Pro se inmate's bailment claim was dismissed as it was filed before he exhausted his administrative remedies.
|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.|
|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|
|See also (multicaptioned case)|
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 ; 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
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).