Claimant's motion to compel different or further responses to claimant's
discovery demands is denied. The underlying claim is made by a DOCS inmate and
seeks to recover $305.45 for the loss of a typewriter and television set
discovered missing on June 24, 2003 and a pair of boots valued at $49.95
discovered missing on July 4, 2003. Claimant exhausted his administrative
remedy when he rejected the Superintendent's offer to settle pending
administrative claims (see defendant's Exhibit E). The instant claim
was filed on September 24, 2003 and a verified answer was filed on October 30,
2003. Both parties exchanged discovery demands.
Claimant now moves for an order compelling further responses by the defendant
to his discovery demands. Although claimant failed to provide a copy of either
his demand or the defendant's initial responses thereto, copies were submitted
by the defendant in opposition to the motion (see Exhibits 1 and 2
attached to the affirmation of Kathleen M. Arnold). In her opposing affirmation
defense counsel states at paragraph "8" that despite good faith compliance with
claimant's original demand the defendant "is serving and filing a second
supplemental discovery response simultaneously with the affirmation". The
second supplemental response was attached to the affirmation as Exhibit 4.
Ms. Arnold's affirmation further addressed the issues raised by claimant in
the instant motion treating them in a logical and sequential order. The Court
has chosen to organize this decision in the same fashion.
With regard to claimant's demand #1 (a) through (f), defendant responded that
copies of DOCS policies and procedures were available to claimant at the
facility law library. In the alternative defense counsel advised claimant that
if copies of DOCS directives were unavailable in the facility's library the
State would provide copies at $.25 per page. The State's response was adequate
and the additional offer to provide copies of the policies and procedures was
reasonable. Claimant's motion is therefore denied as to demands #1 (a) through
(f). The State is not liable "for any expense of, or related to, inmate
litigation and shall not be required to perform any services related thereto..."
(Gittens v State of New York, 175 AD2d 530, 530-531; Mapp v State of
New York, 69 AD2d 911, 912; Matter of Whitehead v Morgenthau, 146
Misc 2d 806).
Regarding claimant's demand #1 (g) seeking "log books with facilities" the
Court finds the demand to be overly broad and lacking specificity and the motion
seeking to compel a further response to this demand is therefore denied.
In paragraph 2 of claimant's demand he requests copies of policies and
procedures at Great Meadow Correctional Facility from 1996 to 2003. The
State's second supplemental response provided copies of such documents in effect
during the period March 15, 2003 through June 28, 2003. The State argues that
the policies and procedures in effect prior to the dates set forth in the claim
and those effective subsequent to claimant's loss are irrelevant and that the
demand in that respect is overbroad. The Court agrees and denies that aspect of
the motion seeking further responses to claimant's demand #2 other than those
provided in the State's second supplemental response.
The State responded to demand #7 by advising claimant that it could not comply
with his request for a copy of Form 2068 purportedly signed on June 8, 2000 by
an inmate named Madison with a DIN #98R7893 since the records of Great Meadow
Correctional Facility revealed no known inmate named Madison with that DIN #.
The defendant in opposition to the motion states that if claimant provides a
full name and correct DIN # for the inmate the State will respond to the demand.
The Court cannot compel compliance with an erroneous or incomplete demand and
the motion is denied as to claimant's demand #7.
The Court finds that the State's response to claimant's demand #12 contained in
the defendant's supplemental responses (Exhibit 3) was satisfactory and the
motion is denied in that respect.
With regard to claimant's demand set forth in paragraph 17 (c) in which he
apparently requests logs of outgoing mail addressed to the Commissioner of DOCS
during the period June 16 - 24, 2003, the State has responded that DOCS does not
log outgoing mail by the addressee's name. Outgoing mail is logged as legal mail
or general mail. Furthermore, as alleged by defense counsel, it appears that
claimant already possesses a copy of his June 16, 2003 letter to Commissioner
Goord bearing a stamp indicating its receipt by the Commissioner's Office on
June 23, 2003 (see claimant's Exhibit B on the motion). If claimant
desired proof that his June 16, 2003 letter was, in fact, received by the
Commissioner he could have prepared a notice to admit pursuant to CPLR 3123.
Under the circumstances it does not appear that the defendant disputed the
letter's receipt. The demand for an additional response to this item is
Finally, the defendant has provided documentation in its second supplemental
response regarding an investigation of claimant's June 16, 2003 complaint by
officials at Clinton Correctional Facility and no additional response is
Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, claimant's motion is