New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JOHNSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-019-508, Claim No. 104447, Motion No. M-66193


Claimant's motion for renewal of prior denial of motion to compel discovery 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:
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER ATTORNEY GENERALBY: Joseph F. Romani, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 28, 2003

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant, a pro se inmate, moves for renewal of this Court's prior Decision & Order denying his motion to compel discovery pursuant to CPLR 3124. The State of New York (hereinafter "State") opposes the motion.

The Court has considered the following papers in connection with this motion:
  1. DECISION AND ORDER, Lebous, J., filed December 20, 2002, Claim No. 104447, Motion No. M-66014.
  2. Notice of Motion No. M-66193, dated December 26, 2002, and filed January 2, 2003.
  3. Affidavit of Johnathan Johnson, in support of motion, sworn to December 26, 2002.
  4. Affirmation of Joseph F. Romani, AAG, in opposition to motion, dated January 14, 2003, and filed January 16, 2003.
The history of this discovery issue is set forth in detail in this Court's prior Decision & Order. (Johnson v State of New York, Ct Cl, December 20, 2002, Lebous, J., Claim No. 104447, Motion No. M-66014 [UID No. 2002-019-596]).[1] In short, the Court denied said prior motion to compel because of Claimant's failure to clearly describe the documents he was seeking and, thus, this Court's inability to determine whether such documents were material and necessary pursuant to CPLR 3101 and/or otherwise privileged.

By way of this motion, Claimant attempts to clarify which documents he is seeking and why they are material and necessary to his claim. Generally, a motion for renewal is based upon new facts not offered on the prior motion and expressly requires that "[a] motion for leave to renew...shall contain reasonable justification for the failure to present such facts on the prior motion." (Emphasis added). Here, Claimant does not offer any such excuse. Consequently, this motion must be denied in light of Claimant's failure to offer any excuse why this information was not offered on the prior motion.

Parenthetically, the Court notes that even if it had addressed the merits of Claimant's arguments, this motion would have been denied. To the extent that Claimant has clarified what documents he is seeking and why, there is nothing in his affidavit establishing that those documents are material and necessary to this Claim. Rather, Claimant seeks various documents that either pertain to the State's responses to his grievance complaint (Claimant's Affidavit, ¶ 19) or might establish that he brought the alleged theft of his headphones to the grievance committee's attention. (Claimant's Affidavit, ¶ 20). Quite simply, the Court of Claims is not a forum to dispute each and every representation made by State officials during a grievance procedure. Consequently, to the extent that the requested documents may or may not disprove statements made at a grievance hearing, they are not material and necessary to Claimant's burden of establishing the elements of the pending causes of action in this court all of which relate to allegations of harassment.

Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, it is ORDERED that Claimant's motion to compel discovery, Motion No. M-66193 is DENIED.

January 28, 2003
Binghamton, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

[1]Unreported decisions from the Court of Claims are available via the Internet at