New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

McKINLEY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-044-582, Claim No. 109414, Motion No. M-74733


Synopsis


Claimant’s motion for reargument denied.

Case Information

UID:
2008-044-582
Claimant(s):
SINCERE McKINLEY
Claimant short name:
McKINLEY
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
109414
Motion number(s):
M-74733
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
CATHERINE C. SCHAEWE
Claimant’s attorney:
SINCERE McKINLEY, pro se
Defendant’s attorney:
HON. ANDREW M. CUOMO, ATTORNEY GENERALBY: Edward F. McArdle, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
September 29, 2008
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate proceeding pro se, filed Claim No. 109414 alleging that he was wrongfully confined in the Special Housing Unit as a result of a disciplinary hearing commenced on March 5, 2004 at Elmira Correctional Facility. Defendant answered and asserted several affirmative defenses, including that the State is entitled to absolute immunity when engaging in the quasi-judicial conduct of an inmate disciplinary proceeding. The Court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the claim (McKinley v State of New York, Ct Cl, Feb. 4, 2008, Claim No. 109414, Motion No. M-74139 [UID # 2008-044-506]). Claimant now moves for reargument. Defendant opposes the motion.

Claimant argues that the Court misapplied the controlling law when it treated the papers submitted by defendant on its prior motion for summary judgment as “documentary evidence.” Claimant contends that defendant violated its own rules and regulations concerning his disciplinary hearing because the Hearing Officer had allegedly predetermined claimant’s guilt and refused to call witnesses that he requested.[1]

Defendant argues that the Decision and Order granting summary judgment and dismissing the claim was appropriate, and that claimant has failed to establish that the Court either overlooked any facts or misapplied the law.

Defendant’s position is correct. On the prior motion, defendant submitted, among other documents, copies of the misbehavior report, the hearing record, the Superintendent’s Hearing Disposition, the administrative affirmance, the witness interview notice, and most importantly, the hearing transcript. These documents comprised the complete record of the entire disciplinary proceeding against claimant, and were necessary submissions in order for the Court to determine whether defendant violated any of its rules or regulations. The Court found, contrary to claimant’s allegations, that when the Hearing Officer declined to call four administrative officials requested by claimant to be witnesses, he appropriately indicated his reasons in writing as required by 7 NYCRR 254.5 (a).[2] The Court also determined that the record was devoid of any evidence that the Hearing Officer was biased.

Claimant has not established that the Court misapprehended any relevant facts or misapplied any controlling principle of law. Because a motion for leave to reargue is not designed to afford an unsuccessful party another opportunity to reargue issues previously decided (see e.g. Foley v Roche, 68 AD2d 558, 567-568 [1979]), reargument is not available in this case. Accordingly, claimant’s motion is denied (CPLR 2221[d] [2]; see generally Foley v Roche, supra).




September 29, 2008
Binghamton, New York

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


The following papers were read on claimant’s motion:

1) Notice of Motion filed on March 31, 2008; Affidavit of Sincere McKinley sworn to on March 25, 2008.

2) Affirmation in Opposition of Edward F. McArdle, Assistant Attorney General, dated June 30, 2008, and attached Exhibit A.


Filed papers: Claim filed on May 28, 2004; Verified Answer filed on June 25, 2004.


[1]. Claimant also asserts that a statement made in his letter to Correction Officer (CO) Connors was misinterpreted, and constituted neither a threat nor harassment. However, this argument addresses the merits of the disciplinary hearing, in essence challenging the determination as lacking substantial evidence. Whether the record contains substantial evidence to support the determination is an argument appropriately raised in a CPLR article 78 proceeding, rather than in this forum (see CPLR 7803 [4]; see generally Matter of Crosby v Goord, 38 AD3d 1110 [2007]; Matter of Alamin v New York State Dept. of Correctional Servs., 253 AD2d 948 [1998]; McKinley v State of New York, Ct Cl, Apr. 4, 2003, Scuccimarra, J., Claim No. 105470 [UID # 2003-030-014]).
[2]. The Hearing Officer did allow CO Connors to testify, as requested by claimant.