New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

LARREA v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-019-563, Claim No. 105634, Motion No. M-67368


Synopsis


Claimant's discovery motion is denied.

Case Information

UID:
2003-019-563
Claimant(s):
LEONARDO LARREA, 90-A-4203
Claimant short name:
LARREA
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
105634
Motion number(s):
M-67368
Cross-motion number(s):

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

Signature date:
October 9, 2003
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate appearing pro se, makes this discovery motion under the auspices of CPLR 3101 (d) (2). The State of New York (hereinafter "State") opposes the motion.

The Court has considered the following papers in connection with this motion:

  1. Claim, filed February 21, 2002.
  2. Notice of Motion No. M-67368, dated August 28, 2003, and filed September 5, 2003.
  3. Affidavit of Leonardo Larrea, in support of motion, sworn to August 28, 2003, with attachments.
  4. Affirmation of Joseph F. Romani, AAG, in opposition to motion, dated September 9, 2003, and filed September 11, 2003.
This motion relates to an underlying bailment claim in which claimant alleges some of his personal property was lost when he was sent to the Special Housing Unit at Elmira Correctional Facility on or about July 20, 2001.


First, claimant's reliance on CPLR 3101 (d) (2) is misplaced. CPLR 3101 (d) (2) provides a conditional immunity to materials otherwise discoverable under CPLR 3101 (a), unless the party seeking disclosure establishes a "[s]ubstantial need of the materials in the preparation of the case and is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the materials by other means." Here, claimant has not even made any discovery demands in the first instance let alone satisfied the undue hardship burden. Second, to the extent that claimant's motion appears to be an initial discovery demand, a motion to the court is not the proper mechanism for such a request. Rather, claimant must first pursue discovery through ordinary means under the various discovery devices of Article 31 of the CPLR and may not seek relief under CPLR 3124 unless and until he has served discovery demands in accordance with the CPLR and the Uniform Rules for the Court of Claims and such demands are improperly rejected or inadequately answered by the State. The State denies that it has ever received any discovery demands from this claimant. As such, claimant's motion is premature and improper.


In view of the foregoing, it is ORDERED, that claimant's motion, Motion No. M-67368, is DENIED.


October 9, 2003
Binghamton, New York

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