New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ZAID v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK and THE ADMINISTRATION OF CHILD SERVICES, #2009-047-003, Claim No. 116401, Motion No. M-76593


Synopsis


In a proceeding to recover damages for personal injuries allegedly sustained as the result of a motor vehicle accident, the defendant State of New York’s motion to dismiss the claim against it for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is granted and the claim is dismissed as the offending vehicle was owned by the City of Syracuse which is a separate legal entity from the State of New York and there is no legal authority subjecting the City of Syracuse to the jurisdiction of this Court.

Case Information

UID:
2009-047-003
Claimant(s):
MOHAMED ZAID and AHMED SALEH
Claimant short name:
ZAID
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK and THE ADMINISTRATION OF CHILD SERVICES
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
116401
Motion number(s):
M-76593
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
O. PETER SHERWOOD
Claimant’s attorney:
HARMON & LINDERBy: Mark J. Linder, Esq.
Defendant’s attorney:
ANDREW M. CUOMO, ATTORNEY GENERAL
By: Gwendolyn Hatcher, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
June 24, 2009
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant State of New York moves for an order pursuant to CPLR §§ 3211 and/or 3212 and Court of Claims Act §§ 10 and 11 dismissing the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

The following papers were considered by the Court on defendant’s motion to dismiss the claim for lack of jurisdiction: Notice of Motion, dated April 7, 2009 and filed April 9, 2009, and Affirmation in Support of Gwendolyn Hatcher, Assistant Attorney General, dated April 7, 2009, with annexed Exhibits A and B. Claimant submitted no opposition papers.

On November 14, 2008, at approximately 1:00 a.m., the claimant Mohamed Zaid (“claimant”) was injured when a motor vehicle he was operating, which is owned by claimant Ahmed Saleh, was struck by a vehicle owned by the City of Syracuse and operated by Herta Oliva-Taylor, alleged in the claim to be an employee of the Administration of Child Services, the State of New York and the City of Syracuse. The claimant thereafter brought this action against the State of New York (“the State”) and the Administration of Child Services (collectively “defendants”) alleging that the accident was caused by defendants’ negligence.[1]

In her affirmation in support of the instant motion to dismiss, Assistant Attorney General Gwendolyn Hatcher asserts that the motor vehicle identified in the claim as being responsible for the accident at issue was owned by the City of Syracuse. A copy of a computer printout from the registration records of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is annexed to Ms. Hatcher’s affirmation as Exhibit “B” and supports her contention. Ms. Hatcher contends that the State of New York (“the State”) and the City of Syracuse are distinct legal entities and that the defendant Administration of Child Services is not a State agency. Thus, the accident-causing vehicle is not owned by the State and there are no other facts asserted in the claim that implicate the State or its employees.

The jurisdiction of the Court of Claims is limited to that prescribed by statute (see, Court of Claims Act § 9). There is no statutory authority subjecting the City of Syracuse to the jurisdiction of this Court. Therefore, the Court of Claims lacks subject matter jurisdiction to entertain the claims asserted in this action (see, Torres v State of New York, Ct Cl, Read, J., UID # 2001-001-036).

For the foregoing reasons, it is ORDERED that claim no. 116401 is dismissed.














June 24, 2009
New York, New York

HON. O. PETER SHERWOOD
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1].By Order of the Court, dated April 20, 2009, this claim was transferred pursuant to Rule 206.3 of the Uniform Rules for the Court of Claims (22 NYCRR) from the calendar of the Honorable S. Michael Nadel to the calendar of the undersigned.