New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MITCHELL v. JOAN GLEASON, #2009-032-106, Claim No. 115970, Motion No. M-75903


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:
Edward Mitchell, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo, NYS Attorney GeneralBy: Thomas R. Monjeau, Assistant Attorney General, Of Counsel
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
February 10, 2009

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


The named defendant in this action is Joan Gleason, who apparently held claimant’s Power of Attorney at one time. Claimant alleges that on July 2, 2008, Gleason received a check in the amount of $10,993.89, intended for claimant. She was supposed to establish a trust fund or business fund for claimant to use following his release from prison. On July 28, 2008, Gleason wrote to claimant stating that the bank “took the whole thing.” Claimant further alleges that she told him in a subsequent letter that she had known that was going to happen when she deposited the money. The claim contains no other background information about the transaction, but from the notice of intention and other exhibits attached to the claim, it appears that the money in question was claimant’s portion of settlement proceeds from an earlier lawsuit.

Defendant has moved for an order dismissing this claim on the ground that the Court of Claims does not have jurisdiction to hear the action. In his letter response to the motion, claimant acknowledges that he is not suing the State of New York and that the State is not a defendant in the claim. He is attempting, he states, “to hold Ms. Gleason (defendant) responsible for embezzling me out of $10,993.89 and to have her repay said funds.”

Although claimant says he believes that the Court of Claims “does have the power to allow this claim to proceed,” such is not the case. Pursuant to Article VI, section 9 of the New York State Constitution, the Court of Claims “shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine claims against the state or by the state against the claimant or between conflicting claimants as the legislature may provide.” Section 9 of the Court of Claims Act contains the Legislature’s provisions regarding this Court’s jurisdiction, which encompass claims against the State and claims the State may have against a claimant. There is no authority for this Court to decide actions between private individuals, such as claimant and Ms. Gleason.

Defendant’s motion is granted, and Claim No. 115970 is dismissed.

February 10, 2009
Albany, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The following papers were read on defendant’s motion for an order of dismissal:

1. Notice of Motion and Supporting Affirmation of Thomas R. Monjeau, AAG, with annexed Exhibits;

2. Letter response of Edward Mitchell, pro se.

Filed papers: Claim, Answer