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Walker v. State

Supreme Court of New York, Third Department

June 1, 2017

CARLTON WALKER, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF NEW YORK, Respondent.

          Calendar Date: April 25, 2017

          Carlton Walker, Otisville, appellant pro se.

          Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General, Albany (Frank Brady of counsel), for respondent.

          Before: Garry, J.P., Lynch, Rose, Clark and Aarons, JJ.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Rose, J.

         Appeal from an order of the Court of Claims (Hard, J.), entered June 8, 2016, which, among other things, granted defendant's motion to dismiss the claim.

         In 1985, claimant was convicted following a jury trial of a number of crimes, the most serious of which was murder in the second degree, and he was sentenced to an aggregate term of 25 years to life in prison. His conviction was later affirmed on appeal (People v Walker, 143 A.D.2d 784');">143 A.D.2d 784 [1988], lvs denied 73 N.Y.2d 984, 1023 [1989]). In 1994 and 1996, he made applications to the Appellate Division, Second Department for a writ of error coram nobis, but his applications were denied (People v Walker, 226 A.D.2d 749 [1996], appeal dismissed 88 N.Y.2d 887');">88 N.Y.2d 887 [1996], cert denied 519 U.S. 844');">519 U.S. 844 [1996]; People v Walker, 205 A.D.2d 716');">205 A.D.2d 716 [1994], appeal dismissed 84 N.Y.2d 834');">84 N.Y.2d 834 [1994]). In 2014, he made a third such application, which the Second Department treated as a motion to reargue his earlier applications and then denied [1]. Claimant sought leave to appeal this order to the Court of Appeals, but his application was dismissed and his motion to reargue the leave application was denied. [2]

         In December 2014, claimant filed a claim against defendant, emanating from his criminal conviction and the denial of his coram nobis applications, seeking damages in the amount of $300, 000, 000. Defendant moved to dismiss the claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a cause of action. Claimant, in turn, filed an amended claim and defendant made a second motion to dismiss. The Court of Claims, among other things, granted defendant's initial motion and dismissed the claim. Claimant now appeals.

         The causes of action alleged in the claim stem from claimant's assertion of innocence and purported deficiencies in the processing of his coram nobis applications and application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals, as well as alleged errors committed by certain judges, which he maintains deprived him of his constitutional rights. Claimant's request for monetary damages is clearly incidental, as the claim does not allege the manner in which such damages are related to the alleged constitutional violations (see Matter of Gross v Perales, 72 N.Y.2d 231, 236 [1988]; Green v State of New York, 90 A.D.3d 1577, 1578 [2011], lv denied 18 N.Y.3d 901');">18 N.Y.3d 901 [2012]; Madura v State of New York, 12 A.D.3d 759, 760 [2004], lv denied 4 N.Y.3d 704 [2005]). Accordingly, the Court of Claims is without subject matter jurisdiction to decide the claim (see Jackson v State of New York, 139 A.D.3d 1293, 1294 [2016]; Matter of Salahuddin v Connell, 53 A.D.3d 898, 899 [2008]). Moreover, although claimant has asserted a cause of action for unjust conviction under Court of Claims Act § 8-b, he has not provided documentary evidence establishing the necessary elements, i.e., that he was pardoned or that his conviction was reversed, as required by the statute (see Court of Claims Act § 8-b [3] [b]). Furthermore, to the extent that claimant has asserted causes of action against individual judges arising from the performance of their official duties, these causes of action are barred by the doctrine of judicial immunity (see Best v State of New York, 116 A.D.3d 1198, 1199 [2014]; Harley v State of New York, 186 A.D.2d 324, 324-325 [1992], appeal dismissed 81 N.Y.2d 781');">81 N.Y.2d 781 [1993]). We have considered claimant's remaining contentions and find them to be unpersuasive. In view of the foregoing, the claim was properly dismissed.

          Garry, J.P., Lynch, Clark and Aarons, JJ., concur.

         ORDERED that the order is affirmed, without costs.

---------

Notes:

[1] His subsequent motion for reargument with respect to this ruling was also ...


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