the Act.

This issue was addressed in Niver v State of New York, 12 AD3d 51, 784 NYS2d 201 (3d Dept 2004). While noting that §720.35(1) of the Criminal Procedure Law provides that a “youthful offender adjudication is not a judgment of conviction for a crime or any other offense

. . . ,” the Third Department concluded, after a review of the statutory language and legislative history, that adjudication as a youthful offender does constitute a conviction for purposes of §8-b of the Court of Claims Act. Among other things, the court noted that, pursuant to the Criminal Procedure Law, it is only “upon conviction of an eligible youth” that consideration for youthful offender adjudication begins.[1]

Webb v State of New York, 18 AD3d 648, 795 NYS2d 636 (2d Dept 2005), lv denied 6 NY3d 707, 812 NYS2d 36 (2006) is distinguishable. There, pursuant to a fact-finding order of the Family Court, claimant was determined to have committed the act of attempted assault in the third degree. He was subsequently adjudicated a juvenile delinquent and placed in a juvenile facility under the custody of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. In finding that such did not constitute the conviction of a crime for the purposes of §8-b of the Act, the Second Department noted that the claimant was not convicted or prosecuted pursuant to an accusatory instrument. Instead, juvenile delinquency proceedings are commenced by the filing of a petition under the Family Court Act. In addition, instead of imprisonment for a criminal conviction under the Penal Law, juvenile delinquents are placed in secure facilities pursuant to the Family Court Act.

In view of the foregoing, having reviewed the submissions[2], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-74226 be denied.

March 4, 2008
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]See also Penal Law §60.02, on youthful offenders, as part of Penal Law Article 60, entitled “Authorized Dispositions of Offenders.”
  2. [2]The following were reviewed: defendant’s notice of motion with affirmation in support and exhibits A and B; and claimant’s affirmation in opposition.