New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

VERGES v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2005-009-033, Claim No. 107755, Motion No. M-68185


Synopsis


Following an in camera inspection of the personnel file of a correction officer pursuant to Civil Rights Law § 50-a, the Court determined that the contents bore no relevance to the claim and did not have to be disclosed.

Case Information

UID:
2005-009-033
Claimant(s):
ANGEL VERGES
Claimant short name:
VERGES
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
107755
Motion number(s):
M-68185
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Claimant's attorney:
KOOB & MAGOOLAGHAN
BY: Katherine Rosenfeld, Esq.,Of Counsel.
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General
BY: Heather R. Rubinstein, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney GeneralOf Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
June 6, 2005
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

In a prior Decision and Order to this motion dated September 27, 2004, this Court ordered defendant to produce a copy of the personnel file for Correction Officer Terry J. Davis for an in camera inspection. The Court has now had an opportunity to review this file, as well as the relevant authority for ascertaining whether this file, or any portion thereof, should be disclosed to claimant.

In his claim, claimant has alleged a cause of action for negligent supervision, specifically alleging that Correction Officer Davis was not at his assigned post in claimant's dormitory, thereby providing another inmate with the opportunity to attack claimant. Claimant therefore seeks disclosure of the personnel file for Correction Officer Davis, as well as training records, evaluations, disciplinary records, recommendations, and reports and records of counseling sessions. Defendant has opposed claimant's demand, citing Civil Rights Law § 50-a, which prevents disclosure of an officer's personnel file except in cases where a legitimate need has been sufficiently demonstrated to justify a court order directing release (Matter of Daily Gazette Co. v City of Schenectady, 93 NY2d 145).

As set forth above, the Court has now reviewed Officer Davis' personnel file, which consists solely of periodic performance evaluations and personal information. None of the information contained therein bears any relevance whatsoever to the allegations of the instant claim, and would be of no assistance whatsoever to claimant in his pursuit of his claim. Accordingly, the Court, relying upon the dictates of § 50-a, finds that the information contained in Officer Davis' personnel file need not be disclosed to claimant.

Therefore, it is

ORDERED, that claimant's request seeking the disclosure of Correction Officer Davis' personnel file is hereby DENIED.


June 6, 2005
Syracuse, New York

HON. NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Judge of the Court of Claims