New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

DAVIDSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-015-375, Claim No. 108063, Motion No. M-67530


Court denyed pro se inmate's motion seeking to compel responses to interrogatories and notice to admit. Neither the notice to admit nor the interrogatories sought material which is relevant to the instant claim and denial of the motion is appropriate.

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:
Chester Davidson, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Michael W. Friedman, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
December 23, 2003
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant's motion for an order to compel further responses to certain interrogatories as well as a notice to admit served upon the defendant pursuant to CPLR 3123 is denied. The claim seeks to recover damages allegedly arising from the denial of parole on several occasions between February 1998 and December 2001. The claim alleges numerous and varied violations of the New York State Constitution and the United States Constitution as well as violations of unspecified statutes, by-laws (sic), rules and regulations.

The pro se claimant served upon defense counsel a notice to admit dated September 15, 2003 requesting that Governor George Pataki either confirm or deny that the exhibits attached to the notice constitute the Governor's annual messages to the State Legislature for the years 1995 - 2001. By response dated October 3, 2003 defense counsel objected to the notice since it requested information unrelated to the allegations set forth in the claim. In addition, defendant's counsel stated that the exhibits attached to the notice to admit speak for themselves. Being dissatisfied with the defendant's responses, claimant now moves to compel more appropriate responses to his notice to admit. The State opposed the motion.

CPLR 3123 (a) in relevant part provides:
§ 3123. Admissions as to matters of fact, papers, documents and photographs.

(a) Notice to admit; admission unless denied or denial excused. At any time after service of the answer or after the expiration of twenty days from service of the summons, whichever is sooner, and not later than twenty days before the trial, a party may serve upon any other party a written request for admission by the latter of the genuineness of any papers or documents, or the correctness or fairness of representation of any photographs, described in and served with the request, or of the truth of any matters of fact set forth in the request, as to which the party requesting the admission reasonably believes there can be no substantial dispute at the trial and which are within the knowledge of such other party or can be ascertained by him upon reasonable inquiry. Copies of the papers, documents or photographs shall be served with the request unless copies have already been furnished. Each of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted unless within twenty days after service thereof or within such further time as the court may allow, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission a sworn statement either denying specifically the matters of which an admission is requested or setting forth in detail the reasons why he cannot truthfully either admit or deny those matters.

* * *
The notice to admit served upon the Attorney General seeks multiple admissions to printed material contained within the Governor's annual messages which have no apparent direct or immediate bearing upon the instant claim.

A notice to admit "cannot be utilized to seek admissions of material issues or ultimate or conclusory facts . . . interpretations of law, questions already admitted in responsive pleadings, or questions clearly irrelevant to the case" (Villa v New York City Housing Auth., 107 AD2d 619, 620). A notice to admit is palpably improper where it seeks admissions as to matters which are irrelevant to the issues being litigated (Handy v Geften Realty, 129 AD2d 556; Gaudino v City of New York, 265 AD2d 298).

While CPLR 3101 (a) provides that "[t]here shall be full disclosure of all matter material and necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action" it cannot be said that the admissions sought by the claimant meet even this broad standard. The Court can discern no basis upon which to conclude that the contents of the Governor's Annual Message will have any bearing upon the matters to be litigated in the instant action. As the claimant has failed to even arguably establish the materiality of the admissions sought vis-a-vis his pending action his motion to compel further responses to the notice to admit is denied.

Similarly, claimant's interrogatories concerning a meeting on March 29, 2000 involving Martin Cirincione, Executive Director of the Division of Parole, was properly objected to as irrelevant to the allegations set forth in the claim. Therefore, claimant's motion to compel further responses is denied (Fox v Fox, 309 AD2d 1056).

December 23, 2003
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated October 7, 2003;
  2. Affidavit of Chester Davidson sworn to October 10, 2003 with exhibit;
  3. "Notice to Admit Truth of Facts" sworn to October 10, 2003 with exhibits;
  4. Affirmation of Michael W. Friedman dated October 30, 2003.