New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
MAGALIOS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2018-015-124, Claim No. 127762, Motion No. M-92019, Cross-Motion No. CM-92057

Synopsis

Pro se inmate's bailment claim was dismissed as it was filed before he exhausted his administrative remedies.

Case information

UID: 2018-015-124
Claimant(s): NICHOLAS MAGALIOS
Claimant short name: MAGALIOS
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) : The caption has been amended sua sponte to reflect the only properly named defendant.
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 127762
Motion number(s): M-92019
Cross-motion number(s): CM-92057
Judge: FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney: Nicholas Magalios, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: Honorable Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General
By: Glenn C. King, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: April 30, 2018
City: Saratoga Springs
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Defendant moves for dismissal of the instant bailment claim on the grounds the action was commenced before claimant exhausted his administrative remedies as required by Court of Claims Act 10 (9). Defendant also asserts that the claim fails to meet the pleading requirements of Court of Claims Act 11 (b)(2) . Claimant cross-moves for an Order denying defendant's motion.

Claimant, a pro se inmate, seeks damages for the loss of certain personal property entrusted to prison officials upon his transfer from Washington Correctional Facility to Greene Correctional Facility on January 28, 2016.

Kathy Apple, Institution Steward at Greene Correctional Facility (Greene), states in an affidavit that the claimant filed an inmate property claim at Greene Correctional Facility on February 9, 2016, the claim was "disapproved" on May 3, 2016, and the claimant failed to appeal the decision (defendant's Exhibit D, 5). Claimant, on the other hand, alleges in the body of his claim and in opposition to the defendant's motion that he filed an administrative appeal but "the Superintendent (Brandon J. Smith) of Greene Correctional Facility did not respond" (defendant's Exhibit A, Claim). Neither a copy of the appeal nor proof that it was filed are submitted in opposition to the defendant's motion.

Court of Claims Act 10 (9) provides that an inmate's claim "for recovery of damages for injury to or loss of personal property may not be filed unless and until the inmate has exhausted the personal property claims administrative remedy, established for inmates by the department." The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision has established a two-tier system of administrative review for handling inmate personal property claims consisting of an initial review and subsequent appeal (see 7 NYCRR 1700.3).

Despite the clear and unambiguous language of the statute requiring the exhaustion of administrative remedies prior to the filing of a claim, the claim here was filed on April 6, 2016 without having exhausted the administrative appeal process. In fact, the claim in the instant action was filed prior to the date the administrative claim was initially disapproved on May 3, 2016. In light of the statutory mandate that a claim may not be filed "unless and until the inmate has exhausted the personal property claims administrative remedy," the claim must be dismissed (Court of Claims Act 10 [9]; see also Hall v State of New York, UID No. 2013-038-502 [Ct Cl, DeBow, J., Jan. 9, 2013]; Sealy v State of New York, UID No. 2012-040-009 [Ct Cl, McCarthy, J., Feb. 3, 2012]; Griffin v State of New York, UID No. 2007-015-232 [Ct Cl, Collins, J., Aug. 23, 2007).

Accordingly, the defendant's motion is granted, the claim is dismissed, and the trial scheduled for June 5, 2018 is cancelled. Claimant's cross motion is denied.

April 30, 2018

Saratoga Springs, New York

FRANCIS T. COLLINS

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

  1. Notice of motion, dated March 26, 2018;
  2. Affirmation of Glenn C. King, Esq., dated March 26, 2018 with Exhibits A - D;
  3. Notice of cross motion, dated April 2, 2018;
  4. "Affirmation" of Nicholas Magalios, dated April 2, 2018.

2. Defense counsel's contention that the claim fails to meet the pleading requirements of Court of Claims Act 11 (b) because it fails to state the time when and the place where the claim arose is incorrect, particularly when the allegations in the claim are considered together with the papers that were attached thereto (see CPLR 3014).