New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

CARGILL v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-005-520, Claim No. 95905, Motion No. M-61683


Pro se inmate motion to compel is granted in part and otherwise denied.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Donald J. Corbett, Jr.
Claimant's attorney:
Alcimus CargillPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Timothy P. Mulvey, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
July 19, 2000

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


On June 21, 2000, the following papers, numbered 1 to 6, were read on motion by Claimant for an order directing responses to certain interrogatories dated November 24, 1999:

1, 2, 3 Notice of Motion, Affidavits and Exhibits Annexed

4 Opposing Affirmation and Exhibits Annexed

5, 6 Filed Papers: Claim, Answer

Upon the foregoing papers, this motion is granted in part and otherwise denied.

Claimant seeks an order compelling responses to what the Defendant has calculated to be Claimant's Fifth Demand for Interrogatories. Claimant appends an affidavit of good faith and a copy of the said demand dated November 24, 1999.

It appears that the Defendant has responded and/or objected to each and every one of the first four demands. It opposes the instant motion on the grounds that the interrogatories are repetitive, redundant and intended to annoy and harass the Defendant. The Defendant argues that it has responded to all those demands and interrogatories that are necessary for the prosecution of this claim.

On December 6, 1999, the Defendant wrote to Claimant objecting to the November 24, 1999 interrogatories which are the subject of this motion, as well as the Notices for Discovery dated November 29, 1999. The objections indicated redundancy and repetitiveness. On December 14, 1999, Claimant noted in a letter to Defendant, that he had compared all his previous demands and interrogatories and "found them to contain unique and distinctive requests." The moving papers do not specify the specifically identical or similar inquiries/demands. However, my cursory review is telling.

I find it necessary to peruse each and every interrogatory, because, even though Claimant says they are all unique, Interrogatory No. 1 (of 8, dated November 24, 1999), is identical to Interrogatory No.1 dated November 30, 1998, and was answered on January 21, 1999.

Interrogatory No. 2 is vague and gives no dates. I do not know whether Interrogatory No. 3 was previously asked, but its relevance to the State's alleged negligence is not clear. Interrogatory No. 4 is overly vague covering maintenance of the entire Auburn Correctional Facility. Interrogatory No. 5 does not seem to have relevance and asks for current employees, without any specificity, to wit, maintenance staff. Interrogatory No. 6, however, is more specific and addresses reports filed by Fire and Safety Officer Don Dodge relative to the alleged broken lighting fixtures, seeking the dates, times and location of said reports. Interrogatory No. 7 is too vague. Interrogatory No. 8 seeks the date(s) and time(s) of any "Inmate Injury Prevention and Investigation" for the incident which forms the basis of this claim.

I find that Interrogatories Nos. 6 and 8 appear to be relevant, and not overtly redundant. The Defendant shall respond to the same within 30 days of service of a file-stamped copy of this order. The motion is otherwise denied in all respects.

July 19, 2000
Rochester, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims