New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BARNES v. THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, #2008-016-059, Claim No. 115653, Motion No. M-75560


Claim was dismissed as untimely.

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:
Jermaine Barnes, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Gwendolyn Hatcher, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
October 22, 2008
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Defendant moves to dismiss the claim of Jermaine Barnes on the grounds that it was untimely and was not served upon the City University of New York (“CUNY”). In his claim, Mr. Barnes alleges that CUNY breached an “implied contract” in refusing to award him a bachelor’s degree. Barnes states that he “completed all of the necessary academic requirements” after having attended the City College of New York from the fall 1993 semester through the fall 1997 semester. Section 10.4 of the Court of Claims Act (the “Act”) requires a claim for breach of contract to be served and filed within six months of accrual. As set forth above, the claim alleges that Barnes completed all necessary academic requirements during the fall 1997 semester. Even accepting claimant’s representation in his opposition papers that he “depart[ed] from CUNY” on February 25, 1998, his claim was filed more than ten years later on August 7, 2008.

Claimant has supplied no legal authority to support his argument that his claim accrued on June 9, 2008, the date on which he made his most recent unanswered communication to CUNY seeking a diploma.[1] Claimant has pointed to no actions by defendant that could extend or toll the §10.4 time for filing or, for that matter, the six-year statute of limitations for claims sounding in contract. Nor has claimant advanced any precedent to support his argument that CUNY’s purported policy of not “voiding” credits until ten years after they are issued would extend his accrual date to ten years after he completed his studies.

In view of the foregoing, I find that the claim of Jermaine Barnes was untimely for the purposes of §10.4 of the Act. “It is well established that compliance with sections 10 and 11 of the Court of Claims Act pertaining to the timeliness of filing and service requirements respecting claims and notices of intention to file claims constitutes a jurisdictional prerequisite to the institution and maintenance of a claim against the State, and accordingly, must be strictly construed . . .” Byrne v State of New York, 104 AD2d 782, 783, 480 NYS2d 225, 227 (2d Dept 1984), lv denied, 64 NY2d 607, 488 NYS2d 1023 (1985) (citations omitted). See also Mallory v State of New York, 196 AD2d 925, 601 NYS2d 972 (3d Dept 1993). In sum, this court lacks jurisdiction over the claim of Jermaine Barnes, and the issue of service on CUNY need not be reached.

Accordingly, having reviewed the submissions[2], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-75560 be granted and claim no. 115653 be dismissed.

October 22, 2008
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]The claim states that Barnes’s “applications for graduation have gone un-responded to, the most recent one was dated 6-9-08.” Claimant’s opposition papers refer to the date of June 23, 2008.
  2. [2]The following were reviewed: defendant’s notice o f motion with affirmation in support and exhibit A; claimant’s submission filed on October 9, 2008, annexing exhibits A and B; and claimant’s submission filed October 10, 2008, annexing exhibit A.