New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SPIRLES v. WOODWORTH, C. HALL, SGT. POWERS AND JOHN DOE, #2008-044-523, Claim No. 114602, Motion No. M-74453


Synopsis


Claim against individual correction officers dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Case Information

UID:
2008-044-523
Claimant(s):
WILLIE SPIRLES
Claimant short name:
SPIRLES
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
WOODWORTH, C. HALL, SGT. POWERS AND JOHN DOE
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
114602
Motion number(s):
M-74453
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
CATHERINE C. SCHAEWE
Claimant’s attorney:
WILLIE SPIRLES, pro se
Defendant’s attorney:
HON. ANDREW M. CUOMO, ATTORNEY GENERALBY: Roberto Barbosa, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
March 7, 2008
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate proceeding pro se, filed this claim (Claim No. 114602) alleging that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment when three correction officers “swung [him] to the ‘ground’ [and] started punching, kicking and hitting [him] in [his] face” on April 21, 2007 while he was incarcerated at Elmira Correctional Facility. Claimant named two individual correction officers and “John Doe” as defendants.[1] The State of New York (the State) moves to dismiss the claim. Claimant opposes the motion.

The motion to dismiss must be granted. Claimant has filed this claim alleging a “Constitutional State Tort” against three individual officers. Whether claimant seeks to recover against these officers in either their individual or official capacities is not relevant. The Court has no jurisdiction over the individuals, as the State is the sole proper defendant in the Court of Claims (see Court of Claims Act § 9). Because claimant has an existing claim against the State (Claim No. 114139) which seeks damages for personal injuries allegedly caused by the same officers in the same incident, the Court will not exercise its discretion and substitute the State as the defendant in this action.

Motion No. M-74453 is granted, and Claim No. 114602 is hereby dismissed.


March 7, 2008
Binghamton, New York

HON. CATHERINE C. SCHAEWE
Judge of the Court of Claims


The following papers were read on defendant’s motion:

1) Notice of Motion filed on January 22, 2008; Affirmation of Roberto Barbosa, AAG, dated January 18, 2008, and attached Exhibit A.


2) Claimant[’s] Response to Defendant[’s] Affirmation sworn to on January 29, 2008.


Filed papers: Claim filed on December 14, 2007.


[1]. Claimant alleges that a third officer, “the A-Officer in I-Block,” was also involved, and claimant has apparently used the fictitious name “John Doe” to represent this unknown defendant, presumably pursuant to CPLR 1024.