Claimant, an inmate appearing pro se, moves for an order "declaring defendants
responses legally insufficient" which the court will deem as a motion compelling
disclosure pursuant to CPLR 3124. (Notice of Motion). The State of New York
(hereinafter "State") opposes the motion.
This claim arises from an incident in which claimant slipped and fell on wet
stairs while incarcerated at Southport Correctional Facility (hereinafter
"Southport") on February 26, 2001. Claimant served a discovery demand on
defendant on December 8, 2003 and the State filed a response thereto with the
Clerk of the Court on February 5, 2004.
(State's Exhibits A and C).
By way of this motion, claimant argues that two of the State's responses are
Claimant's first demand was for "any and all Memorandums, Investigative Files,
concerning Claim No. 105531." (State's Exhibit A). The State's response
indicated that "[u]pon information and belief, there is no inmate injury report
on file at Southport Correctional Facility in regard to this alleged incident."
(State's Exhibit C, ¶ 1). In opposition to this motion, the State further
clarifies that this response was provided after inquiry of the officials at
Southport. (Affirmation of Joseph F. Romani, AAG, ¶ 5). In short, the
State represents that no inmate injury reports exist in relation to this matter.
As such, the court finds the State's response to be proper and adequate.
Claimant also complains about the State's response to his fifth numbered demand
which requested "any and all documentation concerning injuries to claimant due
to the (C.O.S) failure to protect claimant." (State's Exhibit A). The State's
response stated "[b]ecause no injuries were caused to claimant 'due to the
(CO's) failure to protect claimant', there are no such records or other
documentation." (State's Exhibit C, ¶ 5). The State's opposing papers
herein deny the existence of other documents based upon claimant's phraseology
that intertwines his discovery demands with the issues of liability, causation,
and injury. (Affirmation of Joseph F. Romani, AAG, ¶ 6). Although it is
clear that claimant's initial demand is not artfully drawn, the court will let
the demand stand in view of claimant's pro se status. That having been said,
however, the court finds the State's response to be adequate in light of the
ambiguity of claimant's demand. In sum, the court will deny claimant's motion,
although claimant may well choose to make a supplemental discovery demand which
is framed in a more concise manner.
In view of the foregoing, it is ORDERED, that claimant's motion, Motion No.
M-68297, is DENIED.