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