New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
MEANWELL v. NEW YORK STATE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES, JACQUELINE HANKLE, JAMES LEONARD, NYS UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES and RUTH SUPOVITZ, Esq., # 2010-041-058, Claim No. 118841, Motion No. M-79056

Synopsis

Claim alleging that a state employee unlawfully accessed DCJS criminal history database is dismissed as against defendant Ruth Supovitz for lack of jurisdiction.

Case information

UID: 2010-041-058
Claimant(s): LOUISE MEANWELL Individually, and on behalf of Infant Child MB
Claimant short name: MEANWELL
Footnote (claimant name) : The caption has been amended for purposes of publication to protect the identity of the infant claimant.
Defendant(s): NEW YORK STATE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES, JACQUELINE HANKLE, JAMES LEONARD, NYS UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES and RUTH SUPOVITZ, Esq.
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 118841
Motion number(s): M-79056
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: FRANK P. MILANO
Claimant's attorney: NONE
Defendant's attorney: For Defendant Ruth Supovitz,Esq.:
WILSON, ELSER,MOSKOWITZ, EDELMAN, & DICKER LLP
By: Theresa B. Marangas, Esq.
For State of New York:
NONE
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: December 16, 2010
City: Albany
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

The defendant Ruth Supovitz moves to dismiss the claim as it relates to her based upon a lack of subject matter jurisdiction in the Court of Claims over the named defendant. Defendant Supovitz also alleges that the claim was improperly served and that the claim fails to state the nature of the claim with the particularity required by Court of Claims Act 11 (b). Claimant has not appeared in opposition to the motion.

The claim appears to allege that Jacqueline Hankle, one of the named defendants (of several), improperly accessed a New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services database. There are no specific allegations made about defendant Ruth Supovitz.

The Court of Claims is a court of limited jurisdiction, charged with "exclusive jurisdiction over actions for money damages against the state," based upon the acts or omissions of its agencies or employees, where the State is the real party in interest (Monreal v New York State Dept. of Health, 38 AD3d 1118, 1119 [3d Dept 2007]; Woodward v State of New York, 23 AD3d 852, 855-856 [2005], lv dismissed 6 NY3d 807 [2006]; NY Const., Art. VI, 9; Court of Claims Act 9). The Court thus lacks jurisdiction over the claim brought against defendant Ruth Supovitz, who, as the uncontradicted proof shows, was neither employed by, nor acting on behalf of, the State of New York (Morell v Balasubramanian, 70 NY2d 297 [1987]).

The motion of defendant Supovitz to dismiss the claim against her is granted. The claim is dismissed as against defendant Ruth Supovitz.

In view of the Court's lack of elemental subject matter jurisdiction over the claim as against defendant Supovitz, the remaining bases for dismissal need not be considered.

December 16, 2010

Albany, New York

FRANK P. MILANO

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

1. Defendant Ruth Supovitz, Esq.'s Notice of Motion to Dismiss, filed October 29, 2010;

2. Affirmation of Theresa B. Marangas, Esq., dated October 29, 2010, and annexed exhibits.