New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
YEFIMOVA v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2017-040-132, Claim No. 129914, Motion No. M-90853

Synopsis

State's pre-Answer Motion to dismiss granted as this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Federal court Judges and employees.

Case information

UID: 2017-040-132
Claimant(s): LYUBOV YEFIMOVA
Claimant short name: YEFIMOVA
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) : Caption amended to reflect the State of New York as the proper defendant.
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 129914
Motion number(s): M-90853
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: CHRISTOPHER J. McCARTHY
Claimant's attorney: Lyubov Yefimova, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: Paul F. Cagino, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: October 30, 2017
City: Albany
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's pre-Answer Motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter and personal jurisdiction pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(2) and (8) is granted.

The pro se Claim, which was filed with the Clerk of the Court on June 28, 2017, asserts negligence on the part of a Federal Court clerk, two Federal Judges and "security" on June 23, 2017, at the Federal Court in Albany, New York.

The Court of Claims is a court of limited jurisdiction, with power to hear claims against the State of New York and certain public authorities (see Court of Claims Act 9; NY Const, art VI, 9). The Court, thus, lacks jurisdiction over any cause of action based upon the alleged misconduct of Federal Court judges and staff.

In addition, even if the judges were State employees, "[j]udicial immunity bars any action against judges of the State for their judicial acts, and the State is not liable for a judicial officer's alleged errors Unless the judicial acts were performed in the absence of subject matter jurisdiction, judicial immunity applies" (Davey v State of New York, UID No. 2005-029-503 [Ct Cl, Mignano, J., Jul. 14, 2005], affd 31 AD3d 600 [2d Dept 2006]; see Stump v Sparkman, 435 US 349 [1978], reh denied 436 US 951 [1978]; Mullen v State of New York, supra; La Pier v Deyo, 100 AD2d 710 [3d Dept 1984]). Even allegedly libelous statements contained in a judge's written decision are absolutely privileged, and cloaked with judicial immunity (Montesano v State of New York, 11 AD3d 436 [2d Dept 2004]). Judicial immunity applies to acts alleged to have been done maliciously and corruptly (Stump v Sparkman, supra; Mertens v State of New York, 73 AD3d 1376 [3d Dept 2010]).

Claimant has not submitted papers in opposition to the State's Motion, but the Court was advised that Claimant did appear at the Courthouse on the Motion's return date. However, pursuant to the Uniform Rules for the Court of Claims 206.9(c), "[u]nless oral argument has been requested by a party and permitted by the court, or directed by the court, motions shall be deemed submitted as of the return date." Here, neither side requested oral argument and the Court did not direct that there be oral argument. In addition, the parties were advised, by letter dated August 8, 2017 from the Chief Clerk of the Court, that "no court appearance is required unless otherwise provided for by the assigned judge."

Therefore, the Motion to dismiss the Claim is granted and the Claim is hereby dismissed.

October 30, 2017

Albany, New York

CHRISTOPHER J. McCARTHY

Judge of the Court of Claims

The following papers were read and considered by the Court on Defendant's Motion for dismissal:

Papers Numbered

Notice of Motion, Affirmation in Support

& Exhibits attached 1

Filed Papers: Claim