New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

RIVERA v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-019-545, Claim No. 106467-A, Motion No. M-66605


Synopsis


Claimant's motion to compel discovery is granted to the extent that the State is directed to provide an additional response containing an itemized response to discovery demand

Case Information

UID:
2003-019-545
Claimant(s):
JOSE RIVERA
Claimant short name:
RIVERA
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
106467-A
Motion number(s):
M-66605
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Claimant's attorney:
JOSE RIVERA, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERALBY: James E. Shoemaker, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 30, 2003
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)

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Decision

Claimant, a pro se inmate, moves to compel defendant, the State of New York (hereinafter "State"), to comply with his Demand for Discovery and Inspection dated November 18, 2002, pursuant to CPLR 3124. The State opposes the motion.


The Court has considered the following papers in connection with this motion:
  1. Claim, filed August 5, 2002.
  2. CLAIMANT'S DEMAND FOR DISCOVERY AND/OR INSPECTION, filed November 22, 2002.
  3. Notice of Motion No. M-66605, dated March 17, 2003, and filed March 28, 2003.
  4. Affidavit of Jose Rivera, in support of motion, sworn to March 23, 2003, with attached exhibits.
  5. Affirmation of James E. Shoemaker, AAG, in opposition to motion, dated May 14, 2003, and filed May 16, 2003, with attached exhibits.
This underlying Claim alleges that officials at Southport Correctional Facility lost claimant's personal property, namely ten law books, on January 28, 2002. Claimant served a Demand for Discovery and Inspection dated November 18, 2002 (hereinafter "Demand") upon the State. The State did not respond to this initial request. Claimant sent a follow-up letter dated January 26, 2003 requesting a response to his Demand, still the State did not respond. Claimant sent a second letter dated March 7, 2003. Finally, the State responded to the Demand by way of a Response to Demand for Documents dated April 9, 2003. The State sent a second response entitled Response to Discovery Demands dated May 5, 2003. In response to this motion, the State attaches said responses and indicates "[t]here are no other documents responsive to claimant's discovery demands." (Affirmation of James E. Shoemaker, AAG, ¶ 6).


Although the State provided a substantial number of documents in it responses, neither of the State's responses include an itemized response to claimant's Demand. As such, it is difficult for this Court to determine which parts of the Demand the State has responded to and which it has not and, if not, on what basis. Claimant's Demand is composed of three numbered and subdivided paragraphs. Claimant is entitled to a specific and clear response to each. Consequently, the Court will direct the State to provide an additional response to claimant's Demand containing itemized responses, correlated to claimant's numbered paragraphs, within thirty days of the entry of this Decision & Order. The State need not provide duplicate photocopies of documents already provided in its initial responses.


Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, that Claimant's motion, Motion No. M-66605, is GRANTED to the extent noted herein.

May 30, 2003
Binghamton, New York

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