New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WILSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2009-015-176, Claim No. None, Motion No. M-76277


Motion to file late claim arising out of administratively imposted term of postrelease supervision was denied where proposed claim failed to allege that term of PRS was vacated.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant’s attorney:
Muscato, Bogulski & Shatkin, LLPMarc Shatkin, Esquire
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Michael T. Krenrich, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
May 27, 2009
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Movant requests an order permitting the service and filing of a late claim pursuant to Court of Claims Act § 11. As the statutory authority for granting late claim relief is found in Court of Claims Act § 10 (6), not § 11, the Court will treat the motion as though it was made pursuant to Court of Claims Act § 10 (6). [1] The proposed claim alleges that on March 28, 2000 the movant was sentenced to two four-year determinate prison terms running concurrently without any period of postrelease supervision (PRS). Notwithstanding the failure of the sentencing Court to impose a period of PRS, the movant alleges that the State, presumably through its Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), administratively imposed a five-year period of postrelease supervision after the expiration of his lawful maximum sentence on May 23, 2003 (see Exhibit "A" to the reply affirmation of Marc Shatkin dated March 11, 2009, proposed claim,¶ 8).

Two causes of action are alleged. The first is a cause of action for false imprisonment for the periods during which the movant was imprisoned for violations of the improperly imposed period of PRS (May 21, 2004 through May 23, 2005 and again from December 18, 2006 through December 19, 2007). The second cause of action seeks damages for the periods during which movant was not imprisoned but subject to PRS nonetheless:
"From approximately May 2003 to May 2004, May 2005 to December 2006 and December 2007 to May 26, 2008, SHAWN WILSON was improperly and illegally compelled to report to parole (PRS) under illegal and unconstitutional conditions without authority to supervise him, a de facto confinement and was forced to abide by restrictions upon his State and Federal constitutionally protected freedoms all to his damage" (claimant's Exhibit A annexed to reply affirmation dated March 11, 2009).

The proposed claim does not allege that the movant sought review of the administrative imposition of PRS by way of a proceeding pursuant to either article 70 or 78 in the Supreme Court. Nor is there any allegation that the movant was resentenced without the imposition of the PRS term pursuant to Correction Law § 601-d. Rather, movant's counsel asserts that movant served the entire PRS term improperly imposed upon him (see reply affirmation of Marc Shatkin dated March 11, 2009, ¶ 7).

The first issue for determination is whether or not this court has subject matter jurisdiction to entertain a damages claim arising out of the administrative imposition of a term of PRS which remains undisturbed. The law is clear that "[a]s a court of limited jurisdiction, the Court of Claims has no jurisdiction to grant strictly equitable relief" (Madura v State of New York, 12 AD3d 759, 760 [2004], lv denied 4 NY3d 704 [2005], citing Ozanam Hall of Queens Nursing Home v State of New York, 241 AD2d 670, 671 [1997] and Psaty v Duryea, 306 NY 413 [1954]). The threshold question in determining the subject matter of the Court of Claims is "[w]hether the essential nature of the claim is to recover money, or whether the monetary relief is incidental to the primary claim" (Matter of Gross v Perales, 72 NY2d 231, 236 [1988]; see also Guy v State of New York, 18 AD3d 936 [2005]). "The second inquiry, regardless of how a claimant categorizes a claim, is whether the claim would require review of an administrative agency's determination – which the Court of Claims has no subject matter jurisdiction to entertain . . . " (City of New York v State of New York, 46 AD3d 1168, 1169 [2007], lv denied 10 NY3d 705 [2008]; citing Hoffman v State of New York, 42 AD3d 641, 642 [2007] and Matter of Scherbyn v Wayne-Finger Lakes Bd. of Coop. Educ. Servs., 77 NY2d 753, 757 [1991]; see also Matter of Salahuddin v Connell, 53 AD3d 898 [2008]; Sidoti v State of New York, 115 AD2d 202, 203 [1985]; Schaffer v Evans, 86 AD2d 708, 709 [1982], affd 57 NY2d 992 [1982]). Here, it is clear that although the proposed claim seeks only monetary damages, it would require review of an administrative determination which this Court has no jurisdiction to entertain. It is settled that "an administrative agency's determination may be reviewed only in the context of a CPLR article 78 proceeding commenced in Supreme Court, and not in an action brought in the Court of Claims" (Buonanotte v New York State Off. of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Servs., 60 AD3d 1142 [2009]). Whether a body or officer proceeded in excess of jurisdiction is a question reviewable in a proceeding pursuant to CPLR 7803 [2]. In fact, this was the procedural vehicle utilized by the petitioner in Matter of Garner v New York State Dept. of Correctional Servs., 10 NY3d 358 [2008], the primary case relied upon to support the movant's proposed claim in the Court of Claims. In Garner, the Court of Appeals held that a term of PRS "is not automatically included in the pronouncement of a determinate sentence, and thus a defendant has a statutory right to have that punishment imposed by the sentencing judge" (Id. at 363).[2] Here, movant could have similarly sought to prohibit DOCS from imposing PRS in a proceeding pursuant to CPLR 7803 [2] but failed to do so.

Subsequent to the Court of Appeals decision in Garner, many individuals imprisoned for parole violations relating to an improperly imposed term of PRS have been released following a proceeding for a writ of habeas corpus under CPLR article 70 (see e.g. People ex rel. Foote v Piscotti, 51 AD3d 1407 [2008]; People ex rel. Pamblanco v Warden, Rikers Island Correctional Facility, 22 Misc 3d 776 [2008]; People v Washington, 21 Misc 3d 349 [2008]). Likewise, the movant in the instant matter was allegedly imprisoned for parole violations and could have sought release in a proceeding under article 70 but failed to do so. Movant may not now be permitted to collaterally attack the administrative imposition of a term of PRS under the guise of a claim for money damages (see e.g. Lublin v State of New York, 135 Misc 2d 419, 420 [1987], affd 135 AD2d 1155 [1987], lv denied 71 NY2d 802 [1988]).

As the proposed claim would require review of an administrative agency's determination, the Court of Claims lacks jurisdiction to hear the claim. Accordingly, movant's application for an order granting late claim relief is denied.

May 27, 2009
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated February 9, 2009;
  2. Affirmation of Marc Shatkin dated February 11, 2009 with exhibit;
  3. Affidavit of Shawn Wilson sworn to February 9, 2009;
  4. Affirmation of Michael T. Krenrich dated February 23, 2009;
  5. Responding affirmation of Marc Shatkin dated March 11, 2009 with exhibits.

[1]. Movant requested permission to file a late Notice of Intention to file a claim in his notice of motion.
[2]. Decided the same day as Garner, People v Sparber (10 NY3d 457 [2008]) rejected the argument that expungement is the proper remedy for a term of PRS imposed by DOCS. Rather, the Court stated that "[t]he sole remedy for a procedural error such as this is to vacate the sentence and remit for a resentencing hearing so that the trial judge can make the required pronouncement . . ." (10 NY3d at 471).