New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

CLAY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-041-030, Claim No. 112669, Motion Nos. M-75158, CM-75210


Synopsis

Claimant’s motion for summary judgment in wrongful confinement claim is denied and defendant’s cross-motion for summary judgment dismissing the claim is granted where claimant incorrectly argues that in serving 30 day period of confinement after disciplinary hearing he is entitled to a credit for time spent in pre-hearing administrative segregation.

Case Information

UID:
2008-041-030
Claimant(s):
DANIEL CLAY
Claimant short name:
CLAY
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
112669
Motion number(s):
M-75158
Cross-motion number(s):
CM-75210
Judge:
FRANK P. MILANO
Claimant’s attorney:
DANIEL CLAYPro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
HON. ANDREW M. CUOMO
New York State Attorney GeneralBy: Joan Matalavage, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
August 25, 2008
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision


Claimant moves for summary judgment in this wrongful confinement claim, asserting that “there is no defense to the cause of action set forth in my complaint.” Defendant disagrees and not only argues that there is a defense to the claim but cross-moves for summary judgment dismissing the claim. The claim alleges that claimant was the subject of a disciplinary hearing held at Clinton Correctional Facility on May 1, 2006, as a result of which claimant received a penalty of thirty (30) days keeplock. Claimant alleges that he was released from keeplock on May 31, 2006, exactly thirty (30) days after the hearing date. The claim further alleges that claimant was placed in keeplock on April 24, 2006, six (6) days prior to the hearing and apparently is alleging that he should have received credit for the six (6) days he spent in administrative segregation prior to the hearing.

The hearing determination was annulled by a decision and judgment of the Clinton County Supreme Court rendered in an Article 78 proceeding brought by claimant. Claimant has provided only the first and last page of the eight (8) page Supreme Court decision and judgment which was apparently based upon “equitable” grounds.

Defendant has provided an affidavit of Lieutenant William E. Allan, a correction officer who served as a Tier Hearing Officer during the relevant time period. According to Lieutenant Allan, “inmates are not entitled to be credited with pre-hearing confinement time in the calculation of penalties imposed at tier hearings.”

“There is nothing in the regulations of the Department of Correctional Services that requires petitioner’s prehearing segregation be credited toward the penalty imposed after a disciplinary hearing” (Matter of Melluzzo v Goord, 250 AD2d 893, 895 [3d Dept 1998], lv denied 92 NY2d 814 [1998]; see Matter of Mastropietro v New York State Dept. of Corrections, 52 AD3d 1125 [3d Dept 2008]; Matter of Starks v Goord, 2 AD3d 1117 [3d Dept 2003]; Davis v State of New York, 262 AD2d 887 [3d Dept 1999]).
Where employees of the Department of Correctional Services, in commencing and conducting formal inmate disciplinary proceedings, “act under the authority of and in full compliance with the governing statutes and regulations . . . their actions constitute discretionary conduct of a quasi-judicial nature for which the State has absolute immunity” (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212, 214 [1988]; Varela v State of New York, 283 AD2d 841 [3d Dept 2001]).

Claimant has offered no rebuttal to Lieutenant Allan’s statement as to the regulations and procedures of the Department of Correctional Services with respect to pre-hearing confinement of inmates facing disciplinary charges. Claimant has not identified any statutes or regulations allegedly violated by defendant in conducting the hearing and imposing the penalty, or in confining him in keeplock for thirty (30) days following the hearing determination.

Claimant’s motion for summary judgment is denied. Defendant’s cross-motion for summary judgment is granted. The claim is dismissed.


August 25, 2008
Albany, New York
HON. FRANK P. MILANO
Judge of the Court of Claims


Papers Considered:

  1. Claimant’s Notice of Motion, filed June 25, 2008;
  2. Affidavit of Daniel Clay, sworn to June 17, 2008, and annexed exhibits;
  3. Defendant’s Notice of Cross-motion, filed July 8, 2008
  4. Affidavit of Joan Matalavage, sworn to and filed July 14, 2008, and annexed exhibits.