New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

McLAURIN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-016-019, Claim No. 97679, Motion No. None


Court ordered production of witnesses at trial scheduled at Sullivan Correctional Facility.

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):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
Norris J. McLaurin
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Earl F. Gialanella, AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 10, 2000
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


In his underlying claim, pro se claimant Norris McLaurin alleges that he was injured while being transported in a Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) van; he asserts that when the van stopped at a correctional facility security gate, the driver and gate operator "engaged in ‘horseplay' . . . the . . . gate operator continually opened and closed the gate . . . while the bus driver simultaneously sped and slowed the vehicle . . . As a result . . . the . . . security gate [crashed] into and/or [sideswiped] the vehicle . . ." Claimant also complains of the medical treatment he received following the incident.

This order is made in connection with claimant's April 24, 2000 letter and defendant's May 2, 2000 letter concerning witnesses for the June 21, 2000 trial of this claim.

McLaurin seeks to have the following witnesses produced at trial:

- the bus driver (Officer C. Keenan);

- the gate operator (Officer Terry Bennett);

- a supervising officer who was present when the incident occurred (Officer Harvey Levine);

- three medical professionals; and

- two officers involved in an investigation of the incident (officers Thomas Malnic and James Dunn).

Defendant asserts that to the extent the Court orders any state employees to be produced at trial, claimant must pay a witness fee of $15 per witness and a $.23 per mile travel expense if the witness is employed at a facility other than Sullivan Correctional Facility, where the trial is to take place.

As to the driver and gate operator, claimant is entitled to have them testify at trial. With regard to the gate operator (Officer Bennett), defendant states that it anticipates calling him and does not seek a witness fee or travel expense with regard to him. As to the bus driver (Officer Keenan), defendant seeks a witness fee of $15 and $.23 per mile travel expenses from his station at Ulster Correctional Facility to Sullivan Correctional Facility.

As to the supervising officer sought by claimant, defendant represents that he is no longer employed by DOCS.

As to medical treatment, claimant is certainly entitled to an appropriate witness, but he has made no showing that the presence of three such witnesses would be required. From a review of the file, Dr. John Supple appears to be the most appropriate witness to testify at trial.

As to the investigation of the incident, defendant states that it intends to call one of the investigating officers (Officer Dunn), as to whom it seeks no witness fees or travel expenses. As to the other investigating officer (Officer Malnic), defendant represents that he works at Sullivan Correctional Facility, and thus defendant seeks only a witness fee, but no travel expenses.

Accordingly, in view of the foregoing and made on the express assumption that defendant will call Officer Bennett and Sergeant Dunn as witnesses at trial, IT IS ORDERED that:
1) Within seven (7) days of the filing of this order, defendant shall send to claimant and to the Court a calculation of the mileage fees (at $.23 per mile) for:

a) Officer Keenan's travel from Ulster Correctional Facility to Sullivan Correctional Facility; and

b) Dr. John Supple's travel from Fishkill Correctional Facility to Sullivan Correctional Facility;
2) Pursuant to Civil Rights Law §79(3)(a) and CPLR 8001, by June 14, 2000, claimant shall make payment to defendant of a total of:

a) $15 witness fees each for Officer Keenan, Dr. Supple and Officer Malnic; and

b) mileage fees for Officer Keenan and Dr. Supple in the amounts set forth in defendant's calculation;
3) To the extent that payment has been made by claimant pursuant to paragraph 2) hereof, defendant shall produce at trial Officer Keenan, Dr. Supple and Officer Malnic.

May 10, 2000
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims