New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
JACKSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2020-045-034, Claim No. 132312, Motion No. M-95063, Cross-Motion No. CM-95064

Synopsis

Claimant's motion for summary judgment due to parole violation arrest. Defendant's cross motion to dismiss due to claimant pleading guilty to charges.

Case information

UID: 2020-045-034
Claimant(s): NAHSHON JACKSON
Claimant short name: JACKSON
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 132312
Motion number(s): M-95063
Cross-motion number(s): CM-95064
Judge: Gina M. Lopez-Summa
Claimant's attorney: Nahshon Jackson, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: Hon. Letitia James, Attorney General
By: Lori L. Pack, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: May 15, 2020
City: Hauppauge
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

The following papers were read and considered by the Court on these motions: Claimant's Notice of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment; Claimant's Affidavit in Support with annexed Exhibits A- G; Claimant's Memorandum of Law In Support of Notice of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment; Defendant's Notice of Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment; Defendant's Affirmation in Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment and In Support of Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment with annexed Exhibits A-F.

Claimant, NahShon Jackson, has brought this motion pursuant to CPLR 3212 seeking partial summary judgment on the issue of liability. Defendant, the State of New York, opposes the motion and cross moves pursuant to CPLR 3212 seeking an order dismissing the claim. Claimant opposes the cross motion.

Claimant was released from incarceration to lifetime parole supervision on May 23, 2017 and on June 19, 2017 agreed to a special condition which stated: "Due to your medical marijuana oil usage, you are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle of any kind." On September 27, 2018 claimant was observed operating a motor vehicle, taken into custody and thereafter charged with five parole violations. His claim asserts that there was no parole warrant at the time of his arrest and thus, defendant is liable for "false and malicious arrest, false imprisonment, abuse of process, false prosecution, and deprivation of Claimant's rights to due process and equal protection of the laws and Constitution of the State of New York," all flowing from the same arrest and detention.

On November 29, 2018, thirteen days after the filing of this claim, claimant pled guilty to not having answered truthfully when asked whose car he was driving, one of the five parole violation charges. He was sentenced to time served and released from prison back onto parole supervision. Defendant argues that by having pled guilty, claimant rendered this claim moot. Defendant argues further that claimant's assertions in his motion are insufficient to establish liability in any event, as they represent nothing more than unsupported allegations - allegations which have already been rejected in his appeal to the Parole Appeals Unit after his guilty plea, and by State Supreme Court Judge Randy Marber by decision and order dated September 28, 2018 which denied claimant's petition for a writ of prohibition restraining the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision from enforcing his parole conditions.

The party seeking summary judgment must make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, by offering sufficient evidence to eliminate any material issues of fact from the case (Cox v Kingsboro Med. Group, 88 NY2d 904 [1996]; Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851 [1985]; Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557 [1980]). Failure to make a prima facie showing requires denial of summary judgment, regardless of the sufficiency of the opposing papers (Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851, 853 [1985]). Once the proponent of a summary judgment motion establishes a prima facie showing then the burden shifts to the opposing party to produce evidentiary proof in admissible form sufficient to demonstrate the existence of material issues of fact which require a trial of the action (Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562 [1980]). In determining a summary judgment motion, the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party (Gradwohl v Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., LLC, 70 AD3d 634 [2d Dept 2010]).

Claimant argues that his arrest and imprisonment were not privileged due to the lack of a parole warrant or reasonable cause to believe he had violated a condition of his parole.

The elements of false arrest and false imprisonment claims are: (1) the defendant intended to confine claimant; (2) claimant was conscious of the confinement; (3) claimant did not consent to the confinement; and (4) the confinement was not otherwise privileged (Broughton v State of New York, 37 NY2d 451 [1975], cert. denied sub nom. Schanbarger v Kellogg, 423 US 929 [1975]; Petrychenko v Solovey, 99 AD3d 777 [2d Dept 2012]).

Executive Law 259-i[3][a][I] requires that a parole violator's arrest be preceded by the issuance of a warrant. However, this provision "is more in the nature of a procedural or 'housekeeping' rule than a requirement designed to protect individual liberty" (People v Dyla, 142 AD2d 423 [2d Dept 1988]). Further, it would be unreasonable to expect a parole officer to obtain a warrant in order to arrest a parolee whose violation occurs in the presence of a parole officer during an interview (id.). The recognition that protection of the public requires parolees to be closely supervised has caused the courts to declare that "the Fourth Amendment protection to be afforded a parolee is significantly less than that which would be afforded to an ordinary civilian (e.g., People v. Huntley, 43 NY2d 175 [upholding warrantless search of parolee's property in absence of probable cause])" (People v Dyla, 142 AD2d 423 [2d Dept 1988]). In sum, claimant's arrest and detention were privileged where he was observed violating a condition of his parole, answered untruthfully when interviewed by a parole officer and unconditionally pled guilty to one of the parole violations 13 days after filing this claim. Claimant's unsupported allegations do not sustain a cause of action for false arrest or false imprisonment.

In order to establish a prima facie claim for abuse of process, claimant must establish three essential elements: (1) regularly issued process (2) an intent to do harm without excuse or justification, and (3) use of the process in a perverted manner to obtain a collateral objective (see Curiano v Suozzi, 63 NY2d 113 [1984]; Greco v Christoffersen, 70 AD3d 769 [2d Dept 2010]). Claimant did not set forth in his claim any of the particulars with respect to the elements of this case of action.

To state a claim for malicious prosecution a claimant must prove (1) the initiation or continuation of legal action against him, (2) termination of the proceeding in his favor, (3) absence of probable cause to commence the proceeding, and (4) actual malice (Broughton v State of New York, 37 NY2d 451 [1975], cert. denied sub nom. Schanbarger v Kellogg, 423 US 929 [1975]). In order for a criminal matter to be terminated in favor of the accused, the final disposition must be one which indicates innocence (Hollender v Trump Vil. Coop., 58 NY2d 420 [1983]). Here, claimant pled guilty to a parole violation and thus the final disposition did not indicate innocence.

To the extent that claimant is alleging federal constitutional torts such claims are beyond the jurisdiction of this court and must be dismissed (see Court of Claims Act 9). As to claimant's allegations of State Constitutional violations, it is well settled that the Court should not imply a State Constitutional remedy when an adequate alternative remedy is available to claimant (Flemming v State of New York, 120 AD3d 848 [3d Dept 2014]; Waxter v State of New York, 33 AD3d 1180 [3d Dept 2006]; Martinez v City of Schenectady, 97 NY2d 78 [2001]; Remley v State of New York, 174 Misc 2d 523 [Ct Cl 1997]). Further, and as discussed above in reference to the claims of false arrest and false imprisonment, "[t]here is no rule of constitutional law which requires that a warrant must be issued prior to the arrest of a parolee known to have committed a parole violation" (People v Dyla, 142 AD2d 423 [2d Dept 1988]).

Therefore, for the foregoing reasons, claimant's motion for partial summary judgment is denied. Defendant's cross motion seeking summary judgment is granted and the claim is hereby dismissed.

May 15, 2020

Hauppauge, New York

Gina M. Lopez-Summa

Judge of the Court of Claims