New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SPIRLES v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-044-563, Claim No. 114139, Motion Nos. M-74782, M-74856


Synopsis


Inmate claimant’s motions for “trial date” and jury trial denied.

Case Information

UID:
2008-044-563
Claimant(s):
WILLIE SPIRLES
Claimant short name:
SPIRLES
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
114139
Motion number(s):
M-74782, M-74856
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:
July 23, 2008
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate proceeding pro se, filed this claim alleging that he was “intentionally injured” by correction officers on April 21, 2007 while he was incarcerated at Elmira Correctional Facility. Defendant State of New York (defendant) answered and asserted several affirmative defenses.[1] Claimant now moves for a trial date (Motion No. M-74782). Defendant opposes the motion. Claimant replies.[2] Claimant also moves for a jury trial (Motion No.

M-74856).[3] Defendant opposes the motion. Claimant replies.

Claimant moves in Motion No. M-74782 for an order setting a trial date in this matter. Claimant states that he and Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Barbosa “done went through [sic] numerous discovery motion [s] . . . and there should be no reason why [AAG] Barbosa shouldnt [sic] be ready for trial.” The scheduling of prisoner pro se claims falls within the discretion of the Court and this matter will be scheduled for trial as soon as practicable (Uniform Rules for the Court of Claims [22 NYCRR] § 206.13). Further, claimant has failed to establish that he meets any of the criteria set forth in CPLR 3403 (a) and, thus he is not entitled to a trial preference. Claimant’s request for a trial date is therefore denied.[4]

Because there is no right to a jury trial in the Court of Claims (Court of Claims Act § 12 [3]; Graham v Stillman, 100 AD2d 893 [1984]), claimant’s motion for a jury trial is also denied.

Accordingly, Motion No. M-74782 and Motion No. M-74856 are both denied in their entirety.



July 23, 2008
Binghamton, New York

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


The following papers were read on claimant’s motions:

Motion No. M-74782
1) Notice of Motion filed on April 7, 2008; Affidavit of Willie Spirles sworn to on April 3, 2008, and attached affidavit.


2) Affirmation in Opposition of Roberto Barbosa, AAG, dated April 17, 2008.

3) Affidavit in Response of Willie Spirles sworn to on April 23, 2008, and attached exhibit and cover letter.

Motion No. M-74856

4) Demand for Jury Trial filed on April 24, 2008; Affidavit of Willie Spirles sworn to on

April 21, 2008.


5) Affirmation in Opposition of Roberto Barbosa, AAG, dated April 30, 2008.


6) Affidavit in Response of Willie Spirles sworn to on May 7, 2008.
Filed papers: Claim filed on August 24, 2007; Verified Answer filed on September 17, 2007; Amended Claim filed on September 27, 2007; Verified Answer to Amended Claim filed on October 25, 2007.


[1]. In the Verified Answer, defendant raised claimant’s failure to list each factual allegation in a separate paragraph. An amended claim which corrected that deficiency was thereafter filed and served.
[2]. In his reply, claimant accuses Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Roberto Barbosa being a “lier [sic]),” that is, making “a[n] out right ‘lie’ ” to the Court by stating that claimant had requested a trial date of April 3, 2008. Claimant incorrectly read AAG Barbosa’s affirmation which specifically states that he is responding “to claimant’s motion requesting a trial date dated April 3, 2008.” Clearly it is the motion which was dated April 3, 2008, not a requested trial date of April 3, 2008.
[3]. Claimant has already engaged in extensive motion practice pertaining to this claim. Claimant’s previous motions - for assignment of counsel (Motion No. M-73986), to amend the claim (Motion No. M-73985) and to compel disclosure (Motion No. M-74021) - were denied (Spirles v State of New York, Ct Cl, Dec. 3, 2007, Schaewe, J., Claim No. 114139, Motion Nos. M-73985, M-73986, M-74021 [UID # 2007-044-593]). His subsequent motions - to compel (Motion Nos. M-74163, M-74234), and for sanctions based upon defendant’s alleged spoliation of evidence (Motion No. M-74312) - were also denied (Spirles v State of New York, Ct Cl, Feb. 6, 2008, Schaewe, J., Claim No. 114139, Motion Nos. M-74110, M-74163, M-74234, M-74312 [UID # 2008-044-508]). Claimant’s motion to compel defendant to disclose several documents (Motion No. M-74110) was granted in part, and the remainder of that motion held in abeyance pending completion of an Inspector General’s report concerning claimant’s complaint related to the underlying use of force incident involved in this claim (id.). Claimant’s later motion for sanctions (Motion No. M-74357) was also denied (Spirles v State of New York, Ct Cl, Mar. 26, 2008, Schaewe, J., Claim No. 114139, Motion No. M-74357).
[4]. The Court notes that claimant has also attached an “affidavit ‘witness list’ ” in which he identifies several witnesses. Claimant is advised that his request for witnesses should be made in a formal motion for subpoenas, and that he has the burden of establishing that the testimony of the proposed witnesses is material and necessary (see Moley v State of New York, Ct Cl, May 25, 2006, Moriarty III, J., Claim No. 105084, Motion No. M-71335 [UID # 2006-037-011]; Smith v State of New York, Ct Cl, June 24, 2005, Lebous, J., Claim No. 101701-A, Motion Nos. M-70205, M-70206 [UID # 2005-019-544]).