New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
PARARA v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2010-015-167, Claim No. 113745, Motion No. M-78284


Pro se inmate's claim was dismissed due to improper service of claim by regular mail service.

Case information

UID: 2010-015-167
Claimant short name: PARARA
Footnote (claimant name) :
Footnote (defendant name) : The caption is amended sua sponte to reflect the only properly named defendant.
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 113745
Motion number(s): M-78284
Cross-motion number(s):
Claimant's attorney: Nathaniel Parara, Pro Se
No Appearance
Defendant's attorney: Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Joan Matalavage, Esquire
Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: July 22, 2010
City: Saratoga Springs
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)


Defendant moves for dismissal of the instant claim pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (2), (7) and (8) on the ground that the claim was not served in accordance with Court of Claims Act 11 (a) (I).

Claimant, an inmate proceeding pro se, was found guilty following a Tier III disciplinary hearing of possessing a $100.00 bill. The hearing disposition sheet attached to the filed claim reflects that the money was to be placed in the claimant's inmate account. Claimant alleges that the money was not placed in his inmate account, despite the hearing officer's directive. Claimant exhausted his administrative remedy on April 17, 2007 and filed the instant claim on May 24, 2007. Defendant contends in support of its dismissal motion that the claim was served by ordinary mail rather than either personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, as required. Improper service of the claim was raised as defendant's fourth and fifth defenses in its answer to the claim.

Court of Claims Act 11(a) (i) requires that the claim be filed with the clerk of the court and that "a copy shall be served personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, upon the attorney general . . ." "Because suits against the State are allowed only by the State's waiver of sovereign immunity and in derogation of the common law, statutory requirements conditioning suit must be strictly construed" (Dreger v New York State Thruway Auth., 81 NY2d 721 [1992]; Femminella v State of New York, 71 AD3d 1319 [2010] [service of notice of intention by Federal Express failed to satisfy the literal notice requirements of Court of Claims Act 11]). Service of the claim by ordinary mail is therefore improper (Fulton v State of New York, 35 AD3d 977 [2006], lv denied 8 NY3d 809 [2007]; Govan v State of New York, 301 AD2d 757 [2003], lv denied 99 NY2d 510 [2003]; Thompson v State of New York, 286 AD2d 831 [2001]). Defendant established through submission of a copy of the envelope in which the claim was mailed that it was served upon the Attorney General's Office by ordinary mail. Defendant having raised its objection to the manner of service as its fourth and fifth defenses in the answer (Court of Claims Act 11 [c] [ii]), dismissal of the claim is required.

Accordingly, the defendant's motion is granted and the claim is dismissed.

July 22, 2010

Saratoga Springs, New York


Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:

  1. Notice of motion dated May 18, 2010;
  2. Affidavit of Joan Matalavage sworn to May 18, 2010 with exhibit.