New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SCHUTT v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2009-040-017, Claim No. 113045, Motion No. M-75862


Synopsis


Motion for poor person status and assignment of counsel denied.

Case Information

UID:
2009-040-017
Claimant(s):
MAJA SCHUTT
Claimant short name:
SCHUTT
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
113045
Motion number(s):
M-75862
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
CHRISTOPHER J. MCCARTHY
Claimant’s attorney:
Maja Schutt, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
ANDREW M. CUOMO
Attorney General of the State of New YorkBy: Kimberly A. Kinirons, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
January 23, 2009
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

For the reasons set forth below, Claimant’s motion seeking poor person status and assignment of counsel is denied.

Claimant, Maja Schutt, appearing pro se, seeks leave to proceed as a poor person and for assignment of counsel pursuant to CPLR § 1101(a). The Claim was filed in the office of the Clerk of the Court on November 27, 2006 and alleges that Claimant was an international student at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (hereinafter SUNY Stony Brook) and that certain SUNY Stony Brook employees were negligent in assisting Claimant in completing certain forms for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding her eligibility for employment and inadequately counseling her in May 2006. As a result of the allegedly improperly completed documents, Claimant allegedly lost two employment opportunities.

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, Suffolk County, since that is where the alleged acts occurred. Claimant has failed to establish that she served a copy of this motion upon the Suffolk County Attorney. Thus, pursuant to CPLR § 1101(c), her 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]).

Further, even assuming compliance with CPLR § 1101(c), the motion would still be denied. The assignment of counsel in civil matters is discretionary and is generally denied except in cases involving loss of liberty or grievous forfeiture (Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433 [1975]; Wills v City of Troy, 258 AD2d 849 [3d Dept 1999], lv dismissed 93 NY2d 1000 [1999]; Brabham v State of New York, 13 Misc 3d 1222[A] [Ct Cl 2006]; 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], supra; Jabbar v State of New York, Ct Cl, Claim No. 112376, Motion Nos. M-72082, M- M-72223, October 20, 2006, Schaewe, J. [UID No. 2006-044-504], supra). Here, Claimant has failed to establish that the Claim is of sufficient complexity or that it involves such fundamental rights that the Court would be justified in exercising its discretion to appoint an attorney to appear without compensation (see Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433, supra; Wills v City of Troy, 258 AD2d 849, supra).

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


January 23, 2009
Albany, New York

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


The following papers were read on Claimant’s motion for poor person status and assignment of counsel:

Papers Numbered

Motion 1


Affirmation in Opposition
& Exhibits attached 2


Reply Affidavit
& Exhibit attached 3


Filed Papers: Claim, Answer