New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

POWELL v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2009-040-020, Claim No. 115350, Motion No. M-75833


Synopsis


Claim dismissed as Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.

Case Information

UID:
2009-040-020
Claimant(s):
JABBAR K. POWELL
Claimant short name:
POWELL
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
115350
Motion number(s):
M-75833
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 Claimant pro se with the Clerk of the Court on June 9, 2008, alleges that, on March 15, 2008, Claimant was: arrested by a named Schenectady Police Officer; placed in a police car and transported to the police station; and pulled up and out of the vehicle by the officer as Claimant was attempting to exit the vehicle, as directed by the officer, upon their arrival at the police station. Claimant further alleges he then felt a “pop” in his left shoulder, which then began to burn and throb. Claimant asserts that he sustained a torn rotator cuff of the left shoulder.

The State seeks dismissal contending that this Court lacks jurisdiction to hear this Claim since neither the City nor County of Schenectady 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). City or County police officers or sheriff’s deputies 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]).

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