In a decision and order dated June 14, 2004, this Court granted in part and
denied in part claimant's prior motion to compel certain disclosure (Medina v
State of New York, #2004-032-045, Claim No. 106664, Motion No. M-68123). By
the instant motion, claimant seeks to reargue certain portions of that prior
decision, contending that the Court misinterpreted the law and/or the facts of
the case (CPLR 2221).
One item in dispute is demand 1(d) of claimant's July 24, 2003 demand for
certain identified directives
Department of Correctional Services (DOCS). Counsel for defendant had stated
that these directives were available to claimant at the facility law library.
This was considered to be a sufficient response and provided claimant with
adequate access to the materials. Claimant now states, however, that the
specific directives that he seeks are "A" directives and that only "AB"
directives are available to the general population (Medina affidavit,
¶A(3)). In response, defense counsel states that the directives sought by
claimant – Nos. 4944, 4004, 4065, 2110 and 2111 – are "classified as
confidential for security purposes and he [claimant] cannot have them."
Contrary to the contention of defense counsel, reargument is proper with
respect to this demand, for the Court did, in fact, misapprehend a relevant
fact. Based on defense counsel's representations, the Court concluded that the
items sought by claimant were available to him in the facility law library. Now,
claimant asserts, and counsel confirms, that this is not an accurate account of
the situation. Furthermore, it is for the Court, not defense counsel, to
determine whether a claimant can have a certain document. The same is true with
respect to the argument that these directives are not relevant to claimant's
case: it is not possible for the Court to determine if they are relevant without
first seeing them.
Accordingly, the original ruling on this issue is vacated and the Court now
directs that defendant produce, for in camera inspection by the Court,
the directives that have been identified by claimant. Defendant is to submit two
copies of each directive to the Court, one of which is unredacted and the other
redacted in the manner that the State believes would both present the
information relevant to this claim and, at the same time, protect any security
interests or confidential information. After reviewing these documents, the
Court will issue further directions indicating what, if any, portion of the
documents in question should be provided to claimant.
With respect to demand 1(i), claimant has now narrowed his demand, which was
originally for "any and all ‘TO and FROM' reports" to indicate that the
reports he seeks are dated August 13, 2002 and the parties by whom the reports
are filed. Defense counsel asserts that this step is not proper on a motion to
reargue. The Court, however, has broad discretion to monitor and control
discovery matters and, to save additional time and effort on the part of all,
directs that these documents, with respect to which no other objection to
disclosure has been raised, be provided to claimant.
Relating to demand 1(m), claimant again narrows his request to encompass only
the pages of the DOCS Employees' Manual that have been removed from the copy
available in the prison law library, asserting that these portions would be
relevant to the instant action because the rules therein relate to the officers'
conduct. Since it is not possible for claimant to argue or the Court to rule on
the relevance of documents that have not been seen, defendant is directed to
provide the Court with two copies of the missing pages, one copy of which is to
be redacted in the manner described above. Alternatively, if there are a large
number of pages that have been removed from the law library copy, defendant may
initially serve a list of the titles of those pages and the Court will select
those of which it wants a full copy.
Finally, demands 1(a), (b), (c), (d), and (e), of claimant's September 23, 2003
demand, seek the personnel records of DOCS correction officers and other
employees. The Court adheres to its original ruling with respect to these items,
denying the request on the grounds that the relevance of any information
contained in those files is questionable and, in any event, that any disclosure
of such files can be obtained only by following the procedures set out in Civil
Rights Law §50-a.
The Court has reconsidered its prior ruling and, upon reconsideration, amends
it in the manner described above. Claimant's motion is granted in part and
denied in part.
1. Notice of Motion and Supporting Affidavit of Anthony Medina, pro
2. Affirmation in Opposition of Paul F. Cagino, Esq., AAG;
Filed papers: Claim; Answer; Decision and Order: Medina v State of New
York, #2004-032-045, Claim No. 106664, Motion No. M-68123, June 14, 2004,