Pre-Answer Motion to Dismiss on the basis of lack of subject matter jurisdiction granted. Claimant asserts he is seeking equitable relief, and Court of Claims has no jurisdiction to grant such relief.
|Claimant(s):||KEITH DARNELL FAIR, Authorized Representative/Agent on behalf of KEITH DARNELL FAIR/ESTATE|
|Claimant short name:||FAIR|
|Footnote (claimant name) :|
|Defendant(s):||THE STATE OF NEW YORK, THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF MENTAL HYGIENE, AND THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION|
|Footnote (defendant name) :|
|Judge:||CHRISTOPHER J. McCARTHY|
|Claimant's attorney:||Keith Darnell Fair, Pro Se|
|Defendant's attorney:||BARBARA D. UNDERWOOD
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: William E. Arnold, IV, Esq., AAG
|Third-party defendant's attorney:|
|Signature date:||May 23, 2018|
|See also (multicaptioned case)|
For the reasons set forth below, the State's pre-Answer Motion to dismiss the Claim pursuant to CPLR § 3211(a)(2) on the basis of lack of subject matter jurisdiction is granted.
This pro se Claim, which was filed in the office of the Clerk of the Court on February 20, 2018, asserts that this is a matter "which is Special, Private and Restricted from the Public" which addresses "a government Secret and Private Business Trust" (Claim, Opening Paragraph). In addition, Claimant asks the Clerk of the Court to "[p]lace this matter on the [p]roper side of the Court; in a Court of exclusive equity" (id.). The Claim asserts that Claimant is being held at Central New York Psychiatric Center, against his will, in a sex offender treatment center (id., ¶¶ 2, 3). Claimant asserts that a breach of contract occurred, starting on July 27 and 28, 2016 (id., ¶ 2). In the Claim's concluding paragraphs, Claimant states that he is seeking the following relief: (1) a full accounting of all securities of the lower courts; and (2) that the Court direct Defendants to return the interest/pay back taxes from all municipal bonds, Appearance Bond, Bid Bond, Payment Bond and the Performance Bonds, attached to the "True Bill" Indictment, Sentencing and Commitments/Judgment Papers-Criminal/Civil. Claimant further seeks the "INTERNATIONAL BILL OF EXCHANGE/Drafts that was [sic] charged to the ESTATE OF KEITH DARNELL FAIR WITHOUT MY EXPRESSED [sic] WRITTEN CONSENT AND WET INK SEAL and just compensation for the illegal charges," and he seeks that the Interest be returned and transferred to his account (id., ¶¶ 13, 14).
In his Affirmation in support of the State's Pre-Answer Motion, Defense counsel asserts that the Claim should be dismissed in its entirety for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to CPLR § 3211(a)(2) on the basis that Claimant has: (1) failed to comply with Court of Claims Act § 11(b); (2) requested relief that primarily is equitable in nature; and (3) asserted causes of action that cannot be properly adjudicated by this Court (Affirmation of William E. Arnold, IV, Esq., Assistant Attorney General, ¶ 2). As a preliminary matter, the Court agrees with the statement of Defendant's counsel in his Affirmation that the Claim is "written in a disjointed and confusing fashion, replete with vague, confusing and conclusory assertions" (id., ¶ 4).
In opposition to the Motion, Claimant has submitted, inter alia, an "affidavit" (which is not notarized). On page 3 of the statement, Claimant asserts " I am not arguing Jurisdiction … this is a matter of exclusive equity, because it[']s where my [r]emedy [l]ies." Later, on page 5 of the statement, Claimant states that he "has no desire to request a remedy from an at [l]aw court where there is no remedy for him … Claimant's desire is for nothing [b]ut 'exclusive equity.' "
"As a court of limited jurisdiction, the Court of Claims has no jurisdiction to grant strictly equitable relief" (Madura v State of New York, 12 AD3d 759, 760 [3d Dept 2004], lv denied 4 NY3d 704 , citing to Ozanam Hall of Queens Nursing Home v State of New York, 241 AD2d 670, 671 [3d Dept 1997]; Psaty v Duryea, 306 NY 413, 416 ). Consequently, this Court is without power to grant the relief sought. Therefore, the Motion to dismiss on subject matter jurisdiction grounds is granted and the Claim is dismissed. The remainder of Defendant's Motion is denied as moot.
May 23, 2018
Albany, New York
CHRISTOPHER J. McCARTHY
Judge of the Court of Claims
The following papers were read and considered by the Court on Defendant's Pre-Answer Motion to dismiss:
Notice of Motion, Affirmation in Support,
& Exhibits attached 1
Claimant's letter to the Court and Statement
in Opposition to Motion dated April 1, 2018 2
Claimant's letter to the Court dated April 5, 2018 3
Claimant's letter to the Court dated April 9, 2018
& Attachment 4
Claimant's letter to the Court dated April 17, 2018
& Certificate of Protest attached 5
Defendant's Letter to the Court dated April 26, 2018 6
Filed Papers: Claim