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CJA's Citizen Taxpayer Action to End NYS' Corrupt Budget "Process"
& Unconstitutional "Three Men in a Room" Governance

 

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF ALBANY
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CENTER FOR JUDICIAL ACCOUNTABILITY, INC. and ELENA RUTH SASSOWER, individually and as Director of the Center for Judicial Accountability, Inc., acting on their own behalf and on behalf of the People of the State of New York & the Public Interest,                                                                                                       

                                               -against-                                                                                                        

ANDREW M. CUOMO, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of New York, DEAN SKELOS in his official capacity as Temporary Senate President,  THE NEW YORK STATE SENATE, SHELDON SILVER, in his official capacity as Assembly Speaker, THE NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY, ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of New York, and THOMAS DiNAPOLI, in his official capacity as Comptroller of the State of New York,

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“It is the purpose of the legislature to recognize that each individual citizen and taxpayer of the state has an interest in the proper disposition of all state funds and properties.  Whenever this interest is or may be threatened by an illegal or unconstitutional act of a state officer or employee, the need for relief is so urgent that any citizen-taxpayer should have and hereafter does have a right to seek the remedies provided for herein.”     State Finance Law, §123: “Legislative purpose” 

“A budget is a statement of the financial position of the government, for a definite period of time, based upon an estimate of proposed expenditures and anticipated revenues…The method by which public budgets are prepared is governed by the State Constitution and the applicable State statutes.  The requirements contained in those documents are not particularly burdensome and permit the executive and the legislative officials considerable freedom of action in implementing governmental operations and programs and providing for the revenues to fund them.  The legal requirements they contain, however, are grounded in the general principles of fiscal responsibility and the accountability that underpins the regulation of all public conduct and they must be followed.”   Korn v. Gulotta, 72 N.Y.2d 363, 372-373 (1988), underlining added

 

 

Plaintifffs' March 28, 2014 Summons
& VERIFIED COMPLAINT


Attorney General's April 18, 2014 Dismissal Motion


Plaintiffs' May 16, 2014 Opposition/Cross-Motion
for summary judgment, etc.


Attorney General's May 30, 2014 response
affirmation  & memo of law

Plaintiffs' June 6, 2014 reply
in further support of summary judgment, etc.
reply affidavit
 ex CC
 ex DD
& reply memo of law

Plaintiffs' June 15, 2014 OSC
to Prevent Destruction of Records


Justice McDonough's October 9, 2014 decision & order -- & Correspondence

AAG Kerwin's November 5, 2014 Verified Answer

[plaintiffs' marked pleading]

Plaintiffs' November 17, 2014 NOTICE OF APPEAL
& PRE-CALENDAR STATEMENT


Plaintiffs' December 8, 2014 Plaintiffs' Interrogatory Questions
& Document Demands


Attorney General's January 15, 2015 Response

New York State Constitution, Article III, §11:
"For any speech or debate in either house of the legislature,
the members shall not be questioned in any other place."

Plaintiffs' February 4, 2015 letter to the Justice McDonough

Justice McDonough's February 18, 2015 letter to Attorney General

Attorney General's February 20, 2015 letter to Justice McDonough

cc:  Plaintiffs' February 23, 2015 letter to Senate and Assembly Fiscal Committees
-- "YOUR FEBRUARY 26, 2015 'PUBLIC PROTECTION' BUDGET HEARING: Reconsidering Your Denial of CJA's Request to Testify, Pursuant to Legislative Law §32-a, in Opposition to the Proposed Judiciary and Legislative Budgets -- and the Governor's Budget Bill #S.2001/A.3001"

Justice McDonough's February 25, 2015 letter


Plaintiffs' March 31, 2015 motion for leave
to supplement verified complaint


Attorney General's July 15, 2015 Notice of Entry for
Justice McDonough's June 24, 2015 decision/order

Attorney General's July 28, 2015 Dismissal/Summary Judgment Motion

Plaintiffs' September 22, 2015 Opposition to Dismissal/Summary Judgment Motion & Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment & Other Relief

Plaintiffs-Appellants' Appeal -- Appellate Division, 3rd Dept.






 

STATE FINANCE LAW:  ARTICLE 7A
CITIZEN-TAXPAYER ACTIONS

§123.  Legislative purpose.
It is the purpose of the legislature to recognize that each individual citizen and taxpayer of the state has  an interest  in  the  proper disposition of all state funds and properties. Whenever this interest  is or  may  be  threatened by an illegal  or unconstitutional act of a state officer or employee, the need for relief is so urgent that any citizen-taxpayer should have and hereafter does have a right to seek the remedies provided for herein.

 §123-a.  Definitions.
     1. Citizen. A "citizen" is any person who is a resident of the state.

     2. Taxpayer. A "taxpayer" is any citizen who has  paid  or  is  paying state income or state sales taxes.
     3.   Person.   A   "person"  is  any  individual,  public  or  private corporation, political subdivision, department or agency of the state or any local government, the attorney general, an association, or any other legal entity whatsoever.

§123-b.   Action  for  declaratory and equitable relief. 
     1. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, any person, who is  a citizen  taxpayer,  whether  or not such person is or may be affected or specially aggrieved by the activity herein referred to, may maintain  an action  for equitable or declaratory relief, or both, against an officer or employee of the state who in the course of  his  or  her  duties  has  caused,  is  now  causing,  or is about to cause a wrongful expenditure,
misappropriation, misapplication,   or   any    other    illegal    or unconstitutional  disbursement  of state funds or state property, except that  the  provisions  of  this  subdivision  shall  not  apply  to  the authorization,  sale,  execution  or  delivery  of a bond issue or notes issued  in  anticipation  thereof  by   the   state  or  any  agency,
instrumentality  or  subdivision thereof or by any public corporation or public benefit corporation.
     2. A plaintiff in such an action may join as  a  party  defendant  the recipient   or  intended  recipient of such a wrongful expenditure, misappropriation, misapplication, or any  other illegal  or unconstitutional disbursement of state funds or state property.
 

§123-c.  Pleadings and procedure. 
     1.  An  action pursuant to this article shall be brought in the supreme court in any county wherein  the disbursement  has  occurred, is likely to occur, or is occurring, or in the county in which the  state  officer  or  employee  has  his  or  her principal office.

    2.  The complaint in such action shall be either verified or supported by affidavits.
    3. Where the plaintiff in such action is a  person  other  than  the attorney  general,  a  copy of the summons and complaint shall be served upon the attorney general.
    4. An action under the provisions of this article shall be heard  upon such  notice  to such officer or employee as the court, justice or judge shall direct, and shall be promptly determined. The  action  shall  have preference over all other causes in all courts.

§123-d.  Security for costs.
      At any stage of the action, upon motion by the defendant, or upon its own initiative, the court  may  order the plaintiff to give an undertaking for costs and taxable disbursements not to exceed the sum of twenty-five hundred dollars. If plaintiff shall not have  given  such  undertaking  at the expiration of sixty days from the date of service of the order upon him or her, the court may, upon motion of the defendant, dismiss the action and award costs to the defendant.  This  section  shall  not  apply to any action commenced by the attorney general in the name of and on behalf of the people of the state.

§123-e.  Relief by the court.
      1. The court may grant equitable or declaratory relief, or both, including, but not  limited  to:  enjoining the  activity  complained of;  restitution to the state of those public funds disbursed or public property alienated; in  the  case  of  public property  wrongfully alienated, compelling  payment of the full market value; a declaration that  a  proposed  disbursement  or  alienation  of  property  would  be illegal; and such other and further relief as to the court may seem just and proper.
       2. The court, at the  commencement  of an  action  pursuant  to  this article, or at  any  time  subsequent  thereto  and  prior to entry of judgment, upon application by the plaintiff or the attorney  general  on behalf  of  the  people of the state, may grant a preliminary injunction and impose such terms and conditions as may be necessary to restrain the defendant if he or she threatens to commit or is committing  an  act or

acts which, if committed or continued during the pendency of the action, would  be  detrimental  to  the public interest. A temporary restraining order may be granted pending a  hearing  for a preliminary  injunction notwithstanding  the  requirements of section six thousand three hundred thirteen of the civil practice law and  rules, where  it  appears  that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result unless the  defendant is restrained before a hearing can be had.

§123-f.  Termination of action.
No action brought pursuant to this article shall be compromised,  discontinued  or  dismissed  by  consent, default, or neglect to prosecute, except with approval of the court.

§123-g. Costs and fees.
       1.  The court shall have the authority to fix a reasonable sum to reimburse the  plaintiff  for  costs  and  expenses, including  attorney  fees in an action wherein judgment was rendered for the plaintiff.  Such attorney fees shall only  be  paid  from  the  fund established  under section one hundred twenty-three-h of this article to the extent of money available therein.

      2.  No intervenors, unless they are necessary parties, shall be awarded attorney fees.

§123-i.  Existing rights and remedies preserved.

Nothing in this article shall abridge or alter rights of actions or remedies now or hereafter existing.

§123-j.  Separability. 
If  any  provision  of  this article is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions which can  be given effect without the invalid provision.

*   *   *

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