New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
FLOYD v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2018-041-059, Claim No. 128789, Motion No. M-92272

Synopsis

Claimant's motion for summary judgment in wrongful confinement claim is denied where claimant failed to prove, as a matter of law, that defendant wrongfully confined him for seven (7) days beyond the administrative reversal of an inmate disciplinary determination of guilt that was related to the issuance of a July 26, 2016 misbehavior report.

Case information

UID: 2018-041-059
Claimant(s): JAMEL FLOYD
Claimant short name: FLOYD
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 128789
Motion number(s): M-92272
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: FRANK P. MILANO
Claimant's attorney: JAMEL FLOYD
Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: HON. BARBARA D. UNDERWOOD
New York State Attorney General
By: Thomas R. Monjeau, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: September 7, 2018
City: Albany
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Claimant moves pursuant to CPLR 3212 for summary judgment as to defendant's liability for wrongfully confining claimant at Clinton Correctional Facility (Clinton) as a result of an inmate disciplinary proceeding. Defendant opposes the motion.

Claimant's affidavit supporting his summary judgment motion, his claim and his attached exhibits allege that claimant was wrongfully confined to the Special Housing Unit (SHU) at Clinton as a consequence of a guilty determination issued after an inmate disciplinary hearing that was related to a misbehavior report issued to claimant on July 26, 2016. As a result of that disciplinary determination, later reversed, claimant was sentenced to SHU confinement, among other penalties.

Defendant, on September 23, 2016, administratively reversed the hearing determination of guilt that related to claimant's misbehavior report of July 26, 2016, but did not release claimant from SHU until September 30, 2016, which forms the basis of his claim for seven (7) days of wrongful confinement.

Claimant's own submission seeking summary judgment additionally demonstrates the following relevant facts:

1. Claimant was apparently issued a misbehavior report (a "ticket") on a matter which preceded the issuance of his July 26, 2016 misbehavior report, on July 8, 2016, for which he was that day removed from his then-cell (LF-01-44S), housed for three days on an interim basis (HS-02-002) until July 11, 2016 and then transferred on July 11, 2016 to SHU (0D-01-011), where he remained until September 30, 2016 - - see "Locator System/Internal Movement History Display,"("Locator System"), as explained in part by claimant's Affidavit, paragraph 2, and as further referenced, as Exhibit D, in claimant's Affidavit, paragraph 8;

2. The existence of a previously issued misbehavior report of July 8, 2016, still pending as of September 26, 2016, is confirmed by the hand-written annotated response to claimant's inquiry of September 22, 2016 to "offender Rehabilitation Counselor" (OCR) Bryton, date stamped as received September 26, 2016, inquiring about the status of his "disciplinary appeal" (see Exhibit C, as referenced in claimant's Affidavit, paragraph 7), which reads, "no 7/26/16 ticket - ," followed by, "7/8/16 pending;"

3. The misbehavior report issued claimant which forms the basis of this claim was issued to claimant on July 26, 2016, a point in time when for fifteen days he had already been confined to SHU; and,

4. The Locator System indicates claimant was confined to SHU on July 11, 2016 and was removed from SHU on September 30, 2016.

The standard for review of the motion is well-established. "A motion for summary judgment should be entertained only after the moving party has established, by competent admissible evidence, that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. . . . If the movant meets this initial burden, the opposing party is required to submit evidence which raises a material issue of fact to preclude an award of summary judgment" (Ware v Baxter Health Care Corp., 25 AD3d 863, 864 [3d Dept 2006]).

To establish that he was wrongfully confined, claimant must prove that "(1) the defendant intended to confine him, (2) the [claimant] was conscious of the confinement, (3) the [claimant] did not consent to the confinement and (4) the confinement was not otherwise privileged" (Broughton v State of New York, 37 NY2d 451, 456 [1975], cert denied sub nom. Schanbarger v Kellogg, 423 US 929 [1975]; Krzyzak v Schaefer, 52 AD3d 979 [3d Dept 2008]).

In the context of confinement pursuant to a prison disciplinary proceeding, such confinement is "privileged to the extent that it was under color of law or regulation, specifically in accordance with [inmate misbehavior] regulations" (Gittens v State of New York, 132 Misc 2d 399, 402 [Ct Cl 1986]).

Claimant has failed to prove, as a matter of law, that defendant's confinement of him to SHU until September 30, 2016, a confinement which first began on July 11, 2016 due to a matter which preceded the issuance of his July 26, 2016 misbehavior report, was not otherwise privileged.

Said another way, claimant failed to prove, as a matter of law, that he was wrongfully confined to SHU beyond September 23, 2016 specifically due to the administrative reversal of a hearing determination of guilt related to the misbehavior report issued him on July 26, 2016.

Claimant has failed to meet his initial burden of proving entitlement to summary judgment. Claimant's motion for summary judgment is denied.

September 7, 2018

Albany, New York

FRANK P. MILANO

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

1. Claimant's Notice of Motion for Summary Judgment, filed May 14, 2018;

2. Affidavit of Jamel Floyd, sworn to May 10, 2018, and attached exhibits;

3. Affirmation in Opposition of Thomas R. Monjeau, dated June 12, 2018, and attached exhibits;

4. Unsworn Reply of Jamel Floyd, dated June 19, 2018, and attached exhibit.