According to the notice of intention to file a claim, the cause of action
accrued on October 18, 2005. And, according to the notice of intention to file
a claim , the underlying basis for the claim is that the “law library is
inadequate to my claims and litigation needs”. The notice of intention to
file a claim failed to set forth any requested relief.
The claim itself fails to state a date of accrual and is more verbose than the
notice of intention to file a claim. While the precise nature of the claim is
uncertain, the reasonable interpretation of the claim is that it too contends
that the Marcy Correctional Facility’s law library was inadequate to meet
claimant’s needs. The claimant seeks a monetary damage award of
Defense counsel states that while the claim was apparently filed with the Clerk
of the Court on May 9, 2006, no attempt was made to serve the claim on the
Attorney General until October 4, 2007.
Defense counsel also acknowledges that the claim was preceded by the Notice of
Intention to File a Claim, which was dated April 11, 2006, postmarked April 17,
2006, and received by the Attorney General’s office on April 18, 2006.
Defendant contends that the notice offered no specific date of accrual and, like
the claim, was vague as to the precise nature of the cause of action.
The defense contends that neither the Notice of Intention to File a Claim nor
the claim were personally served or served by certified mail, return receipt
requested. Exhibits supporting this argument are attached to the moving
The defendant also contends that the court lacks jurisdiction as the matter is
untimely brought. While the claim fails to set forth a specific date of
accrual, the notice of intention to file a claim notes that the claim arose on
October 18, 2005. And, while the precise nature of the claim - if in fact a
claim has been stated - is uncertain, under the provisions of Court of Claims
Act Section 10 (and any reasonably applicable subdivisions thereunder), a claim
would have to have been served and filed within 90 days from the date of
accrual, or a notice of intention to file a claim would have to have been served
within 90 days from the date of accrual and a claim filed and served within two
years from the date of accrual.
Court of Claims Act § 11 (a) (i) specifically provides that:
[t]he claim shall be filed with the clerk of the court; and, except in the case
of a claim for the appropriation by the state of lands, a copy shall be served
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. . .
The law is well established that the “requirements of . . . Section 11 of
the Court of Claims Act are jurisdictional in nature and, therefore, must be
strictly construed” (Finnerty v New York State Thruway Authority,
75 NY2d 721, 722, citing with favor, Buckles v State of New York, 221 NY
418, 423 - 424). In Finnerty, where the Attorney General had not been
properly served under CCA § 11, the court found that the failure to
properly serve under Section 11 resulted “not in a failure of personal
jurisdiction . . . but in a failure of subject matter jurisdiction which may not
be waived.” (Finnerty v New York State Thruway Authority, 75 NY2d
721, 723). “[T]he use of ordinary mail to serve the claim upon the
Attorney-General is insufficient to acquire jurisdiction over the State”
(Philippe v State of New York, 248 AD2d 827 [3rd Dept 1998]).
In light of the foregoing, the claim is dismissed for lack of both personal and
subject matter jurisdiction. The court need not reach the other grounds raised
by the defendant, and any arguments not specifically addressed herein are deemed
moot in light of the foregoing decision.