New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
DORFMAN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2010-033-372, Claim No. 117493, Motion No. M-77479

Synopsis

Case information

UID: 2010-033-372
Claimant(s): JEROME T. DORFMAN
Claimant short name: DORFMAN
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 117493
Motion number(s): M-77479
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: James J. Lack
Claimant's attorney: Jerome T. Dorfman, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Attorney General
By: Kimberly A. Kinirons, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: April 16, 2010
City: Hauppauge
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

This is a claim for damages to Jerome T. Dorfman (hereinafter "claimant")(1) as the result of the alleged intentional torts of defendant on October 6, 2008. The alleged acts occurred at the Fourth District Court, Hempstead, New York.

Defendant moves this Court to dismiss the claim on several grounds(2) . First, defendant argues the notice of intention was not verified and properly rejected. In addition, defendant asserts the notice of intention was untimely as it was received on January 12, 2009, 98 days after the date of occurrence. Lastly, defendant argues the claim was not served in a timely manner pursuant to Court of Claims Act 10 and 11. The claim was received by defendant on October 13, 2009, approximately one year and seven days after the date of occurrence.

In opposition, claimant argues the failure to verify the notice of intention was inadvertent. The notice of intention included all of the facts and circumstances necessary for defendant to investigate and thus, defendant was not prejudiced. As to the timeliness of the service of the notice of intention and the claim, claimant argues both documents were properly served as they were deposited in the mail prior to the expiration of the appropriate time frame.

The requirements of the Court of Claims Act are jurisdictional in nature and must be strictly construed (Lurie v State of New York, 73 AD2d 1006, aff'd 52 NY2d 849). The purpose of these requirements is to give the State prompt notice of an occurrence and an opportunity to investigate the facts and prepare a defense. Court of Claims Act 10(3-b) states that the claim be filed and served or a notice of intention be served within 90 days of the date of accrual. If a notice of intention is served upon the Attorney General's office then claimant must serve and file his claim within one year of the date the claim accrued. Court of Claims Act 11 instructs those seeking to sue the State of New York as to the contents of a claim and the methods of service. To effectuate service by mail, a claim or notice of intention must be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested and service is not complete until received by the Attorney General's office.

It is admitted by claimant that the notice of intention and claim were both mailed on the last day of service. Claimant's contention that this was timely service is incorrect. Both the notice of intention and claim were untimely.

Based upon the foregoing, the Court grants defendant's request to dismiss the claim for claimant's failure to timely serve the claim. Defendant's remaining argument is denied as moot.

April 16, 2010

Hauppauge, New York

James J. Lack

Judge of the Court of Claims


1. The Court notes claimant is acting in a pro se manner, but he is a practicing attorney.

2. The following papers were read and considered on defendant's motion: Notice of Motion dated November 12, 2009 and filed November 19, 2009; Affirmation in Support of Motion to Dismiss of Kimberly A. Kinirons, Esq. with annexed Exhibits A-C dated November 12, 2009 and filed November 19, 2009; Affirmation in Opposition of Jerome T. Dorfman, with annexed Exhibit dated January 13, 2010 and filed January 13, 2010.