New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BROWN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-015-261, Claim No. 103284, Motion No. M-64767


Claimant's motion pursuant to CPLR 3124 for order compelling defendant to provide photocopies of claimant's medical records on claim involving alleged assault and battery by correction officer is 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:
Antonio Brown, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Joel L. Marmelstein, Esquire Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
June 10, 2002
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant's motion pursuant to CPLR 3124 for an order compelling the defendant to provide photocopies of claimant's medical records free of charge is denied. The underlying claim seeks to recover $750,000.00 in damages for a battery allegedly committed by one or more correction officers at Oneida Correctional Facility on August 28, 2000. Claimant served a discovery request dated January 7, 2002 (defendant's Exhibit A) seeking a copy of all claimant's medical records from August 28, 2000 to the present. Defendant's attorney served a written objection to the request dated January 14, 2002 (defendant's Exhibit B) stating in substance that the request was improper in that claimant's own medical records were not within the exclusive possession of the defendant and could be obtained by claimant himself (see, 7 NYCRR Part 5). Claimant responded (defendant's exhibit C) and renewed his request arguing that the records were indeed within the defendant's exclusive control and that he did not have the necessary funds to obtain copies through the Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law article 6). The instant motion ensued.

The Appellate Division, Third Department's decision in Gittens v State of New York, 175 AD2d 530 is on all fours with the instant claim. There the Court at pp 530-531 held:
There is no general provision which requires the State to pay the litigation expenses in claims brought against it. Court of Claims Act § 27 specifically provides that, except in instances not here present, ‘costs, witnesses' fees and disbursements shall not be taxed * * * by the court to any party'. Moreover, claimant is an inmate in a State correctional facility subject to a sentence of imprisonment. Civil Rights Law § 79 (3) and § 79-a(3) specifically provide that the State shall not be liable for any expense of, or related to, inmate litigation and shall not be required to perform any services related thereto, particularly where, as here, poor person status has not been granted (see, Mapp v State of New York, 69 AD2d 911, 912).
In the instant case, claimant previously moved unsuccessfully for poor person status on two separate occasions. Motion No. M-62712 was denied by decision and order filed January 25, 2001 and Motion No. M-63139 was denied by decision and order filed May 17, 2001.

Under existing law the State is not required to provide photocopies of the requested documents free of charge.

Claimant's motion is denied.

June 10, 2002
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion, undated, filed February 22, 2002;
  2. Affidavit of Antonio Brown sworn to February 19, 2002;
  3. Affirmation in opposition of Joel Marmelstein dated March 5, 2002 with exhibits;
  4. Reply to opposition of Antonio Brown dated March 10, 2002 with exhibits.