Cordaro v. Town of Greece Assessor, 2021-50798

CourtNew York Justice Court
Writing for the CourtMICHAEL A. SCIORTINO, J.
PartiesMichael Cordaro, Plaintiff, v. Town of Greece Assessor, Richard Baart, Defendant.
Docket Number2021-50798
Decision Date19 August 2021

Michael Cordaro, Plaintiff,
v.

Town of Greece Assessor, Richard Baart, Defendant.

No. 2021-50798

Justice Court of the Town of Parma, Monroe County

August 19, 2021


Unpublished Opinion

Michael Cordaro, pro se

Town of Greece Assessor, Richard Baart

By: Jeremy M. Sher, Esq.

MICHAEL A. SCIORTINO, J.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The plaintiff, MICHAEL CORDARO ("plaintiff") commenced this small claim against TOWN OF GREECE ASSESSOR, RICHARD BAART ("defendant") in the Justice Court for the Town of Greece, County of Monroe, State of New York, in the amount of $3, 000.00, plus the $15.00 court filing fee, for a total of $3, 015.00 for, according to the Small Claims Complaint Form filed on March 11, 2021, "Negligence and malpractice as a public official in public office, and obstruction of justice. Failing to provide required disclosures in a court proceeding. Misconduct in public office as discribed [sic] within the attached report. Violation of taxpayer rights to challenge government assessment motion." On April 16, 2021, the Hon. Michael L. Dollinger, Monroe County Court Judge, issued an Order Granting Motion for Removal From Greece Town Court and Hereby Transferred to Parma Town Court Pursuant to C.P.L.R. §325(g) ("Order of Transfer") based on the recusal and disqualification of the Greece Town Justices where this Small Claim was originally filed based upon the purported jurisdiction of the parties. Following the receipt of Judge Dollinger's Order of Transfer on or around May 6, 2021, the Court Clerk in the Town of Parma properly served a Notice of Small Claim scheduling this matter for June 17, 2021. See 22 N.Y.C.R.R. §214.10(e). The parties appeared on June 17, 2021 to participate in a fair and impartial hearing of this small claim. Prior to the swearing in of any witnesses however, including the plaintiff appearing pro se, the defendant, by and through his counsel, Jeremy M. Sher, Esq., submitted Defendant's Memorandum of Law dated June 17, 2021 for the Court's consideration.

The Court heard argument from defendant's counsel in support of his legal arguments that (1) res judicata bars plaintiff's attempt to relitigate the Small Claims Assessment Review ("SCAR") Hearing or Article 78 Proceeding, and (2) plaintiff's failure to serve a Notice of Claim bars this action. The Court also heard from the plaintiff in opposition to defendant's request for a dismissal on both of the legal arguments stated herein. Following the initial appearance of June 17, 2021, the Court conferenced the matter on the record with plaintiff and defendant's counsel on June 24, 2021 to advise the parties that the Court had reviewed the argument thus far and wanted to provide both parties with an opportunity to submit additional material in support of, and in opposition to, defendant's arguments raised for the first time in the Memorandum of Law received on June 17, 2021. The parties thereafter submitted their respective legal briefs on July 8, 2021, including Plaintiff's Supplemental Correspondence and corresponding Exhibits A, B, and C, and Defendant's Supplemental Memorandum of Law and corresponding Exhibits A and B. The Court thereafter scheduled the matter for Thursday, at 6:00 p.m. and reserved the opportunity to submit a written decision upon due deliberation of the matter prior to the return date and time.

It should be noted that neither the plaintiff, nor the defendant, were sworn in as witnesses on June 17, 2021, or any other date and time by this Court. The Court received legal argument only and advised the parties that a Small Claim Hearing may be convened on a future date if the Court denied the defendant's request for a dismissal and was to proceed on the factual merits of the plaintiff's small claim.

II. LEGAL ANALYSIS and CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

The purpose of Small Claims Court is to do substantial justice between the parties according to the rules and principles of substantive law. See Uniform Justice Court Act §1804 (McKinney's 2021); see Hampton v. Annal Management Co., Ltd., 164 Misc.2d 287 (City Civ. Ct. 1994), appeal dismissed, 168 Misc.2d 138 (App. Term 1996). Small Claims Court is designed to provide litigants with a...

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