In re DeOca, 2022-22107

CourtNew York Surrogate Court
PartiesIn the Matter of the Estate of Alfred M. DeOca, Deceased.
Decision Date28 March 2022
Docket Number2022-22107,File 2020-1331/A

In the Matter of the Estate of Alfred M. DeOca, Deceased.

No. 2022-22107

File No. 2020-1331/A

Surrogate's Court, Erie County

March 28, 2022

HURWITZ & FINE, P.C., Appearing for Maria D. Corwin, Voluntary Administrator/Petitioner (Lawrence C. Franco, Esq., of Counsel)


Alfred M. DeOca [hereafter, DeOca] died intestate on March 2, 2020, a registered member of the Seneca Nation of Indians. A small estate affidavit was filed by the decedent's sister Maria D. Corwin [hereafter, Corwin], and thereafter on May 14, 2020, certificates of Voluntary Administration were issued authorizing Corwin to collect two M & T checking accounts: (1) account ending -2160 in the amount of $47, 769.00 [1]; and (2) account ending -0601 in the amount of $1, 126.00.

On March 15, 2021, a verified claim was filed by the Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Social Services [hereafter, Erie County] through HMS, Inc. [hereafter, HMS] for claimant New York State Department of Health [hereafter, NYS, DOH], as supervising governmental entity of Medicaid administered by Erie County. NYS DOH, as a preferred creditor, asserted an unsecured claim against the estate in the sum of $347, 327.16 for services and care provided by NYS DOH to or on behalf of DeOca. A later-dated verified claim was filed on April 12, 2021, by Erie County through HMS as NYS DOH's claim in the same sum as the initial claim.

Corwin filed a petition on August 19, 2021, requesting that this Court determine the validity of NYS DOH's claim as supervising governmental entity of Medicaid administered by Erie County. Corwin argued that the verified claim against account ending -2160 should be rejected because the assets deposited into this account by the Seneca Nation came from a Seneca Nation fund account which qualifies as a Medicaid applicant's exempt resource under Erie County's Regulations.

A citation was issued to NYS DOH, HMS, and to decedent's distributees, returnable December 9, 2021, to show cause pursuant to SCPA 1809 why this Court should not approve the estate's rejection of NYS DOH's claim against account ending -2160. Affidavits of service were filed with the Court establishing that all cited parties were duly served with the citation. No parties appeared on December 9, 2021, nor were any answering papers filed in opposition to the relief sought by petitioner.


In SCPA 1809 proceedings, this Court has a broad mandate in determining...

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