New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MADISON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-005-547, Claim No. 101655, Motion No. M-64244


Claimant's motion for an order compelling disclosure is granted to the extent noted 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):

Claimant's attorney:
Diallo Rafik Asar Madison,Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Timothy P. Mulvey, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 7, 2002

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


On December 12, 2001, the following papers, numbered 1 to 4, were read on motion by Claimant for an order compelling disclosure:

1, 2 Notice of Motion and Affidavit Annexed
  1. Opposing Affirmation and Exhibits Annexed
  2. Filed Papers: Claim
Upon the foregoing papers, this motion is granted to the extent noted and otherwise denied.

Claimant seeks to compel disclosure of enumerated demands, interrogatories, to which the Defendant has previously objected. I will address each item seriatim:
The February 20, 2001 Discovery Request
(1) Claimant seeks a Polaroid duplicate of the pictures of his injuries sustained in the incident on October 30, 1999, as the colors are not legible and cannot be properly viewed. This request is denied at this time. The Defendant is directed to preserve the originals for the trial and/or for examination by an expert.

(2) The request for all Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) rules and regulations is denied as overly broad.

(3) The request for the name, rank and post of every officer working the 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. shift in the main yard on October 30, 1999, is denied as being overly broad and, as Defendant affirms, on safety and security grounds.

(4) The request for the name and rank of the officer responsible for post numbers nine and ten along the A-Block wall of the main (Big) yard on October 30, 1999, at approximately 4:30 p.m. is granted. The Defendant's refusal to disclose staffing information for safety and security reasons is not specific enough. The Defendant shall comply with this demand.

(5) The demand for settlement offers and compromise is denied, as it is irrelevant.
Continuing Request of May 21, 2001
A. Seeking the number of inmate assaults of prisoners at Auburn Correctional Facility (Auburn) from 1998 to the present is denied as irrelevant.

F. Seeking a list of the number of inmate deaths as a result of the underlying incident herein is denied as irrelevant to the claim herein.
September 5, 2001, Continuing Requests

(1) Seeking the production at trial of a videotape of the Auburn main yard on October 30, 1999, for the period from approximately 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. is denied at this time, although if such tape exists the Defendant shall preserve the same for future consideration.

(2) Defendant has already provided the transcript satisfying this request.

(3) The Defendant advises that no specific inmates or areas of the yard are subject to "logged" searches, and impliedly denies that any such logged searches took place on October 30, 1999, at the Auburn infirmary prior to the 3:00 p.m. recreation. Since such denial is based upon information and belief, and not on personal knowledge, such log books shall be preserved for future consideration.
The Demand for Disclosure of DOCS rules and regulations governing the maintenance of order of the Auburn main yard is overly broad and Claimant does not demonstrate its relevance to his claim. It is denied.

Request for Admissions
Claimant enumerates five specific requests for admissions (CPLR 3123), which the State opposes on the ground that they are not proper, and are merely in the nature of a pleading.

Professor Siegel, in New York Practice, Third Edition, observes, in Section 364, that notices to admit are usable only when the seeking party "reasonably believes there can be no substantial dispute" about the matter and when the answer can be ascertained upon reasonable inquiry or within the knowledge of the other party. The remedy/penalty for a failure or refusal to admit (CPLR 3123[c]) is covered by statute and in essence permits a party, no later than immediately after the trial, to seek an order requiring the opposing party to pay the reasonable expenses incurred in making such proof (to wit, the subject of the requests for admission). Accordingly, the issue is one which will abide the trial and any such motion thereat, or immediately thereafter.

The motion is granted to the extent noted and Defendant shall have 30 days from service of a file-stamped copy of this order to supply the response to #4 of the February 20, 2001 Discovery request, and is otherwise denied.

January 7, 2002
Rochester, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims