New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

RIVERA v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2005-019-580, Claim No. 109983, Motion No. M-70829


Synopsis


Claimant's motion to compel discovery is GRANTED to the extent that the State is directed to documents to the court for an in camera review.

Case Information

UID:
2005-019-580
Claimant(s):
JOSE RIVERA
Claimant short name:
RIVERA
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
109983
Motion number(s):
M-70829
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Claimant's attorney:
JOSE RIVERA, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERALBY: Joseph F. Romani, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
November 14, 2005
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate appearing pro se, moves for an order compelling discovery. The State of New York (hereinafter "State") opposes the motion.

Claimant alleges that a correction officer intentionally filed a false misbehavior report against him. As part of discovery, claimant served upon the State a First Demand for Discovery and/or Inspection requesting, among other things, the following:

2. All memorandum relevant to the Deprivation Order dated 8-31-04 and any subsequent renewals. This demand includes, but is not limited to, any comments or recommendations on the part of the block staff.

(Claimant's First Demand for Discovery and/or Inspection filed November 29, 2004).


The State's response indicated that "[f]or security concerns, the defendant refuses to comply with this demand for memoranda associated with the deprivation order of 8/31/04." (Defendant's Reply filed June 8, 2005).


The court cannot ascertain from these papers whether the documents requested by claimant are material and relevant to this claim or, if so, whether the documents should not be disclosed due to legitimate security concerns.


Consequently, the court will direct the State to produce for an in camera review two copies of the subject deprivation order, together with all memorandum related thereto as described by claimant. One copy of each document is to be unredacted and the second copy is to be redacted in a manner which the State believes presents information relevant to this claim while removing privileged or irrelevant information. In the event the State believes that the documents should not be disclosed in their entireties it should so state in a transmittal letter to the court. These records are to be provided to the court within thirty (30) days of the filing date of this Decision and Order. After reviewing these documents, the court will issue a further decision regarding whether and how any portion of these documents are to be provided to claimant.


Consequently, in view of the foregoing, it is ORDERED that claimant's motion to compel discovery, Motion No. M-70829, is GRANTED to the extent that the State is directed to submit the foregoing documents to the court for an in camera review within thirty (30) days from the filing date of this Decision and Order. Upon reviewing said documents, the court will issue a further decision regarding claimant's motion to compel relating to those specific documents.


November 14, 2005
Binghamton, New York

HON. FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Judge of the Court of Claims


The court has considered the following papers in connection with this motion:
  1. Claim, filed October 20, 2004.
  2. Verified Answer, filed November 15, 2004.
  3. Claimant's First Demand for Discovery and/or Inspection, filed November 29, 2004.
  4. Defendant's Reply to First Demand for Discovery and/or Inspection, filed June 8, 2005.
  5. Notice of Motion No. M-70829, dated September 27, 2005, and filed October 19, 2005.
  6. Affidavit of Jose Rivera, in support of motion, sworn to October 5, 2005, with attached exhibits.
  7. Affirmation of Joseph F. Romani, AAG, in opposition to motion, dated October 25, 2005, and filed October 27, 2005.