New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
LORENZANO v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2010-016-036, Claim No. 117699, 117779, Motion Nos. M-77978, M-78004, Cross-Motion No. CM-78151


Claims based on alleged actions of the Bronx County District Attorney's Office were dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Case information

UID: 2010-016-036
Claimant short name: LORENZANO
Footnote (claimant name) :
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 117699, 117779
Motion number(s): M-77978, M-78004
Cross-motion number(s): CM-78151
Judge: Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney: Victor Lorenzano, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Gwendolyn Hatcher, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: June 1, 2010
City: New York
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)


In these two claims, which are identical, claimant Victor Lorenzano alleges that when he was arrested in 2003, five thousand dollars in cash was removed from him by the "police" -- apparently the New York City Police Department. Mr. Lorenzano further alleges that at his arraignment, the court directed that the money be returned to him immediately, and that he has "waited patiently for over six years for the Bronx County District Attorney's Office to return the $5,000.00 to . . . no avail."

In motion no. M-77978, defendant moves to dismiss claim no. 117779 on the grounds that: (1) it was untimely served; (2) it was improperly served by regular mail(1) ; and (3) this Court lacks jurisdiction over claims based on acts or omissions that can be imputed to the City of New York or the District Attorney's Office. In motion no. M-78004, claimant moved for a default judgment with respect to claim no. 117699 on the ground that defendant failed to answer such claim; claimant later withdrew such motion, apparently in response to defendant's assertions that while it was served with claim no. 117779, it was not served with claim no. 117699.(2) In cross-motion no. CM-78151, defendant moves to dismiss claim no. 117699 on the grounds that: (1) it was not served on defendant; (2) the Court lacks jurisdiction over such claim.

* * *

The Court of Claims has jurisdiction only over claims against the State of New York and a limited number of other entities specifically enumerated by statute. The Court of Claims does not have jurisdiction over the City of New York or its police department. As to the District Attorney's Office, the State is not liable for acts and omissions of the employees of such office, as they are not State officers. Fisher v State of New York, 10 NY2d 60 (1961).

In view of the foregoing, this Court lacks jurisdiction over the claims of Victor Lorenzano and the parties' remaining arguments need not be reached. Accordingly, having reviewed the submissions(3) , IT IS ORDERED that motion nos. M-77978 and CM-78151 be granted and that claim nos. 117779 and 117699 be dismissed. A disposition need not be made on motion no. M-78004, as it has been withdrawn by claimant.

June 1, 2010

New York, New York

Alan C. Marin

Judge of the Court of Claims

1. Defendant maintains that it was served with claim no. 117779 on January 29, 2010 by certified mail, return receipt requested, and that it rejected and returned the claim to Lorenzano "as a nullity because the verification was not notarized as required by CPLR Rule 3022." Defendant states that claimant thereafter re-served claim no. 117779 by regular mail on February 8, 2010.

2. See 3 of "Claimant's Opposition to Defendant's Cross Motion."

3. The Court reviewed the following: defendant's notice of motion no. M-77978 with affirmation in support and exhibits A and B; "Claimant's Opposition to Motion to Dismiss" on motion no. M-77978; claimant's notice of motion no. M-78004 with "'Affirmation' of Victor Lorenzano"; defendant's notice of cross-motion no. CM-78151with "Affirmation in Support of Cross-Motion and in Opposition to Claimant's Motion" with exhibits A through C; and "Claimant's Opposition to Defendant's Cross Motion."