New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
PATTERSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2020-028-525, Claim No. 133453, Motion No. M-95068

Synopsis

Case information

UID: 2020-028-525
Claimant(s): BERNARD PATTERSON
Claimant short name: PATTERSON
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 133453
Motion number(s): M-95068
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: RICHARD E. SISE
Claimant's attorney: BERNARD PATTERSON, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney: HON. LETITIA JAMES, ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: Darren Longo, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: September 23, 2020
City: Albany
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

The following papers were read on Claimant's motion for summary judgment pursuant to CPLR 3212:

1. Notice of Motion filed December 26, 2019;

2. Statement of Bernard Patterson sworn to December 13, 2019 with Exhibits A-D annexed;

3. Affirmation of Darren Longo dated April 1, 2020;

4. Affidavit of Bernard Patterson sworn to August 4, 2020.

Filed papers: Claim, Answer

Claimant has moved for summary judgment in this claim where he alleges he was wrongfully confined to his cell while housed at Wende Correctional Facility.

"A party moving for summary judgment must demonstrate that the cause of action or defense shall be established sufficiently to warrant the court as a matter of law in directing judgment in the moving party's favor (CPLR 3212 [b]). Thus, the proponent of a summary judgment motion must make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, tendering sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of any material issues of fact. This burden is a heavy one and on a motion for summary judgment, facts must be viewed in the light most favorable tothe non-moving party. If the moving party meets this burden, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party to establish the existence of material issues of fact which require a trial of the action" (Jacobsen v NY City Health & Hosps. Corp., 22 NY3d 824, 833 [2014] [citations and internal quotation marks omitted]).

In support of the motion claimant has submitted his affidavit together with copies of medical records but has failed to provide a copy of the pleadings as required by CPLR 3212 (b). In his affidavit in support claimant alleges that as a result of a disciplinary hearing on May 8, 2019 he was released from cell confinement but following the hearing he was retained on keeplock status. According to claimant, he thereafter wrote to the facility Superintendent on two occasions, May 10, 2019 and May 27, 2019, but did not receive a response. The medical records attached to the papers submitted in support of the motion show that on May 28, 2019 claimant, while alone in his cell, attempted suicide.

An award of damages for wrongful confinement must be based on findings that defendant intended to confine claimant, that claimant was conscious of the confinement, that he did not consent to the confinement and that the confinement was not otherwise privileged (Miller v State of New York, 124 AD3d 997, 998 [3d Dept 2015]). Here, as claimant was legally confined pursuant to a judgment of conviction, he must show that the confinement of which he complains was excessive. While claimant asserts that he was kept on keeplock status following a disciplinary determination which resulted in his being released from cell confinement, that statement alone is insufficient to establish as a matter of law that his continued cell confinement was not privileged. Inmates may be placed on restrictive confinement for a number of reasons outside the disciplinary process (see, 7 NYCRR 306.1) and claimant has made no attempt to show that other valid reasons for his cell confinement did not exist. As he has not made a prima facie showing of entitlement to relief, summary judgment is not appropriate.(1)

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that the motion is denied.

September 23, 2020

Albany, New York

RICHARD E. SISE

Judge of the Court of Claims


1. Consideration of claimant's reply affidavit is limited to addressing arguments made in opposition to the motion and is not considered in assessing whether he has made out a prima facie case (Paul v Cooper, 45 AD3d 1485, 1486 [4th Dept 2007]).