The Second Department noted that the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims is generally limited to money damages. Therefore the action, which was seeking a ruling that claimant’s Verizon Lifeline Service was wrongfully discontinued, was properly dismissed:
The Court of Claims is a court of limited jurisdiction determined by the Constitution and statute (see NY Const art VI, § 9; Court of Claims Act § 9). Its jurisdiction is generally limited to money damage awards against the State … . “Whether the essential nature of the claim is to recover money, or whether the monetary relief is incidental to the primary claim, is dependent upon the facts and issues presented in a particular case” … .
Here, while the claimant alleges certain monetary losses, the essential nature of his claim is one seeking to compel the PSC [NYS Public Service Commission] to investigate and issue a determination on his complaint that Verizon wrongfully discontinued his Lifeline Service, which he alleges the PSC is required to do. The money damages sought are merely incidental to the primary question of the PSC’s investigation and regulation of Verizon with respect to the Lifeline Service program. Aliksanyan v State of New York, 2020 NY Slip Op 01137, Second Dept 2-19-20