New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SANTANA v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2009-033-332, Claim No. 115835, Motion No. M-75728


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2009-033-332
Claimant(s):
EMANUEL SANTANA
Claimant short name:
SANTANA
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
115835
Motion number(s):
M-75728
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
James J. Lack
Claimant’s attorney:
Emanuel Santana, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Attorney GeneralBy: Joan Matalavage, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
March 24, 2009
City:
Hauppauge
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

This is a claim for damages to Emanuel Santana (hereinafter “claimant”) as the result of the alleged wrongful confinement by defendant from May 21, 2008 to June 2, 2008, in the Special Housing Unit (hereinafter “SHU”) at Eastern Correctional Facility, Napanoch, New York.


Prior to answering the claim, defendant moves this Court to dismiss the claim on two grounds[1]. First, defendant argues the claim was not timely served and filed pursuant to Court of Claims Act §§ 10 and 11. Defendant also argues that the claim should be dismissed for claimant’s failure to verify the claim.

Claimant argues that he was required to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to serving and filing a notice of intention or a claim. Claimant also argues that the notice of intention was properly verified.

According to the defendant, claimant served the claim and notice of intention on September 12, 2008, beyond the 90 days required by the Court of Claims Act.[2] While the notice of intention is verified by claimant, the claim was unverified.

The requirements of the Court of Claims Act are jurisdictional in nature and must be strictly construed (Lurie v State of New York, 73 AD2d 1006, aff’d 52 NY2d 849). The purpose of these requirements is to give the State prompt notice of an occurrence and an opportunity to investigate the facts and prepare a defense. It is well settled that if the service and filing are not timely then the claim is subject to dismissal (Greenspan Bros. v State of New York, 122 AD2d 249). Court of Claims Act §10(3) states that the claim be filed and served or a notice of intention be served within 90 days of the date of accrual. If a notice of intention is served upon the Attorney General’s office then claimant must serve and file his claim within two (2) years of the date the claim accrued.

Court of Claims Act §10(9) is the only section which provides a requirement for an inmate to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing a claim. This section applies to damage or loss of an inmate’s personal property which is in the care of defendant. It is inapplicable to the current matter.

Claimant concedes that the date of his service upon defendant is beyond the 90 days required by the Court of Claims Act, if the date used is when he was released from SHU. The Court finds the claim was not properly verified. As previously noted, the requirements of the Court of Claims Act are to be strictly construed. Court of Claims Act §11 requires the verification of a claim.

Therefore, the Court grants defendant’s request to dismiss the claim for claimant’s failure to timely serve and file the claim and to properly verify the claim. Claimant may make an appropriate motion pursuant to Court of Claims Act §10(6).


March 24, 2009
Hauppauge, New York

HON. JAMES J. LACK
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1].The following papers have been read and considered on defendant’s motion: Notice of Motion to Dismiss dated October 15, 2008 and filed October 15, 2008; Affidavit in Support of Motion to Dismiss of Joan Matalavage, Esq. with annexed Exhibit A sworn to October 15, 2008 and filed October 15, 2008; Reply to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss of Emanuel Santana undated and filed October 29, 2008.
[2].The Court notes the claim was filed in the Clerk’s office on September 15, 2008.