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Donna M. James v. State of New York and Commissioner of Social Services For the City of New York

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


May 3, 2013

DONNA M. JAMES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE OF NEW YORK AND COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF NEW YORK, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: John Gleeson, U.S.D.J.

ORDER

On January 29, 2010, Donna James filed a complaint alleging that her state-appointed guardians deployed "tyrannical methods . . . to commit [her] private property for sale," Compl. at 2 of 194, ECF No. 1. James further alleges that the proceeding adjudicating her "incapacitated" on April 7, 2003 was "based on fraud, created evidence, [and] the leverage of Trial Court with Public Officials enjoined in the act of Social Intolerance . . . .," id. at 1 of 194. She seeks an order from this Court re-instating her right to the property sold by auction in 2007.

I initially declined to reach the merits of James's claims because, as an incompetent person, I held that she may not pursue them on her own behalf. See Order dated May 5, 2012. James appealed, and the Second Circuit remanded the case, directing that I consider, inter alia, whether to exercise the court's inherent authority to appoint a guardian ad litem to represent James's interests in the federal forum. James v. New York, No. 10 Civ 2042, 2011 WL 982658, at *2 (2d Cir. March 22, 2011). I referred the matter to Magistrate Judge Viktor Pohorelsky for a Report and Recommendation ("R&R"), and he heard oral argument on September 14, 2011. Present at oral argument were James and her three state-appointed guardians and the co-trustees of her Special Needs Trust.

I have carefully reviewed the R&R; Ms. James's objections to the R&R submitted on April 15, 2013; the transcript of the oral argument, see Oral Arg. Tr., ECF No. 23; and the Affirmation and exhibits submitted by co-guardian and co-trustee Mary J. Martinez-DiGregorio, see ECF No 37. I agree with Judge Pohorelsky's conclusions that (1) Ms. James has been adjudicated incapacitated pursuant to Article 81.02 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law, see R&R at 2, ECF No. 39; and that (2) that Ms. James's guardians are not acting in bad faith, see id. at 2, 7-9. Having carefully considered the record, I adopt the R&R in full; I decline to exercise my discretionary authority to appoint a guardian ad litem to appear in this matter on James's behalf. Accordingly, James's claims are dismissed without prejudice.

So ordered.

John Gleeson, U.S.D.J.

20130503

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