New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GRIFFIN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-013-008, Claim No. 98455, Motion No. M-64690


Synopsis


Claimant's motion for an order compelling certain discovery is denied because of noncompliance with 22 NYCRR 206.8(b). The parties must first confer with the assigned judge prior to a discovery related motion being made.

Case Information

UID:
2002-013-008
Claimant(s):
DERRICK GRIFFIN
Claimant short name:
GRIFFIN
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
98455
Motion number(s):
M-64690
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
PHILIP J. PATTI
Claimant's attorney:
SANDERS, SANDERS, BLOCK & WOYCIK, P.C.BY: MICHAEL VILLECK, ESQ.
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General of the State of New York
BY: THOMAS G. RAMSAY, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 8, 2002
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision


The following papers were read on Claimant's motion for an order directing in camera inspection of certain materials:
1. Notice of Motion and Supporting Affirmation of Michael Villeck, Esq. ("Villeck Affirmation"), with Exhibits

2. Affirmation in Opposition of Thomas G. Ramsay, Esq. ("Ramsay Affirmation")


3. Filed Papers: Claim; Answer

Claimant seeks to recover money damages for personal injuries arising out of an alleged assault by another inmate which occurred on September 6, 1997. By this motion, he seeks an order compelling Defendant to produce, for in camera inspection, "certain jail and inmate records." Although the claim was commenced by Claimant himself, appearing pro se, he has since retained counsel, and this motion was brought by his legal representative.

Counsel for Claimant does not state that he has made a good faith effort to resolve any discovery disputes with the State prior to bringing this motion. Pursuant to Rule 206.8 of the Uniform Rules for the Court of Claims (22 NYCRR 206.8, as amended effective March 22, 2001):

(b) No motion relating to disclosure shall be placed on the calendar without counsel for the respective parties first conferring with the assigned judge. This subdivision shall not apply to prisoner pro se claims.


"Prisoner pro se claims" are excepted from this Court's Individual Assignment System (22 NYCRR 206.3[c]). If an action is commenced by an inmate claimant who is appearing pro se but that claimant subsequently obtains the services of an attorney, the claim is removed from the prisoner pro se calendar and, as here, is assigned to one of the judges of this Court. In the instant case, Claimant's counsel filed a Notice of Appearance on April 9, 2001 and this motion was filed on February 8, 2002. Consequently, the requirement of Rule 206.8(b) applies to this claim and to this motion.

The requirements of Rule 206.8 have not been met. The records of my office do not show that Claimant's counsel has made any effort to seek a conference to resolve the dispute. More significantly, because this motion was made at the same time that Claimant first served his Demand for Discovery and Inspection on Defendant (Ramsay Affirmation, ¶14), it is premature even to say that a discovery dispute exists. Summary denial of a discovery related motion is appropriate when a party fails to seek a conference with the assigned judge prior to bringing the motion (Obara v State of New York, Ct Cl Aug. 16, 2001 [Claim No. 99572, Motion No. M-63448 - #2001-015-173], Collins, J., citing, Sixty-Six Crosby Assocs. v Berger & Kramer, 256 AD2d 26; Koelbl v Harvey, 176 AD2d 1040; Vasquez v G.A.P.L.W. Realty, 236 AD2d 311; Nikpour v City of New York, 179 Misc 2d 928).

Claimant's motion is denied.



March 8, 2002
Rochester, New York

HON. PHILIP J. PATTI
Judge of the Court of Claims