New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ODOM v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-027-552, Claim No. 98204, Motion No. M-61409


Pro Se discovery motion.

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:
Jonathan Odom, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Hon. Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Carol C. Poles, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 1, 2001
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


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 denied.

May 1, 2001
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims