New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
DARBASIE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2010-009-017, Claim No. 117941, Motion No. M-77904


Defendant's motion to dismiss the claim based upon a failure to state a cause of action was denied. In this claim, claimant alleges that he incurred unnecessary costs when he was transferred from a handicapped accessible facility to a non-handicapped accessible facility.

Case information

UID: 2010-009-017
Claimant short name: DARBASIE
Footnote (claimant name) :
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 117941
Motion number(s): M-77904
Cross-motion number(s):
Claimant's attorney: STEVE DARBASIE, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: HON. ANDREW M. CUOMO
Attorney General
BY: Thomas M. Trace, Esq.,
Senior Attorney
Of Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: June 21, 2010
City: Syracuse
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)


Defendant has brought this motion seeking an order dismissing the claim based upon a failure to state a cause of action.

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with this motion:

Notice of Pre-Answer Motion, Attorney Affirmation in Support, with Exhibit 1,2

Notice of Motion to Dismiss Defense, Affidavit in Support, with Exhibits 3,4(1)

In this claim, claimant seeks reimbursement for the cost of shipping two bags of his personal property from Oneida Correctional Facility (Oneida) to Marcy Correctional Facility (Marcy), as a result of his transfer to Marcy from Oneida on August 25, 2009. The amount of this claim, including certain photocopies for which claimant was charged, totals $44.59.

As set forth in his claim, claimant was first transferred from Marcy to Oneida on July 12, 2009, and was transferred back to Marcy on August 25, 2009. Claimant alleges that the original transfer to Oneida should not have occurred, since he is handicapped and Oneida was not a proper facility (i.e., it was not a "flat" facility) in which he could be housed. As a result, it was necessary for prison officials to arrange for his transfer back to Marcy in August 2009.

Defendant contends that the decision to transfer claimant from Marcy to Oneida was a discretionary, administrative decision, and that the Court of Claims does not have jurisdiction to review the discretionary decisions of State agencies (Bertoldi v State of New York, 164 Misc 2d 581; Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212).

Pursuant to Correction Law 23, the Commissioner of Correction has almost unbridled authority to transfer inmates from one facility to another, and an inmate does not have standing to choose the facility in which he is to be confined. Such decisions are clearly administrative matters (Matter of Johnson v Ward, 64 AD2d 186).

In this claim, however, claimant is not challenging the right or the authority of the Commissioner of Correction to transfer him. Rather, claimant has alleged that he needlessly incurred costs resulting from the decision to transfer him made in violation of rules, regulations and directives adopted by the Commissioner.(2) Correction Law  23 (1) specifically provides that any transfers of inmates "shall be in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the department for the safe delivery of such inmates to the designated facility."

Based on the foregoing, this Court finds that it does have jurisdiction to hear and determine the claim asserted by claimant, and that the allegations set forth in the claim are sufficient to state a cause of action against the State.

Therefore, it is

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-77904 is hereby DENIED.

June 21, 2010

Syracuse, New York


Judge of the Court of Claims

1. Although framed in the manner of a motion or cross-motion, claimant's papers have been considered by the Court as a response to defendant's motion to dismiss.

2. Although not necessarily controlling, it is interesting to note that Oneida Correctional Facility approved an administrative claim in the amount of $59.26 filed by claimant for the costs of mailing his personal property from Marcy Correctional Facility to Oneida Correctional Facility.