New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
TOPOL v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, ANTHONY N. RESSA, ANTHONY A. RESSA, COUNTY OF NASSAU, TOWN OF OYSTER BAY, INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF MUTTONTOWN, AND INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF BROOKVILLE, # 2017-045-043, Claim No. 129619, Motion No. M-90596

Synopsis

Town of Oyster Bay's motion to dismiss claim against it.

Case information

UID: 2017-045-043
Claimant(s): SHERI TOPOL, AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF LANCE TOPOL, AND SHERI TOPOL, INDIVIDUALLY
Claimant short name: TOPOL
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK, ANTHONY N. RESSA, ANTHONY A. RESSA, COUNTY OF NASSAU, TOWN OF OYSTER BAY, INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF MUTTONTOWN, AND INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF BROOKVILLE
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 129619
Motion number(s): M-90596
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: GINA M. LOPEZ-SUMMA
Claimant's attorney: Litman & Litman, P.C.
By: No Appearance
Defendant's attorney: Hon. Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General
By: No Appearance
For Town of Oyster Bay:
Joseph Norella, Town Attorney
By: Matthew M. Rozea, Deputy Town Attorney
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: December 8, 2017
City: Hauppauge
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

The following papers were read and considered by the Court on this motion: Defendant Town of Oyster Bay's Notice of Motion, Defendant's Affirmation in Support with annexed Exhibits A-F, Defendant's Memorandum of Law and Defendant's Correspondence dated August 24, 2017.

At the outset the Court notes that the claim improperly listed Anthony N. Ressa, Anthony A. Ressa, the County of Nassau, the Town of Oyster Bay, the Incorporated Village of Muttontown and the Incorporated Village of Brookville as defendants in this matter. The Court of Claims is a court of limited jurisdiction wherein claims primarily seeking monetary damages against the State of New York and certain public authorities are brought (Court of Claims Act [CCA] 9). The Court of Claims does not have jurisdiction over non-State entities. Individuals cannot be sued in their individual capacity in the Court of Claims (CCA 9). It is well settled that the State of New York is the real party in interest for claims against state agencies (Morell v Balasubramanian, 70 NY2d 297 [1987]). It is equally clear that claims against a state officer for conduct undertaken in an official capacity and in the exercise of an official governmental function are essentially claims against the State of New York (id.; Woodward v State of New York, 23 AD3d 852, 856 [3d Dept 2005]). Consequently, the only properly listed defendant in the claim is the State of New York.

Although not subject to the jurisdiction of this Court, the attorney for the improperly listed defendant, Town of Oyster Bay, filed a motion to dismiss the action. The Court grants the motion and, sua sponte, dismisses the claim as to all other named defendants with the exception of the State of New York.

Therefore, for the foregoing reasons, defendant's motion is granted.

December 8, 2017

Hauppauge, New York

GINA M. LOPEZ-SUMMA

Judge of the Court of Claims