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
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
, IT IS ORDERED that motion no.
M-74226 be denied.