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
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
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). 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.