New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
MALIK v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2010-032-127, Claim No. 118139, Motion Nos. M-78160, M-78161


Case information

UID: 2010-032-127
Claimant short name: MALIK
Footnote (claimant name) :
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 118139
Motion number(s): M-78160, M-78161
Cross-motion number(s):
Claimant's attorney: Abdul-Jabbor Malik, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo, NYS Attorney General
By: Carol A. Cocchiola, Assistant Attorney General, Of Counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: August 17, 2010
City: Albany
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)


Defendant moves this Court for an order dismissing the claim for failure to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted. Claimant has not submitted any opposition to the motion. However, claimant filed an Amended claim on April 21, 2010. In addition, claimant moves, by separate motion, for an order granting summary judgment. Defendant opposes claimant's motion for summary judgment on the basis that claimant has failed to make a prima facie entitlement of judgment as a matter of law, has failed to tender sufficient admissible proof showing the existence of a material issue of fact, and failed to include a copy of the pleadings in the papers supporting his motion. In the interest of judicial economy, the Court will consider defendant's to dismiss as one seeking dismissal of the Amended claim. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants defendant's motion to dismiss and dismisses Claim No. 118139.

Claimant's motion for summary judgment is denied as moot.

CPLR 2101 provides that each paper served or filed shall be legible. The pleadings shall consist of plain and concise statements in consecutively numbered paragraphs, with each paragraph containing, as far as practicable, a single allegation (CPLR 3014). The statements in each pleading shall be sufficiently particular to give the Court and the parties notice of transactions, occurrences or series of transactions or occurrences, intended to be proved and the material elements of each cause of action (CPLR 3013).

Court of Claims Act 11(b) requires that a claim state the time and place where such claim arose, the nature of the same, and the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained and, except in an action to recover damages for personal injury, medical, dental or podiatric malpractice or wrongful death, the total sum claimed. The purpose behind 11 (b) of the Court of Claims Act is to provide the State with "a sufficiently detailed description of the particulars of the claim to enable it to investigate and promptly ascertain the existence and extent of its liability" (Matter of O'Shea v State of New York, 36 AD3d 706, 707 [2d Dept 2007]).

The rules of pleadings are to be interpreted liberally, especially where, as here, the submissions are by a pro se litigant (see Ali v State of New York, Sise, J., Claim No. 110988, Motion Nos. M-70517, M-70665, CM-70622, UID #2006-028-516 [Ct Cl, February 7, 2006]); see also Campaign for Fiscal Equity v State of New York, 86 NY2d 307 [1995]). However, some common sense limits need to be recognized, as counsel should not have to attempt to unearth separate and distinct causes of action in order to prepare a clear and concise answer (see Jacoby v State of New York, Moriarty, J., Claim No. 112544, Motion No. M-72226, UID # 2006-037-025 [Ct Cl, October 3, 2006]; see also Hodge v State of New York, 213 AD2d 766 [3d Dept 1995]).

As set forth in defendant's motion to dismiss, the handwriting of the claim is largely illegible such that it is difficult to decipher many of the words and statements in order to determine the nature of the alleged causes of action and the allegations in support thereof, as well as the date(s) of accrual. In addition, the random words and statements that can be deciphered are confusing, incomplete and unintelligible. Based upon the foregoing, the Court finds that claimant has failed to satisfy the pleading requirements of the CPLR and the Court of Claims Act, thereby depriving this Court of subject matter jurisdiction.

Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted and Claim No. 118139 is hereby dismissed. Claimant's motion for summary judgment (M-78161) is denied as moot. However, even if the Court were not to dismiss the claim, claimant's motion for summary judgment would be denied, based upon claimant's failure to attach all of the pleadings to his motion pursuant to CPLR 3212 (b) and his failure to set forth a prima facie showing of entitlement of judgment as a matter of law (see Winegrad v New York University Medical Center, 64 NY2d 851 [1985]).

August 17, 2010

Albany, New York


Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

Motion No. M-78160

1. Notice of Motion and Affirmation of Carol A. Cocchiola, dated April 15, 2010, with Exhibit.

Motion No. M-78161

1. Notice of Motion for Summary Judgment, sworn to by claimant on April 14, 2010; Affidavit of Claimant, sworn to March 24, 2010;

2. Affirmation in Opposition of Carol A. Cocchiola, AAG, dated April 29, 2010, with Exhibits.

Papers Filed: Claim, filed March12, 2010; Order of Hon. Richard E. Sise, Presiding Judge, filed April 2, 2010; Verified Answer, filed April 16, 2010; Amended Claim, filed April 21, 2010; and Verified Answer to Amended Claim, filed May 26, 2010