New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JOHNSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-019-572, Claim Nos. 103182, 103185, 103725, 104447, 105402, 105446, Motion No. M-65725


Synopsis


State's motion for a protective order is denied without prejudice.

Case Information

UID:
2002-019-572
Claimant(s):
JOHNATHAN JOHNSON
Claimant short name:
JOHNSON
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
103182, 103185, 103725, 104447, 105402, 105446
Motion number(s):
M-65725
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Claimant's attorney:
JOHNATHAN JOHNSON, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: Joseph F. Romani, Assistant Attorney General,of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
September 26, 2002
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The State of New York (hereinafter "State") moves for a protective order pursuant to CPLR 3103. Claimant, a pro se inmate, opposes the motion.


The Court has considered the following papers in connection with this motion:
  1. Claim No. 103182, filed October 4, 2000.
  2. Claim No. 103185, filed October 5, 2000.
  3. Claim No. 103725, filed January 25, 2001.
  4. Amended Claim No. 104447, filed August 22, 2002.
  5. Amended Claim No. 105402, filed August 14, 2002.
  6. Claim No. 105446, filed January 9, 2002.
  7. "Claimant's Second Disclosure Requests for the Production of Document", Claim Nos. 103182, 103185, 103725, 105446, all filed on August 7, 2002.
  8. Notice of Motion No. M-65725, dated August 21, 2002, and filed August 26, 2002.
  9. Affirmation of Joseph F. Romani, AAG, in support of motion, dated August 21, 2002.
  10. "Claimant's Reply to Defendant's Motion", dated August 29, 2002, and filed September 3, 2002.
The State avers that it received a discovery demand on August 6, 2002 on each of the 6 claims referenced hereinabove. In this motion, the State submits a brief supporting affirmation stating, in pertinent part, as follows:
In its response, the defendant objected to said disclosure/inspection upon the grounds such records/files are privileged under Civil Rights Law § 50-a.

(Affirmation of Joseph F. Romani, AAG , ¶ ¶ 4 & 5).


Neither the Demand nor the response at issue were attached to the State's papers. The Court has examined each of the six files and finds the Demand in only 4 of the 6 cases,[1] and cannot find the State's response in any of the files. Moreover, the State has failed to articulate any legal arguments in support of its motion in relation to either CPLR 3103 or Civil Rights Law § 50-a or how the specifics of each claim are implicated by Civil Rights Law § 50-a (e.g., the allegations in these claims include, but are not limited to, assault by correctional officers, fabrication of misbehavior reports, as well as disciplinary hearing improprieties). Civil Rights Law § 50-a provides, in pertinent part:
1. All personnel records, used to evaluate performance toward continued employment or promotion, under the control of any police agency or department of the state or any political subdivision thereof ...shall be considered confidential and not subject to inspection or review without the express written consent of such police officer...except as may be mandated by lawful court order.
2. Prior to issuing such court order the judge must review all such requests and give interested parties the opportunity to be heard. No such order shall issue without a clear showing of facts sufficient to warrant the judge to request records for review.

(Emphasis added).


On this record, this Court has not been provided with sufficient information to reach a determination on this issue one way or the other.


Accordingly, the State's motion, Motion No. M-65725, is DENIED without prejudice.



September 26, 2002
Binghamton, New York

HON. FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1]The Demand is contained in Claim Nos. 103182; 103185; 103725; & 105446, but not Claim Nos. 105402 and 104447.