New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BROWN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-033-069, Claim No. 107964, Motion Nos. M-68428, M-68484


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2004-033-069
Claimant(s):
ISAIAH BROWN
Claimant short name:
BROWN
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107964
Motion number(s):
M-68428, M-68484
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
JAMES J. LACK
Claimant's attorney:
Isaiah Brown, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, New York State Attorney GeneralBy: Saul Aronson, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
September 30, 2004
City:
Hauppauge
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

This claim is brought by Isaiah Brown (hereinafter "claimant") for negligence in losing claimant's property and for defamation by an employee of defendant. Claimant is currently incarcerated in Woodbourne Correctional Facility, Woodbourne, New York.
Claimant moves this Court to proceed as a poor person and have all future costs and fees waived and an attorney appointed to prosecute his claim. In addition, claimant asks that the Court compel defendant to engage in discovery and to impose sanctions upon defendant for its delay in providing claimant with discovery[1].

In opposition, defendant takes no position as to claimant's application to proceed as a poor person. Defendant opposes the remainder of claimant's motion and argues that it is moot as defendant has supplied claimant with discovery.

Claimant is now seeking the assignment of counsel who would serve without compensation. The appointment of counsel in a case such as this, where there is no threat that claimant is about to be deprived of a liberty or suffer a grievous forfeiture, is neither statutorily nor constitutionally required (Harris v State of New York, Ct Cl, filed Oct. 2, 1990, Benza, J., Claim No. 80949, Motion No. M-42854; Johnson v State of New York, Ct Cl, filed Sept. 13, 1989, Margolis, I., J., Motion No. M-40809). Furthermore, this claim is not of sufficient complexity and does not involve such fundamental rights that the Court would be justified in exercising its discretion to appoint an attorney to appear without compensation (see, Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433; Jacox v Jacox, 43 AD2d 716).

Wherefore, claimant's motion to proceed as a poor person is denied, as is his request for an attorney. Having gotten past the initial filing fee, there are no further expenses.

In addition, claimant has made a motion to compel discovery. Defendant asks that the motion be denied as moot. In its response, defendant has supplied numerous documents. Claimant objects to the answer of certain paragraphs. Claimant's demand for discovery is attached as Exhibit A to the motion to compel discovery (M-68484). Specifically claimant objects to defendant's answers to paragraphs 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 33, 34, 37, 41 and 42.

The Court has reviewed the request and response to each of the paragraphs and rules as follows:
Paragraph 20 defendant's objection is sustained
Paragraph 22 defendant's objection is sustained
Paragraph 23 defendant's objection is sustained
Paragraph 24 defendant's objection is overruled

Paragraph 25 defendant's objection is overruled

Paragraph 26 defendant's objection is overruled

Paragraph 29 defendant's objection is overruled
Paragraph 33 defendant's objection is sustained
Paragraph 34 defendant's objection is sustained
Paragraph 37 defendant's answer is satisfactory
Paragraph 41 defendant's objection is sustained
Paragraph 42 defendant's objection is sustained.
Based upon the foregoing, claimant's motion to compel is granted in part and denied in part. Claimant's request for sanctions is denied.


September 30, 2004
Hauppauge, New York
HON. JAMES J. LACK
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1]The following papers have been read and considered on claimant's motions: Notice of Motion to Proceed as a Poor Person dated May 3, 2004 and filed May 6, 2004; Affidavit in Support of Motion for Permission to Proceed as a Poor Person sworn to May 3, 2004 and filed May 6, 2004 with annexed Exhibits; Notice of Motion to Compel Disclosures, Strike Defenses and for Sanctions dated May 19, 2004 and filed May 24, 2004; Affidavit in Support of Motion to Compel and for Sanctions of Isaiah Brown with annexed Exhibits A-E sworn to May 19, 2004 and filed May 24, 2004; Affirmation in Opposition of Saul Aronson, Assistant Attorney General, with annexed Exhibits A-O dated June 23, 2004 and filed June 25, 2004; Reply Affidavit of Isaiah Brown sworn to July 8, 2004 and filed July 12, 2004.