The following papers were reviewed by the Court on this motion: Claimant's
Notice of Motion, Claimant's Affidavit, Claimant's Affirmation in Support of his
Good Faith Effort Attempt and annexed supporting documents, Claimant's
Affirmation and annexed Exhibits A and B, Defendant's Affirmation in Opposition
and annexed Exhibits 1-4, and Filed Claim.
Claimant, Jonathan Odom, a pro se inmate, who currently resides at the
Attica Correctional Facility(Attica), has moved pursuant to Civil Practice Law
and Rules(CPLR) R 3124 for an order compelling discovery from defendant, the
State of New York.
Claimant puts forth numerous allegations of wrongdoing against defendant in
his claim which took place while he was incarcerated at the Downstate
Correctional Facility(Downstate). Specifically, claimant alleges, inter
alia, that defendant failed to provide him with appropriate medical care
after he was involved in an altercation with New York State Correctional
Officers on April 1, 1998.
Initially, the Court notes that this matter had been scheduled for trial
before Judge Thomas J. McNamara on February 22, 1999. It is generally
inappropriate to continue discovery matters after a date for trial has been set,
especially, when the adjournment was for administrative reasons brought on by
claimant himself. However, the Court is cognizant of the fact that this case is
being promulgated by a pro se litigant and will entertain this one final
discovery motion at this time.
Claimant seeks an order from the Court compelling disclosure of all the items
requested in his January 6, 2000 Request for Production of Documents. Defendant
has responded by making available for inspection items 2 and 3 listed in
claimant's Request. Alternatively, defendant will provide claimant with copies
of these documents once it receives the costs of reproducing them. This is a
proper condition required by defendant since it is statutorily authorized.
Public Health Law §17 provides that a reasonable charge for paper copies
shall not exceed seventy-five cents per page. Additionally, the New York State
Codes Rules and Regulations Title 7, § 5.36 provides that fees for
photocopies of a department record shall be 25 cents per page, not exceeding 9
inches by 14 inches in size. The section goes on to state that the fees for
other types of copies shall be "reasonable amounts." This may be a moot point
since defendant is providing the documents for inspection by claimant.
Claimant requested all records of medical treatment provided to him for his
injuries since April 1, 1998 to the present, including all outside hospitals and
specialist diagnoses and reports concerning claimant's injuries. This request
is basically duplicative of his 3rd request which has already been addressed by
the Court. To the extent this request concerns outside hospitals, defendant
properly objects to claimant's request for all outside hospital records of
medical treatment provided to him. These records are not within the custody and
control of defendant and therefore not discoverable through defendant.
Lastly, claimant seeks production of a full copy of the Division of Medical
Health Services Staff Employee's Manual or whatever else its medical health
staff employees must comply with. Defendant objects due to relevance and that
the request is overbroad. Defendant is correct in both of its assertions. There
is no relevant reason to require the production of the entire manual.
Additionally, the request is overbroad and any future request should delineate
the specific relevant portions of the manuals.
Therefore, for the foregoing reasons, claimant's motion to compel discovery is