New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

POWELL v. CORRECTIONAL MEDICAL CARE,


CMC STAFFING MEMBERS, #2009-040-019, Claim No. 115918, Motion No. M-75835


Synopsis


Claim dismissed as Court lacks jurisdiction over named Defendants.

Case Information

UID:
2009-040-019
Claimant(s):
JABBAR K. POWELL
Claimant short name:
POWELL
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
CORRECTIONAL MEDICAL CARE,CMC STAFFING MEMBERS
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
115918
Motion number(s):
M-75835
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
CHRISTOPHER J. MCCARTHY
Claimant’s attorney:
Jabbar K. Powell, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
ANDREW M. CUOMO
Attorney General of the State of New YorkBy: Stephen J. Maher, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
January 26, 2009
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

For the reasons set forth below, the State’s pre-answer motion to dismiss pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(2) on the ground that the Court lacks jurisdiction over the Claim is granted. The remainder of the motion is denied as moot.

The Claim, which was filed by the Claimant pro se with the Clerk of the Court on October 6, 2008, alleges that, from April 30, 2008 and continuing through July 28, 2008, Claimant was denied physical therapy and proper medical care for a shoulder injury he had sustained. Claimant asserts that these actions took place at the Schenectady County Correctional Facility by Correctional Medical Care employees (see Claim, ¶ 3).

The State seeks dismissal, contending that the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear this Claim since neither the County of Schenectady nor Correctional Medical Care is a proper party in the Court of Claims. Claimant has submitted no opposition to the State’s motion.

The Court's function on a motion to dismiss is to determine whether the Claimant possesses a cause of action, not simply whether he has stated one. In addition, “the pleading is to be afforded a liberal construction . . . We accept the facts as alleged in the [Claim] as true, accord [Claimant] the benefit of every possible favorable inference, and determine only whether the facts as alleged fit within any cognizable legal theory [citations omitted].” (Leon v Martinez, 84 NY2d 83, 87-88 [1994]).

At the same time, the Court of Claims is a court of limited jurisdiction with power to hear claims against the State and certain public authorities. (NY Const Art VI; Court of Claims Act § 9).

A sheriff and his staff are local employees not State officers within the jurisdiction of this Court (Williams v State of New York, 90 AD2d 861 [3d Dept 1982]; Fonfa v State of New York, 88 Misc 2d 343, 348 [Ct Cl 1976]; Bradford v State of New York, Claim No. 100251, Motion Nos. M-61031, CM-61078, March 2, 2000, Collins, J. [UID No. 2000-015-007]). Likewise, this Court does not have jurisdiction over employees of Correctional Medical Care.

The State’s pre-answer motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction is, therefore, granted and the Claim is hereby dismissed.


January 26, 2009
Albany, New York

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


The following papers were read and considered by the Court on the State’s motion to dismiss:

Papers Numbered


Notice of Motion, Affirmation in Support
and Exhibits Attached 1


Filed Papers: Claim