New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MURRAY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-031-121, Claim No. 108304, Motion No. M-68606


Synopsis


Defendant's motion to compel video depositions and to strike Defendant's demand for interrogatories is denied

Case Information

UID:
2004-031-121
Claimant(s):
JAMES MURRAY
Claimant short name:
MURRAY
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
108304
Motion number(s):
M-68606
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
JAMES MURRAY, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: HEATHER R. RUBINSTEIN, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
September 20, 2004
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)

.
Decision

The following papers were read on motion by Claimant for an order compelling Defendant to arrange video depositions of witnesses, and striking Defendant's demand for interrogatories:
1. Notice of Motion (deposition of Defendant's employees), filed June 1, 2004;
  1. Notice of Motion (strike Defendant's interrogatories), dated May 27, 2004;
  2. Claimant's unsworn statement (denominated "Affirmation"), dated May 27, 2004;
  3. Claimant's unsworn statement (denominated "Affirmation in Support of Motion Pursuant to C.P.L.R. 3103"), dated May 27, 2004;
5. Affirmation In Opposition of Heather R. Rubinstein, Esq., dated July 23, 2004;
6. Filed Documents: Claim, Answer, Order of the Hon. Richard E. Sise, filed October 3, 2003. This is Claimant's motion to compel Defendant to pay for and submit to certain video depositions, and to vacate Defendant's demand for interrogatories.

With regard to the proposed video depositions, Claimant wishes to depose certain employees of Defendant, but explains that "I cannot afford to nor do I have the liberty to arrange for dispositions (sic)" (Claimant's Affirmation In Support, par. 1). Claimant does not indicate whom he wishes to depose, what information this person or persons are expected to provide, why such information is necessary for the prosecution of his claim, nor why he cannot obtain this information through another disclosure device. He provides no justification for the necessity of deposing Defendant's employees (see e.g. Price v State of New York, Ct Cl, May 12, 2004 [Claim No. 108186], Hard, J., UID #2004-032-030; Arce v State of New York, Ct Cl, July 18, 2003 [Claim No. 107192], Scuccimarra, J., UID #2003-030-556).

Even assuming that Claimant had demonstrated the necessity for the requested video depositions, Claimant has also failed to demonstrate why Defendant should be directed to shoulder the financial burden for this proposed discovery mechanism. I note that Claimant has previously applied for, and been denied, poor person status (October 3, 2003 Order of the Hon. Richard E. Sise). Further, even if Claimant had been granted poor person status, the responsibility for expenses incurred relating to depositions rests with the party requesting the examination, even if that party is himself an inmate (Gittens v State of New York, 175 AD2d 530, 531; Mapp v State of New York, 69 AD2d 911; Court of Claims Act §18).

With regard to Claimant's request to vacate Defendant's demand for interrogatories, though Claimant asserts that the interrogatories are " improper, oppressive, burdensome, ment (sic) to harrass (sic) and patently unjust . . . " (Claimant's "Affirmation," par. 3), when he attempts to specify his objections, he simply states that he either cannot answer the question definitively, or that he believes Defendant already has the answer. Of course, Claimant should answer the interrogatories to the best of his ability and when he does not know an answer he should, accordingly, indicate as much. The Claimant has failed to indicate that the interrogatories themselves are improper.

Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, it is hereby

ORDERED, that Claimant's motion is denied in its entirety.

September 20, 2004
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims