New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

EDWARDS v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-039-069, Claim No. 113619, Motion Nos. M-73495, M-73801


Synopsis


Defendant’s motion to dismiss the claim is granted and claimant’s motion for assigned counsel is denied as moot. Defendant offered sufficient proof in support of its motion to establish that prison officials approved claimant’s claim for reimbursement for the loss of his television, and that claimant executed a release and voucher in full settlement of his inmate claim

Case Information

UID:
2008-039-069
Claimant(s):
DAMIAN EDWARDS
Claimant short name:
EDWARDS
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
113619
Motion number(s):
M-73495, M-73801
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
James H. Ferreira
Claimant’s attorney:
Damian Edwards, pro se
Defendant’s attorney:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: Paul F. CaginoAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
February 15, 2008
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)

.
Decision

A claim for the loss of property was filed with the Clerk of the Court on April 23, 2007. Claimant alleges that his television set was not among the personal property items that he received following his transfer to Elmira Correctional Facility during December 2006. Claimant also alleges that on January 17, 2007 he submitted an inmate claim form to prison officials requesting reimbursement for the loss of his television, which was disapproved on March 13, 2007 and, again, on March 30, 2007 following an appeal to Superintendent John W. Burge.

Issue was joined, and claimant moved the Court for an order reducing his filing fees and granting the assignment of counsel. By order filed on May 2, 2007, the court (Sise, P.J.) set the filing fee at $45.00 pursuant to CPLR 1101 (f). The court now addressed claimant’s request for the assignment of counsel and defendant’s motion to dismiss the claim. Defendant contends that, upon reconsideration, prison officials approved claimant’s inmate claim, and claimant executed a release and voucher in full settlement of his inmate claim. Thus, defendant argues that this matter should be dismissed in light of claimant’s settlement of his inmate claim. Claimant does not oppose the motion.

The Court finds that defendant has offered sufficient proof in support of its motion to warrant dismissal of the claim. Initially, the Court notes that defendant raised the instant defense in its answer wherein it asserts that “[t]he State’s liability, if any, will be limited by any payment claimant has accepted or will accept on an administrative claim for losses alleged herein or by any release claimant has executed pertaining to liability alleged herein.”

In support of its motion, defendant offers a copy of claimant’s inmate claim form bearing facility claim # 110-0181-06 and dated January 17, 2007. Defendant also offers documentation regarding the administrative review of claimant’s inmate claim and copies of a release and a voucher executed by claimant. The documentation reveals that, although Superintendent Burge disapproved claimant’s inmate claim on March 30, 2007, claimant subsequently executed a release which provides, in relevant part, that

“in consideration of the sum of . . . ($83.42) to me in hand paid by the State of New York, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, do for myself, my heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, release and discharge the said State of New York, its officers, agents and employees, from all claims, demands and liability of every kind and nature, legal or equitable, occasioned by or arising out of the facts set forth in the foregoing claim, and in case any claim shall have been filed by me with the Clerk of the Court of Claims for said damages at any time prior to the date of this release, I consent and stipulate that an order may be made by the Court of Claims without notice to me dismissing said claim upon the merits.”

The documentation offered by defendant further establishes that claimant signed a quick pay voucher related to inmate claim # 110-0181-06 in the amount of $83.42, which was subsequently paid by prison officials on July 12, 2007. Thus, sufficient proof having been offered to show that claimant settled the inmate claim for the loss of his television set, and released the State from further liability with respect thereto, the claim must be dismissed.

In light of the foregoing determination, M-73495 is denied as moot.

Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that M-73801 is granted and M-73495 is denied.


February 15, 2008
Albany, New York

HON. JAMES H. FERREIRA
Judge of the Court of Claims


Papers Considered
:

  1. Application for Reduced Filing Fee by Damian Edwards sworn to on April 17, 2007;
  1. Notice of Motion to Dismiss dated July 31, 2007; and
  1. Affirmation in Support of Motion to Dismiss dated July 31, 2007 with exhibits.