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Shea v. County of Erie

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department
Mar 11, 1994
202 A.D.2d 1028 (N.Y. App. Div. 1994)

Opinion

March 11, 1994

Appeal from the Supreme Court, Erie County, Forma, J.

Present — Denman, P.J., Balio, Lawton, Fallon and Davis, JJ.


Order unanimously reversed on the law without costs, motions granted and complaint dismissed. Memorandum: Supreme Court erred in denying the motions of the County of Erie and City of Buffalo for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. Plaintiff commenced this action to recover damages for false arrest and unlawful imprisonment for injuries allegedly received as a result of his detention. Plaintiff alleged that defendants negligently failed to confirm and communicate to Buffalo City Court plaintiff's satisfactory completion of a County drinking and driving evaluation program that was a requirement of his conditional discharge on a Vehicle and Traffic offense. Buffalo City Court issued a bench warrant in December 1985 because plaintiff had initially failed to participate in the program. Although a letter was subsequently sent notifying City Court of plaintiff's successful completion of the program, the warrant was never recalled. Plaintiff does not contend that the warrant was invalid on its face and there is no basis, therefore, for an action for false arrest and imprisonment (Stalteri v. County of Monroe, 107 A.D.2d 1071; Saunsen v. State of New York, 81 A.D.2d 252). Although plaintiff's cause of action sounds in negligence, he "may not recover under broad general principles of negligence * * * but must proceed by way of the traditional remedies of false arrest and imprisonment" (Boose v. City of Rochester, 71 A.D.2d 59, 62). Additionally, the failure of Buffalo City Court, a component of the New York State Unified Court System (see, NY Const, art VI, § 1 [a]), to revoke the bench warrant does not render the City of Buffalo liable. Similarly, the County of Erie is not liable for any negligent omission on the part of City Court to revoke the warrant.


Summaries of

Shea v. County of Erie

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department
Mar 11, 1994
202 A.D.2d 1028 (N.Y. App. Div. 1994)
Case details for

Shea v. County of Erie

Case Details

Full title:TIMOTHY W. SHEA, Respondent, v. COUNTY OF ERIE et al., Appellants

Court:Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department

Date published: Mar 11, 1994

Citations

202 A.D.2d 1028 (N.Y. App. Div. 1994)
609 N.Y.S.2d 473

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