New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
PEASLEY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2021-015-108, Claim No. 136711, Motion No. M-97343

Synopsis

Wrongful confinement claim brought by pro se incarcerated individual was dismissed as untimely.

Case information

UID: 2021-015-108
Claimant(s): ERIC PEASLEY, DIN#18A1461
Claimant short name: PEASLEY
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) : The caption has been amended sua sponte to reflect the only properly named defendant.
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 136711
Motion number(s): M-97343
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney: No Appearance
Defendant's attorney: Honorable Letitia James, Attorney General
By: Charles Lim, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: December 1, 2021
City: Saratoga Springs
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Defendant moves for dismissal of the instant claim pursuant to Court of Claims Act 10 (3-b).

The claim, brought by an incarcerated individual, seeks damages for wrongful confinement arising from a prison disciplinary determination finding the claimant guilty of illicit drug use. Claimant alleges that as a result of faulty drug-testing equipment, he was erroneously found guilty of the charges and was allegedly subjected to punitive confinement in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) from June 26, 2019 through August 23, 2019 (defendant's Exhibit B, Claim, 13). The charges were administratively reversed in October 2019 (id., 17).

Court of Claims Act 10 (3-b) requires that an intentional tort claim, such as one for wrongful confinement, be filed and served within 90 days following accrual of the claim unless a notice of intention to file a claim is served within that same time period "in which event the claim shall be filed and served upon the attorney general within one year after the accrual of such claim." The State's waiver of immunity under Section 8 of the Court of Claims Act is conditioned upon claimant's compliance with the specific conditions to suit set forth in article II of the Court of Claims Act, which include the time limitations set forth in Court of Claims Act 10 (Lyles v State of New York, 3 NY3d 396, 400 [2004]; Alston v State of New York, 97 NY2d 159 [2001]). As a result, "[a] failure to comply with the time provisions of Court of Claims Act 10 divests the Court of Claims of subject matter jurisdiction" (Steele v State of New York, 145 AD3d 1363, 1364 [3d Dept 2016]; see also Maude V. v New York State Off. of Children & Family Servs., 82 AD3d 1468, 1469 [3d Dept 2011]; Miranda v State of New York, 113 AD3d 943 [3d Dept 2014]; Encarnacion v State of New York, 112 AD3d 1003 [3d Dept 2013]).

A claim for wrongful confinement accrues upon a claimant's release from confinement because it is on that date that damages are reasonably ascertainable (Dawes v State of New York, 167 AD3d 1099 [3d Dept 2018]; Campos v State of New York, 139 AD3d 1276 [3d Dept 2016]; Davis v State of New York, 89 AD3d 1287 [3d Dept 2011]; Burks v State of New York, 119 AD3d 1302 [3d Dept 2014]). Here, the claim was clearly untimely. Although the claimant alleges that he was released from SHU confinement on August 23, 2019, his notice of intention was not served until January 14, 2020 when it was received by certified mail, return receipt requested in the Office of the Attorney General (Court of Claims Act 11 [a] [i]; affirmation of Charles Lim, 6; defendant's Exhibit A). Moreover, the claim itself was not filed until August 2, 2021,(2) or served until August 9, 2021. Having failed to timely serve and file the claim, dismissal is required.

Accordingly, defendant's motion is granted and the claim is dismissed, without opposition.

December 1, 2021

Saratoga Springs, New York

FRANCIS T. COLLINS

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

1. Notice of motion dated September 2, 2021;

2. Affirmation in support dated September 2, 2021, with Exhibits A and B.


2. The Court takes judicial notice of the date of filing of the claim herein.