New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
RUCANO v. STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2018-015-131, Claim No. 128141, Motion No. M-91828

Synopsis

Pro se inmate's motion to amend his claim was denied.

Case information

UID: 2018-015-131
Claimant(s): ANTHONY RUCANO
Claimant short name: RUCANO
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 128141
Motion number(s): M-91828
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney: Anthony Rucano, pro se
Defendant's attorney: Honorable Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General
By: Michael T. Krenrich, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: June 14, 2018
City: Saratoga Springs
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Claimant, a pro se inmate, moves to amend his claim pursuant to CPLR 3025 (b).

Claimant initially alleged a single cause of action for wrongful confinement arising from his 11-day confinement to his cell, without a one-hour period of recreation, following his arrival at Great Meadow Correctional Facility on June 2, 2016. Shortly after joinder of issue, claimant served an amended claim repeating the previously alleged wrongful confinement claim, and adding allegations of sexual harassment, invasion of privacy and retaliatory removal from his work assignment in the law library. Claimant thereafter moved to amend his claim to add causes of action for assault and battery and negligent operation of inmate programming. By way of a separate motion, claimant also sought leave to file and serve a late claim alleging a cause of action for assault and battery arising from an incident that occurred on November 1, 2016. The Court denied claimant's motion to amend the claim and granted his motion to file and serve a late claim alleging a cause of action for assault and battery. Claimant subsequently moved to reargue his motion to amend the claim, which was denied.

Claimant now moves, once again, to amend his claim to supplement the facts stated therein. Unlike claimant's handwritten five-page amended claim dated September 27, 2016, his proposed claim consists of 14 typewritten pages alleging additional facts in support of his claim.

It is well settled that absent prejudice or surprise, leave to amend a pleading shall be freely granted where the proposed amendment is not plainly lacking in merit (CPLR 3025 [b]; McCaskey, Davies and Assoc. v New York City Health and Hosps. Corp., 59 NY2d 755,757 [1983]; Shelton v New York State Liq. Auth., 61 AD3d 1145, 1149 [3d Dept 2009]). Leave to amend is properly denied, however, " if the moving party fails to make some evidentiary showing that the proposed amendment has merit" (Trump on the Ocean, LLC v State of New York, 79 AD3d 1325, 1327 [3d Dept 2010], lv dismissed in part and lv denied in part 17 NY3d 770 [2011]; Cowsert v Macy's E., Inc., 74 AD3d 1444, 1445 [3d Dept 2010]; Gersten-Hillman Agency, Inc. v Heyman, 68 AD3d 1284, 1289 [3d Dept 2009]). The additional facts claimant seeks to add to the claim here are unnecessary. Not every fact or regulation which claimant believes is relevant to his causes of action needs to be stated in the claim and, in this case, the proposed amendments would only cause confusion.

Accordingly, claimant's motion is denied.

June 14, 2018

Saratoga Springs, New York

FRANCIS T. COLLINS

Judge of the Court of Claims

The following papers were considered:

1. Notice of motion dated February 5, 2018;

2. Affidavit of Anthony Rucano sworn to February 5, 2018, with exhibits;

3. Affirmation In Opposition of Michael T. Krenrich, Esq., dated March 7, 2018;

4. Affidavit of Anthony Rucano in reply, sworn to March 15, 2018.