BELL v. STATE

Reset A A Font size: Print

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, New York.

John B. BELL, Appellant, v. STATE of New York et al., Respondents.

Decided: November 28, 2000

Before:  CARDONA, P.J., PETERS, CARPINELLO, GRAFFEO and ROSE, JJ. John B. Bell, Miramar, Florida, appellant in person. Eliot Spitzer, Attorney-General (Alicia R. Ouellette of counsel), Albany, for respondents.

Appeal from an order of the Court of Claims (Collins, J.), entered October 26, 1999, which, inter alia, granted defendants' motion to dismiss the claim on the ground of res judicata.

The instant claim seeking damages for alleged constitutional violations is yet another in a barrage of litigation over a 20-year-old student loan arising out of claimant's two years of law school education in the late 1970s (see, e.g., Bell v. New York Higher Educ. Assistance Corp., 166 A.D.2d 228, 560 N.Y.S.2d 439;  Bell v. New York Higher Educ. Assistance Corp., 158 A.D.2d 305, 550 N.Y.S.2d 712, appeals dismissed 76 N.Y.2d 845, 560 N.Y.S.2d 129, 559 N.E.2d 1288;  76 N.Y.2d 930, 563 N.Y.S.2d 54, 564 N.E.2d 664;  Bell v. New York Higher Educ. Assistance Corp., 140 Misc.2d 229, 530 N.Y.S.2d 430, affd. 145 A.D.2d 1006, 538 N.Y.S.2d 451, lv. dismissed, lv. denied 74 N.Y.2d 623, 541 N.Y.S.2d 979, 539 N.E.2d 1107).   While claimant had obtained a default judgment against defendant New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (hereinafter NYSHESC) 1 in 1984, the default was subsequently vacated by Supreme Court (Wilk, J.) on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter because NYSHESC was a State agency subject to the Court of Claims Act (Bell v. New York Higher Educ. Assistance Corp., 138 Misc.2d 932, 526 N.Y.S.2d 316, affd. 145 A.D.2d 1006, 538 N.Y.S.2d 451, lv. dismissed, lv. denied 74 N.Y.2d 623, 541 N.Y.S.2d 979, 539 N.E.2d 1107).   At the same time, albeit in a separate decision, Supreme Court granted the lender bank's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint (Bell v. New York Higher Educ. Assistance Corp., 138 Misc.2d 936, 526 N.Y.S.2d 319, affd. 145 A.D.2d 1006, 538 N.Y.S.2d 451, lv. dismissed, lv. denied 74 N.Y.2d 623, 541 N.Y.S.2d 979, 539 N.E.2d 1107).

In October 1997, following over a decade of continued and unsuccessful litigation against, inter alia, NYSHESC and the lender bank, claimant was permanently enjoined from bringing “further litigation of his claims relating to his student loan or loans from Chemical [Bank] and/or guaranteed by NYSHESC” (Bell v. New York Higher Educ. Assistance Corp., Sup. Ct., New York County, Oct. 1, 1997, Wilk, J., slip opn. p. 2, affd. 250 A.D.2d 496, 671 N.Y.S.2d 975, appeal dismissed 92 N.Y.2d 876, 677 N.Y.S.2d 783, 700 N.E.2d 322, appeal dismissed, lv. dismissed 93 N.Y.2d 920, 691 N.Y.S.2d 384, 713 N.E.2d 419).   The October 1997 order further stated as follows:

[Claimant] is enjoined from commencing or reinstituting any further litigation, in this Court, any appellate court in which orders of this Court are reviewable, any other state or federal court, or any other tribunal, state or federal, on any legal theory of recovery or factual basis, relating in any way or manner to [claimant's] student loan or loans from Chemical and/or the guarantee thereof by NYSHESC which were the subject matter of the litigation [between the subject parties], against Chemical, any successor, assign, parent, subsidiary, affiliate or agent of Chemical, or NYSHESC, any successor, assign, parent, subsidiary, affiliate or agent of NYSHESC, all such claims being res judicata and permanently barred (id., at slip opn. p. 2).

Obviously undeterred by the clear and unambiguous ban on further litigation, claimant again seeks damages arising out of his original student loan dispute and the litigation that ensued between the parties.   Suffice it to say, the Court of Claims appropriately found that the present claim is barred by the subject permanent injunction and the principle of res judicata (see, Bell v. New York Higher Educ. Assistance Corp., 250 A.D.2d 496, 671 N.Y.S.2d 975).

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, without costs.

FOOTNOTES

1.   NYSHESC was sued as New York Higher Education Assistance Corporation in the original action.

CARPINELLO, J.

CARDONA, P.J., PETERS, GRAFFEO and ROSE, JJ., concur.

Copied to clipboard