New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
RANDOLPH v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2021-015-030, Claim No. 129531, Motion No. M-96274

Synopsis

Claimant's motion for reconsideration of this Court's prior Decision and Order dismissing the claim for failure to exhaust the administrative claims remedy available to inmates injured by the loss or damage to their personal property was denied. Claimant's conclusory assertion that his legal proof remains under the control of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision may not overcome a jurisdictional prerequisite to the assertion of jurisdiction under Court of Claims Act 10 (9).

Case information

UID: 2021-015-030
Claimant(s): EDWARD RANDOLPH
Claimant short name: RANDOLPH
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 129531
Motion number(s): M-96274
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney: Edward Randolph, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: Honorable Letitia James, Attorney General
By: Glenn C. King, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: February 26, 2021
City: Saratoga Springs
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Claimant, proceeding pro se, moves for reconsideration of this Court's Decision and Order dismissing his claim.

By Decision and Order filed in the Office of the Chief Clerk of the Court of Claims on October 21, 2020, the instant claim alleging a cause of action for the loss of certain personal property entrusted to prison officials was dismissed for failure to exhaust the administrative remedies afforded inmates set forth in 7 NYCRR part 1700. Claimant now seeks reconsideration of the decision, alleging that upon his transfer to Central New York Psychiatric Center he was not permitted possession of his personal property, which includes the documentary proof necessary to establish compliance with the administrative claim procedure.

While claimant denominated his motion as one for "reconsideration" the appropriate procedural vehicle for seeking that relief is a motion to reargue or renew pursuant to CPLR 2221 (see Motion for Reconsideration, p. 1). To the extent the motion may be considered one to reargue, claimant failed to demonstrate that the Court overlooked or misapprehended matters of fact or misapplied existing law to the facts presented (see CPLR 2221 [d] [2]; Peak v Northway Travel Trailers, 260 AD2d 840 [3d Dept 1999]; Spa Realty Assoc. v Springs Assoc., 213 AD2d 781 [3d Dept 1995]; Foley v Roche, 68 AD2d 558, 567 [1st Dept 1979], appeal denied 56 NY2d 507 [1982]). Nor has claimant demonstrated new facts not offered on the prior motion or a change in the law that would change the prior determination (CPLR 2221 [e] [2]; see also Strunk v Paterson, 145 AD3d 700, 701 [2d Dept 2016]; Sarfati v Palazzolo, 142 AD3d 877 [1st Dept 2016]).

Claimant's contention that he was not permitted possession of his property upon his transfer to Central New York Psychiatric facility may not excuse his compliance with the jurisdictional requirements of Court of Claims Act 10 (9). As indicated in this Court's prior Decision and Order, Court of Claims Act 8 specifically conditions the State's waiver of immunity on compliance "with the limitations of this article," which include those set forth in 10 (9). Court of Claims Act 10 (9) prohibits an inmate from filing a claim in the Court of Claims for loss of property "unless and until the inmate has exhausted the personal property claims administrative remedy, established for inmates by the department." Court of Claims Act 10 makes clear that "[n]o judgment shall be granted in favor of any claimant unless such claimant shall have complied with the provisions of this section applicable to the claim." Thus, it is claimant's burden to plead and prove compliance with the administrative claim procedure. Inasmuch as his failure to do so is jurisdictional, it may not be excused by either waiver or estoppel (see Finnerty v New York State Thruway Auth., 75 NY2d 721 [1989]; Williams v State of New York, 38 AD3d 646 [2d Dept 2007]; Pagano v New York State Thruway Auth., 235 AD2d 408 [2d Dept 1997]). Nor may it be excused based upon unsupported conclusory allegations that claimant was not permitted possession of his legal papers.

Accordingly, claimant's motion is denied.

February 26, 2021

Saratoga Springs, New York

FRANCIS T. COLLINS

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

  1. Motion for Reconsideration verified December 7, 2020;
  2. Affirmation in opposition dated January 11, 2021, with Exhibit A and B;
  3. Claimant's response to affirmation dated January 16, 2021.