New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

YOUNG v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2009-040-013, Claim No. 115517, Motion Nos. M-75434, M-75437, M-75554


Synopsis


Motion for poor person status and assignment of counsel denied. Motion for TRO and injunction denied. Motion to strike affirmative defenses denied.

Case Information

UID:
2009-040-013
Claimant(s):
CEDRIC YOUNG
1 1.Caption amended to reflect the State of New York as the proper defendant.
Claimant short name:
YOUNG
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Caption amended to reflect the State of New York as the proper defendant.
Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
115517
Motion number(s):
M-75434, M-75437, M-75554
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
CHRISTOPHER J. MCCARTHY
Claimant’s attorney:
Cedric Young, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
ANDREW M. CUOMO
Attorney General of the State of New YorkBy: Thomas R. Monjeau, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
January 22, 2009
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

For the reasons set forth below, Claimant’s Motion Nos. M-75434, M-75437and M-75554 are denied. The Claim, which was filed with the Clerk on July 14, 2008, asserts that Claimant’s Federal and State Constitutional rights were violated at four parole board hearings because, inter alia, the parole board members (1) relied upon false information; (2) penalized Claimant for not speaking about his crime at the hearing; and (3) penalized Claimant for not showing remorse for his crime; to deny Claimant parole.

By Motion No. M-75434, Claimant seeks leave to proceed as a poor person and for assignment of counsel pursuant to CPLR § 1101(a). Pursuant to CPLR § 1101(c), if an action has been commenced, notice of a poor person motion shall be served on all parties and shall also be given to the county attorney in the county in which the action is triable. Notice to the county attorney is a significant requirement because certain costs may be a county charge (see CPLR 1102; Hines v State of New York, Ct Cl, Claim No. 110624, Motion No. M-69991, June 21, 2005, Sise, P.J. [UID No. 2005-028-534]; Jabbar v State of New York, Ct Cl, Claim No. 112376, Motion Nos. M-72082, M-72223, October 20, 2006, Schaewe, J. [UID No. 2006-044-504]. The action is triable in the county where the claim accrued, in this case, Albany County, since that is where the main office of the Division of Parole is located. Claimant has failed to establish that he served a copy of this motion upon the Albany County Attorney. Thus, pursuant to CPLR § 1101(c), his motion is defective and must be denied on those grounds (Sebastiano v State of New York, 92 AD2d 966 [3d Dept 1983]; Harris v State of New York, 100 Misc 2d 1015, 1016 [Ct Cl 1979]).

Therefore, based upon the foregoing, Claimant’s request to be granted poor person status and assignment of counsel is denied.

By Motion No. M-75437, Claimant asks the Court to issue a temporary restraining order and/or an injunction. “As 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 [3d Dept 2004], lv denied 4 NY3d 704 [2005], citing to Ozanam Hall of Queens Nursing Home v State of New York, 241 AD2d 670, 671 [3d Dept 1997]; Psaty v Duryea, 306 NY 413, 416 [1954]). Consequently, this Court is without power to issue an injunction (Matter of Milner v New York State Higher Educ. Servs. Corp., 4 Misc 3d 221, 225 [Ct Cl 2004], affd 24 AD3d 977 [3d Dept 2005]). The motion must be denied.

The Court now turns to Motion No. M-75554, wherein Claimant seeks to strike the affirmative defenses raised in the State’s Answer, pursuant to CPLR 3211(b). The State’s Answer to the Claim, which was filed on August 1, 2008, denies knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to some of the allegations contained in the Claim and denies the remainder. The State also asserts six affirmative defenses in its Answer.

In his affidavit in support of the motion, Claimant asserts that there are no defenses to the cause of action alleged in his Claim and that the defenses pleaded in the State’s Answer lack merit.

A motion to dismiss defenses may be made on the ground that a defense is not stated or has no merit (CPLR 3211[b]). “[A]n affirmative defense should not be dismissed if there is any doubt as to its availability “ (Thy Tran v Avis Rent A Car, 289 AD2d 731, 732 [3d Dept 2001]; see Nahrebeski v Molnar, 286 AD2d 891 [4th Dept 2001]). “It is well settled that [o]n amotion to dismiss a defense pursuant to CPLR 3211(b), all of defendant’s allegations must be deemed to be true and defendant is entitled to all reasonable inferences to be drawn from the submitted proof” (Capital Tel. Co. v Motorola Communications and Elecs., 208 AD2d 1150, 1150 [3d Dept 1994], quoting Grunder v Recckio, 138 AD2d 923 [4th Dept 1988]). Moreover, the movant “[bears] the burden of demonstrating that those defenses [are] without merit as a matter of law” (Vita v New York Waste Services, LLC, 34 AD3d 559, 559 [2d Dept 2006]; see Suarez v State of New York, 14 Misc 3d 1230[A] [Ct Cl 2006]).

The first affirmative defense asserts that Claimant’s damages were caused by his own culpable conduct. If proven, Claimant’s culpable conduct would negate, or at least limit, Defendant’s liability. Accordingly, this defense must stand pending a factual determination of the issue.

The second affirmative defense asserts that the Claim fails to state a cause of action against the Defendant. If proven, this defense would result in the Claim’s dismissal. Accordingly, this defense must stand pending a determination of the issue.

The third affirmative defense asserts that the Claim is barred by the statute of limitations. If proven, this defense would result in the Claim’s dismissal. Accordingly, this defense must stand pending a factual determination of the issue.

The fourth affirmative defense asserts that the Claim is barred by Correction Law Section 24. If proven, this defense would result in the Claim’s dismissal. Accordingly, this defense must stand pending a factual determination of the issue.

The fifth affirmative defense asserts that the actions of the Defendant are justified and based upon probable cause. Again, if proven, this defense would result in the Claim’s dismissal. Accordingly, this defense must stand pending a factual determination of the issue.

The sixth affirmative defense asserts that to the extent the Claim alleges civil rights violations, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the Claim as the Claim fails to state a cause of action against the State of New York. This defense must stand pending a factual determination of the issue of whether Claimant is alleging a violation of his Federal or State civil rights. The Court has no jurisdiction over alleged violations of Federal civil rights, but does if Claimant is asserting a violation of his State civil rights.

As set forth above, Claimant’s motion to strike affirmative defenses is denied.


January 22, 2009
Albany, New York

HON. CHRISTOPHER J. MCCARTHY
Judge of the Court of Claims


The following papers were read on Claimant’s motions:

Papers Numbered


Motion No. M-75434


Notice of Motion, Affidavit in Support
& documents attached 1

Affirmation in Opposition 2

Letter Reply of Claimant & documents attached 3


Motion No. M-75437


Notice of Motion, Affidavit in Support
& Exhibits attached 4

Affirmation in Opposition 5


Letter Reply of Claimant & documents attached (#3 above)



Motion No. M-75554


Notice of Motion, Affidavit in Support
& Exhibits attached 6

Affirmation in Opposition 7


Letter Reply of Claimant & documents attached (#3 above)



Filed Papers; Claim, Answer