Klemonski v. University of Connecticut Health Center
The doctrine of sovereign immunity, which implicates the court's subject matter jurisdiction, is a ground for granting a motion to dismiss. Kevin Klemonski, now known as Brooklyn Macellaio, filed a complaint making various allegations regarding mental health services provided to him by the University of Connecticut Health Center while he was incarcerated. The court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint which sought monetary damages and injunctive relief. The plaintiff filed an amended complaint with similar allegations and sought monetary relief alone. The court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground of sovereign immunity. The plaintiff appealed claiming that he did not proceed through the claims commissioner because he was unable to pay the statutory filing fee due to his incarceration and indigency. The Appellate Court affirmed the judgment. The plaintiff argued that he was denied access to the court because of a decision by the claims commissioner requiring him to pay future filing fees. In that decision, the commissioner stated that the plaintiff had filed 44 claims between May 1, 2009 and Oct. 26, 2009, as well as 11 court actions in 2009. The commissioner determined that "[t]his serial claimant has received fee waivers and abused the courts and this office for frivolous claims. In the future [the plaintiff] shall be required to pay the statutory filing fee for any claims filed with the Office of the Claims Commissioner." The Appellate Court determined that the plaintiff's amended complaint did not fall within any recognized exception to the doctrine of sovereign immunity based on the commissioner's having barred the plaintiff from filing future fee waivers due to his history of numerous frivolous filings. He did not provide a persuasive analysis as to why the doctrine of sovereign immunity should not apply. Waiver of sovereign immunity by the claims commissioner is a legislative prerogative with which the Appellate Court will not interfere lightly.