New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

RUIZ v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-005-522, Claim No. 97708, Motion Nos. M-61335, M-61686


Synopsis


Pro Se inmate's motions to compel are denied.

Case Information

UID:
2000-005-522
Claimant(s):
EDDIE RUIZ
Claimant short name:
RUIZ
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
97708
Motion number(s):
M-61335, M-61686
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Donald J. Corbett, Jr.
Claimant's attorney:
Eddie RuizPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Patricia M. Bordonaro, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
July 13, 2000
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

On June 21, 2000, the following papers, numbered 1 to 10, were read on motions by Claimant to compel discovery:


1, 2, 3 Notice of Motion (M-61335), Affidavit and Affirmation Annexed

4 Claimant's letter dated March 28, 2000

5, 6, 7 Notice of Motion (M-61686), Affirmation, Affidavit and Exhibits Annexed

8 Claimant's Injunction to Motion of Discovery Affidavit (sic)

9 Opposing Affirmation

10 Filed Papers: Claim


Upon the foregoing papers, the motions are denied.

It appears that the Defendant was never served with Motion No. M-61335, filed on March 14, 2000, despite an affidavit of service to that effect. Regardless, on May 10, 2000, Claimant filed Motion No. M-61686, seeking identical relief, to which the Defendant has responded. Thus, for the sake of clarity, Motion No. M-61335 is denied, and I will address the latter motion.

Motion No. M-61686 seeks an order compelling the Defendant to produce certain documents, for which Claimant previously made a demand. Claimant attaches an affirmation of good faith, reflecting his purported attempts to obtain these documents without my intervention. It appears that a response was provided to Claimant on or about May 15, 2000, but he was not satisfied with the Defendant's response, which led to his submission of his "Injunction [sic] to Motion" recited above.

Thereafter the Defendant filed its affirmation in opposition in which it addresses each item sought by Claimant in his latest submission. With respect to the renewed request for a copy of the daily log book located in the hallway between B block and the mess hall, where there is a metal detector and an officer's post, the Defendant asserts that Auburn authorities have reported that the only log book between those two points logs the issuance of keys to other correction officers, and has no relevance to the instant claim, irrespective of security concerns for the facility, but allows that an in camera inspection would obviate that concern.

The claim herein alleges that an unknown inmate assaulted Claimant with a razor blade while he was playing cards in the mess hall recreation area. He alleges that an officer left his post at the officer's desk and that there was no security. Thus Claimant alleges the Defendant's negligence by not taking security measures, and that he was seriously injured as a result thereof. Given the affirmation of the Defendant that this sought after log book only logs the issuance of keys, as well as the putative security concerns if it were to be released, but more importantly, the absence of any argument that demonstrates how such information (to wit, the issuance of keys) is relevant to the underlying claim, that part of the motion is denied. While Claimant avers that the he is looking to establish that the metal detector was never used, he has made no showing that the log book he has demanded does anything more than log the issuance of keys. I specifically decline the suggestion of an in camera inspection, as I find that the material sought does not appear to have any relevance to the claim. This matter is being scheduled for trial, and if Claimant can show, through testimony, that the representations made by the Defendant are inaccurate, or misleading, I will revisit this issue. However, based upon the motion, and the response by the Defendant, I fail to see the relevance at this time.

As to the second item sought, the Defendant has supplied those pages of the daily log book in the hospital and covering the isolation room, for the five days prior to Claimant's transfer to Great Meadow Correctional Facility, with the redaction of information relating to other inmates. Accordingly, that part of the motion is denied as moot.

As to the final item sought, the daily log book located in the recreational area, inside of the mess hall, the Defendant affirms that it has been advised by the Auburn authorities, that no such log book is posted in that area.

Accordingly, the motion is denied in all respects.


July 13, 2000
Rochester, New York

HON. DONALD J. CORBETT, JR.
Judge of the Court of Claims