New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JACKSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2009-041-047, Claim No. 117429, Motion No. M-77288


Synopsis


Claimant’s motion for appointment of counsel in bailment action is denied.

Case Information

UID:
2009-041-047
Claimant(s):
KEYRON JACKSON
Claimant short name:
JACKSON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
117429
Motion number(s):
M-77288
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANK P. MILANO
Claimant’s attorney:
KEYRON JACKSONPro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
None
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
December 9, 2009
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision


Claimant moves for an order appointing counsel to represent him without payment of any fee in this action sounding in bailment. Claimant’s motion is denied.

While it is “clear that private litigants have no absolute right to assigned counsel, it also recognized that courts have discretion to provide uncompensated representation for indigent civil litigants in a proper case” (Wills v City of Troy, 258 AD2d 849 [3d Dept 1999]; see CPLR 1102 [a]). A proper case may include proceedings where “there is the danger of grievous forfeiture or the deprivation of a fundamental liberty right” (Morgenthau v Garcia, 148 Misc 2d 900, 903 [Sup Ct, NY County 1990]).

In a civil action “there is no absolute right to assigned counsel; whether in a particular case counsel shall be assigned lies instead in the discretion of the court” Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433, 438 [1975]; Planck v County of Schenectady, 51 AD3d 1283 [3d Dept 2008]).

This is not a proper case for appointment of counsel since claimant apparently seeks money damages for the alleged loss of certain personal property during a transfer of claimant and his belongings from Clinton Correctional Facility to Southport Correctional Facility. There is no “danger of grievous forfeiture or the deprivation of a fundamental liberty right” (148 Misc 2d at 903).

Claimant’s motion for an order appointing counsel to represent him without payment of any fee in this bailment action is denied.


December 9, 2009
Albany, New York

HON. FRANK P. MILANO
Judge of the Court of Claims


Papers Considered:

  1. Notice of Motion to Proceed as a Poor Person, filed September 21, 2009;
  2. Claimant’s Affidavit, sworn to September 2, 2009 and attached exhibits.
  3. Clinton County Attorney letter, dated October 21, 2009.