1986). A motion for reconsideration that does not come within the sweep of Rule 60(b) must comply with Local Rule 7.1(g), which requires service of papers within ten days from the entry of the challenged judgment, order, or decree. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(a) further provides that weekends and legal holidays are excluded from the time computation when periods of eleven days or less are prescribed by any rule. The MDO was filed June 30 and service of the reconsideration motion papers was performed July 12, 1995. Taking into account two weekends and the Independence Day holiday, a modest calculation confirms that plaintiff's motion is timely. The court will therefore address the merits of the motion, notwithstanding that Rule 60(b) is the improper procedural vehicle to bring it.
Addressing plaintiff's first argument, the court agrees with defendants that whether or not the disrepair of the cameras was a proximate cause of decedent's suicide is irrelevant to Sheriff Lamy's potential liability. The principle that it is the county, not the sheriff, who has the duty to maintain the jail is ingrained in New York law. See, e.g., Bowman v. Campbell, 193 A.D.2d 921, 922, 597 N.Y.S.2d 772, 774 (N.Y. App. Div.), leave to appeal denied in part, dismissed in part, 82 N.Y.2d 740, 622 N.E.2d 296, 602 N.Y.S.2d 796 (N.Y. 1993); New York State Comm'n of Correction v. Ruffo, 157 A.D.2d 987, 988, 550 N.Y.S.2d 746, 747 (N.Y. App. Div. 1990); McNulty v. Chinlund, 62 A.D.2d 682, 686, 406 N.Y.S.2d 558, 560 (N.Y. App. Div. 1978). Thus, even if the plaintiff could prove that the camera's disfunction caused the suicide, the sheriff would not be liable in negligence as he had no duty to repair it. See Ramos v. 600 West 183rd Street, 155 A.D.2d 333, 335, 547 N.Y.S.2d 633, 635 (N.Y. App. Div. 1989) ("More than causation must be shown to make out negligence; there must also be a duty that has been breached."). Since the question of duty is reserved to judges in New York, Palka v. Servicemaster Mgt. Servs., 83 N.Y.2d 579, 585, 634 N.E.2d 189, 192, 611 N.Y.S.2d 817, 820 (N.Y. 1994), and this particular question is settled in this state, the court affirms its prior decision that Sheriff Lamy had no duty to maintain the cameras.
The sheriff, along with the Commission of Correction, does have the duty to inspect the jail and presumably to notify the county of any needed repair work. See Kemp v. Waldron, 125 Misc. 2d 197, 200, 479 N.Y.S.2d 440, 442 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1984), aff'd, 115 A.D.2d 869, 497 N.Y.S.2d 158 (N.Y. App. Div. 1985); Dep. of James Meade, attached to Def.'s Notice of Motion, Doc. 41, at 9-10; Dep. of Sheriff Lamy, Exh. 22, attached to Doc. 20, at 39-42. So plaintiff could propose a theory that the sheriff, if aware of the disrepair of the camera, had a duty to notify the county. Such a theory was not raised however, and in any event, liability would have to be predicated on a duty in the county to maintain the cameras, an issue taken up below. Consequently, plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the court's June 30, 1995 decision granting summary judgment in favor of Sheriff Lamy is denied. The court now turns to the question of Warren County's responsibility.
County of Warren
Assuming that the location of the camera alone is sufficient to raise more than a "metaphysical doubt as to the material facts," Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 89 L. Ed. 2d 538, 106 S. Ct. 1348 (1986), it is still not clear that the device's disrepair was even a cause-in-fact of the injury. Plaintiff has undeniably admitted that "nobody was assigned to monitor the cameras even had they been operating." Plaintiff's Statement of Material Facts as to Which There is No Genuine Issue, Doc. 48, at 3. So, even had the cameras been operating, they could not have prevented decedent's suicide as nobody was tasked to watch the monitors. See Livingston v. Gribetz, 549 F. Supp. 238, 243 (S.D.N.Y. 1982) ("An act or omission is not regarded as a cause of an event if the particular event would have occurred without it."). Pursuant to this analysis, the issue of whether the nonfunctioning camera was an actual cause of the injury fails both the "but-for" and "substantial factor" tests. See W. Page Keeton et al., Prosser and Keeton on Torts § 41, at 265 (5th ed. 1984 & Supp. 1988) (hereinafter Keeton, Torts).
The court perceives, however, a certain circularity to relying on this point alone. One might legitimately question whether the sheriff might not have assigned someone to monitor the camera, if it had only worked. The court is obliged in this case to reexamine the legal decision challenged by plaintiff: that the disrepair of the camera was not a proximate cause of the injury complained of. Proximate cause is one of the more unfortunate concepts in the law and a perpetual bane of freshman law students. Because "the consequences of an act go forward to eternity, and the causes of an event go back to the dawn of human events," Keeton, Torts § 41, at 264, it is necessary to limit liability somewhere. Whether or not a court is candid about it, these limits often flow from policy considerations. Derdiarian v. Felix Contracting Corp., 51 N.Y.2d 308, 314, 414 N.E.2d 666, 670, 434 N.Y.S.2d 166, 169 (N.Y. 1980).
In New York, though, the preferred method of determining where liability ends is in the question of duty, not proximate cause. This has been true since Chief Judge Cardozo forsook the usual inquiry into proximate cause in favor of asking what duty defendant owed plaintiff in Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R. Co., 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 (N.Y. 1928). See generally Keeton, Torts § 43, at 284. The Court of Appeals has even phrased the negligence elements in a way suggesting that the only causation that is relevant is causation in fact:
[A] court always is required to undertake an initial evaluation of the evidence to determine whether the plaintiff has established the elements necessary to a cause of action in negligence, to wit: (1) the existence of a duty on defendant's part as to plaintiff; (2) a breach of this duty; and (3) injury to the plaintiff as a result thereof.