Ragland v. New York City Housing Authority – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Ragland v. New York City Housing Authority, 201 AD2d 7, 613 N.Y.S.2d 937 (2nd Dept 1994), plaintiff was arraigned in criminal court, held in jail for eleven (11) days because he could not make bail with the charges being dismissed three (3) months later.

The Criminal Court, District Attorney and police records were sealed pursuant to CPL § 160.50.

The Court permitted the late filing of the Notice of Claim on the condition that plaintiff waive confidentiality and allow the unsealing of these records.

The Court found that the "existence of reports in its own files... is the functional equivalent of an investigation" that would have been conducted if a timely Notice of Claim had been filed.

In Ragland, the Court observed:

The Supreme Court in the case before us relied on this general principle and the foregoing cases in holding: "Where, as here, members of the municipality's police department participate in the acts giving rise to the claim, and reports and complaints have been filed by the police, the municipality will be held to have actual notice of the essential facts of the claim " . Since the reason for the early filing of a notice of claim is to permit the public corporation to conduct a prompt investigation into facts and circumstances giving rise to the claim, the existence of reports in its own files concerning those facts and circumstances is the functional equivalent of an investigation. In the normal course, it would follow that the public corporation, in this case the Authority, would suffer no prejudice.