New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
SPRINKLER v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2017-041-052, Claim No. 129586, Motion No. M-90390

Synopsis

Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted on ground that claim was served more than ninety days after accrual.

Case information

UID: 2017-041-052
Claimant(s): RAYMOND SPRINKLER
Claimant short name: SPRINKLER
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 129586
Motion number(s): M-90390
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: FRANK P. MILANO
Claimant's attorney: RAYMOND SPRINKLER
Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: HON. ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN
New York State Attorney General
By: Thomas R. Monjeau, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: July 27, 2017
City: Albany
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Defendant moves to dismiss the claim because the Court lacks jurisdiction over the claim which was served more than ninety days after accrual. Claimant opposes the defendant's motion to dismiss the claim.

The claim alleges that defendant wrongfully confined claimant at Clinton Correctional Facility as a result of a disciplinary determination which was subsequently administratively reversed.

Court of Claims Act 10 3-a and 3-b, respectively, require that a claim to recover damages for personal injuries caused by the tortious conduct of an employee of the state, whether the defendant's conduct was intentional or unintentional, be served upon the attorney general within ninety days after the accrual of the claim.

Courts have consistently held that "[a]s a condition of the State's limited waiver of sovereign immunity, those requirements [timely filing and service] are strictly construed and a failure to comply therewith is a jurisdictional defect compelling the dismissal of the claim" (Welch v State of New York, 286 AD2d 496, 497-498 [2d Dept 2001]; see Robinson v State of New York, 38 AD3d 1030 [3d Dept 2007]; Pizarro v State of New York, 19 AD3d 891, 892 [3d Dept 2005], lv denied 5 NY3d 717 [2005]).

Defendant contends that the cause of action for wrongful confinement accrued upon claimant's release from the disciplinary confinement on May 2, 2016. Claimant argues that the cause of action only accrued upon the administrative reversal of the disciplinary determination, on January 27, 2017.

The claim was served on the defendant on April 17, 2017.

A claim for wrongful confinement accrues on "the date on which [claimant's] confinement terminated" (Santiago v City of Rochester, 19 AD3d 1061, 1062 [4th Dept 2005], lv denied 5 NY3d 710 [2005]; see Johnson v State of New York, 95 AD3d 1455 [3d Dept 2012]).

The claim was served more than ninety days after claimant's release from confinement and is therefore untimely, as illustrated in Davis v State of New York (89 AD3d 1287, 1287-1288 [3d Dept 2011]):

"Pursuant to the Court of Claims Act, a claim or notice of intention to file a claim must be filed and served within 90 days after accrual of the cause of action (see Court of Claims Act 10). The failure to comply with this provision constitutes a jurisdictional defect warranting dismissal of the claim . . .

Damages arising from wrongful confinement or false imprisonment, as alleged here, are reasonably ascertainable upon a claimant's release from confinement and, therefore, it is on that date that the claimant's cause of action accrues . . . Here, claimant was released from keeplock on March 22, 2008 and did not initiate this action either by notice of intention to file a claim or by filing and serving the claim within 90 days of this date. Accordingly, the Court of Claims properly dismissed the claim as untimely."

The defendant's motion to dismiss the claim is granted. The claim is dismissed.

July 27, 2017

Albany, New York

FRANK P. MILANO

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

1. Defendant's Notice of Motion, filed May 3, 2017;

2. Affirmation of Thomas R. Monjeau, dated May 3, 2017, and annexed exhibit;

3. Claimant's Notice of Motion and Affidavit, sworn to May 16, 2017.