Judge Philip Straniere

Claimant Gibson filed an action against volunteer small claims arbitrator Adinolfi claiming he engaged in “racial profiling, judicial misconduct, racism.” Adinolfi moved for dismissal arguing the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over any litigation brought against him. The court opined that “presumably” Gibson’s claim for damages and civil rights violations was not resolved to his satisfaction through complaints, and he commenced this action against the city for his alleged injuries stemming from an arrest and the police’s refusal for medical assistance. Adinolfi denied Gibson’s claim against the City, and as there was no appeal from an arbitrator’s decision, Gibson began this action against Adinolfi. Adinolfi argued the proper place to bring the action was the Court of Claims. The court agreed, noting while Adinolfi was a volunteer, he was considered an employee of New York State, and within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Claims. Also, as he was acting in the role of a judge, absolute immunity from civil liability for acts done in an official capacity, even if in excess of their jurisdiction, may apply, and dismissal was granted.