Claimant's motion to dismiss due to defendant's failure to properly verify its answer, improper verification.
|Claimant short name:||JACKSON|
|Footnote (claimant name) :|
|Defendant(s):||THE STATE OF NEW YORK|
|Footnote (defendant name) :|
|Judge:||GINA M. LOPEZ-SUMMA|
|Claimant's attorney:||Erwin Jackson, Pro Se|
|Defendant's attorney:||Hon. Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General
By: Douglas H. Squire, Assistant Attorney General
|Third-party defendant's attorney:|
|Signature date:||March 22, 2018|
|See also (multicaptioned case)|
The following papers were read and considered by the Court on this motion: Claimant's Notice of Motion; Claimant's Affirmation with annexed Exhibits; and Defendant's Affirmation in Opposition with annexed Exhibits.
Claimant, Erwin Jackson, a pro se inmate, has brought this motion pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (2), (8) and 3211 (b) seeking an order dismissing defendant's verified answer and a further order granting claimant judgment based on the verified claim. Defendant, the State of New York, has opposed the motion.
The underlying claim in this matter was verified and was served upon the Office of the Attorney General on February 21, 2017. Defendant served its verified answer on March 21, 2017. Claimant rejected and returned the verified answer on March 24, 2017 after he determined that the answering papers were "totally defective."
Court of Claims Act § 11 (b) states that a claim shall be verified in the same manner as a complaint in an action in the supreme court. CPLR 3020 (a) requires that where a pleading is verified, each subsequent pleading shall also be verified. CPLR 3020 (a) defines a verification as "a statement under oath that the pleading is true to the knowledge of the deponent, except as to matters alleged on information and belief, and that as to those matters [the deponent] believes it to be true." The verification of a pleading shall be made by the affidavit of a party except when the party is the State then the verification may be made by any person acquainted with the facts (see CPLR 3020 [d] ). CPLR 2106 authorizes an attorney to affirm the truth of statements in lieu of swearing to their truth before one empowered to take oaths.
The Court finds that the verification used by defendant in its answer is sufficient to comply with the requirements for a verified pleading. Claimant's rejection of the verified answer was improper. Additionally, claimant's allegation that the verified answer contains perjured denials and statements does not provide justification for his rejection of the verified answer. Thus, defendant's verified answer was timely served in this matter.
Claimant also states that the affirmative defenses raised by defendant in its verified answer were not pleaded with sufficient particularity as mandated by CPLR § 3013. A review of the verified pleadings reveals that the affirmative defenses raised by defendant comply with the requirements of CPLR § 3013.
Therefore, for the foregoing reasons, claimant's motion is denied in its entirety.
March 22, 2018
Hauppauge, New York
GINA M. LOPEZ-SUMMA
Judge of the Court of Claims