New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

VARELA v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-011-546, Claim No. 99292, Motion No. M-63121


Synopsis


Claimant's motion for the court to conduct an in camera review of a video which recorded an alleged incident is granted, if such a video exists.

Case Information

UID:
2001-011-546
Claimant(s):
ALBERTO VARELA, 88 A 0090
Claimant short name:
VARELA
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
99292
Motion number(s):
M-63121
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
THOMAS J. McNAMARA
Claimant's attorney:
Alberto Varela, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Hon. Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General(Dennis M. Acton, Esq., Assistant Attorney General)
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 10, 2001
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision


Claimant in this application has requested that the court conduct an in camera review of a video tape from a camera above the stairway leading to the mess halls at Great Meadow Correctional Facility. Claimant alleges that the video tape recorded an incident in which he alleges he was assaulted by correction officers on July 30, 1998. In responding to the motion defendant notes that no previous demand for the tape was made by claimant and while inquiry is being made, defendant was at the time of the motion unaware if such a tape existed. Defendant has not objected to an in camera review if a tape exists but has expressed concerns regarding disclosure of confidential, privileged or security sensitive information that might be shown on the tape.

In the light of the foregoing, defendant is directed to produce for in camera inspection by the court any video tape in its possession made on July 30, 1998 between 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. showing the area where the incident underlying the claim is alleged to have occurred. Defendant is to raise any objections to disclosure of any portion of the tape at the time it is submitted to the court for review. In the event no such tape is found, defendant is to provide claimant and the court with an affidavit of a person with personal knowledge setting forth the manner in which it was determined that no such tape exists. The tape or affidavit is to be provided within thirty days of service upon defendant of a file-stamped copy of this order.


May 10, 2001
Saratoga Springs, New York

HON. THOMAS J. MCNAMARA
Judge of the Court of Claims



Papers Submitted:

  1. Notice of Motion dated February 13, 2001
  2. Affidavit in Support sworn to the 15th day of February, 2001
  3. Affidavit in Opposition of Dennis M. Acton sworn to the 28th day of February, 2001