On June 21, 2000, the following papers were read on Claimant's motion to appeal
as poor person:
Undated letter from Claimant to Clerk of the Court
"Letter of Request" from Claimant to Court dated April 9, 2000
Claimant is an inmate proceeding pro se, who seeks damages of $20,000,000.00
for alleged medical malpractice, medical negligence and other torts that he
attributes to the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) and its employees.
By decision and order filed on August 18, 1999 (M-59696, M-59905, CM-59795), I
dismissed his claim on the grounds that it was never served upon the Attorney
General and denied Claimant's motion and cross-motion for a temporary
restraining order and preliminary injunction and for an inquest on damages. I
also denied his motion for reconsideration of my August 18, 1999 decision and
order (see, Interim Order filed on November 10, 1999 [M-60270] and
Decision and Order filed on April 6, 2000 [M-60270]).
Claimant, who is now appealing one or both of these decisions, submitted a
"Letter of Request," dated April 9, 2000, in which he stated that his legal
papers had been confiscated by employees or agents of DOCS. Although he
acknowledged that some of his legal papers were subsequently returned to him,
Claimant has requested that the Court furnish him with copies of all of his
records related to this case "without fee."
It is the policy of the Court of Claims to assess a charge of $.25 per page for
copies of documents that have been filed with the Court; however, relief from
the payment of costs and fees is one of the "privileges" afforded to poor
persons under CPLR Article 11 (see, CPLR 1102[d]).
In this case, Claimant has not met the legal requisites for such relief. He
has not provided an affidavit describing his income or assets or stated that he
is unable to pay the cost of copying the records he requested
(see, CPLR 1101[a]). Nor has he served the County Attorney with a
copy of his motion (see, CPLR 1101[c]). Therefore, his request
for free copies of the filed papers relating to his claim must be denied.
The fact that I am denying his motion does not, of course, mean that Claimant
is without a remedy. To the extent that he bears the initial cost of obtaining
photocopies from the Court Clerk's Office, he may seek to recover his expenses
through Defendant's lost property claims procedures and, if necessary, by
bringing an appropriate claim for damages in this Court if his administrative
claim is denied (see, 7 NYCRR 1700.1, et seq.; Court
of Claims Act §10).