New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WALKER v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-033-305, Claim No. 114615-A, Motion No. M-74783


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2008-033-305
Claimant(s):
JOHN M. WALKER
Claimant short name:
WALKER
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK1 1.The Court sua sponte amends the caption to read The State of New York as the properly named defendant.
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
114615-A
Motion number(s):
M-74783
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
James J. Lack
Claimant’s attorney:
John M. Walker, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Attorney GeneralBy: Paul F. Cagino, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
September 22, 2008
City:
Hauppauge
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

This is a claim of John M. Walker (hereinafter “claimant”) for the loss of property while claimant was being transferred from Ulster Correctional Facility to Wyoming Correctional Facility. The loss of property occurred on July 18, 2007.

The State of New York (hereinafter “defendant”) seeks to dismiss the claim[2] based on two arguments. First, defendant argues the claim was served by regular mail. The second argument is that the claim is precluded because claimant accepted a settlement from the Correctional Facility.


Claimant submits no opposition to defendant’s motion.

Defendant argues that claimant failed to properly serve the claim on the Attorney General’s Office. Court of Claims Act § 11(a) states that a copy of the claim “upon the attorney general within the times hereinbefore provided for filing with the clerk of the court either personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, or, where authorized by rule of the chief administrator of the courts and upon consent of the attorney general, by facsimile transmission or electronic means, as defined in subdivision (f) of rule twenty-one hundred three of the civil practice law and rules, in such manner as may be provided by rule of court.”

Defendant submits claimant’s affidavit of service with its papers as an exhibit (defendant’s Exhibit A). The affidavit indicates that the claim was mailed to the Attorney General’s Office by regular mail.

The requirements of the Court of Claims Act are jurisdictional in nature and must be strictly construed (Lurie v State of New York, 73 AD2d 1006, aff’d 52 NY2d 849). The purpose of these requirements is to give the State prompt notice of an occurrence and an opportunity to investigate the facts and prepare a defense. The requirement of personal service or service by certified mail, return receipt requested cannot be satisfied by alternate means of mailing. Hodge v State of New York, 213 AD2d 766.

In addition, defendant does submit proof that claimant accepted the sum of $2.00 to settle his lost property claim from the Correctional Facility (defendant’s Exhibit D).

Based upon the foregoing, and without opposition, defendant’s motion to dismiss the claim is granted. The Clerk of the Court is directed to close the file.


September 22, 2008
Hauppauge, New York

HON. JAMES J. LACK
Judge of the Court of Claims




[2].The following papers were read and considered on defendant’s motion: Notice of Motion dated April 2, 2008 and filed April 2, 2008; Affirmation in Support of Motion to Dismiss of Paul F. Cagino, Esq. with annexed Exhibits A-E dated April 2, 2008 and filed April 2, 2008.