Affirmation in Opposition, with Exhibits 4
In this claim, claimant seeks damages for personal injuries suffered by him
when he was assaulted by another prisoner when both he and his assailant were
incarcerated at Cape Vincent Correctional Facility. Specifically, claimant
suffered burns requiring a lengthy hospitalization stay after boiling oil was
thrown on his face and body in the early morning of August 10, 2001. Following
an investigation, his assailant was identified as inmate Nelson Brana. This
claim is based upon allegations of negligence, negligent supervision, and
deliberate indifference, through allegations that the State failed to take
reasonable precautions to protect claimant from a foreseeable risk of attack.
Claimant had previously brought a motion to compel the State to respond to
various discovery demands. In a decision and order dated September 27, 2004,
this Court, inter alia
, directed that internal investigative documents
pertaining to this assault be disclosed to claimant, pursuant to a Stipulation
of Confidentiality. Specifically, this Court directed that notes made by the
Inspector General in the investigation of this assault be disclosed to claimant.
Additionally, the Court directed that a portion of the disciplinary records
(“Inmate Disciplinary History”) of claimant’s assailant,
Nelson Brana, also be disclosed, pursuant to the same Stipulation of
Subsequently, and as part of the ongoing discovery process, defendant served
upon claimant’s attorney certain documents contained within the case file
maintained by the Inspector General regarding its investigation of this assault.
Certain pages of this file, designated as “Division of Criminal Justice
Documentation” in the Inspector General’s file index, were withheld
from disclosure. In this motion, claimant now seeks an order compelling
disclosure of this documentation.
Correctly anticipating that this Court would require that these materials be
submitted for an in camera review, defendant’s attorney submitted
such documentation with her response to this motion (Exhibit B to Item 4).
Upon a review of these pages, and as confirmed by the affirmation submitted by
defendant’s attorney, this documentation consists of Mr. Brana’s
criminal record maintained by the Division of Criminal Justice Services.
According to defendant’s attorney, this criminal record was provided to
the Department of Correctional Services pursuant to a Use and Dissemination
Agreement with the Division of Criminal Justice Services (see Exhibit C to Item
4). Defendant opposes disclosure of this documentation, relying upon the
restrictions contained in the Use and Dissemination Agreement, Executive Law
§ 837(8), the Public Interest Privilege, and relevancy.
Claimant maintains that the criminal history of his assailant, Mr. Brana, is
just as relevant to the issue of whether the State had notice of his propensity
to commit violent acts as is his prison disciplinary record, which this Court,
in its prior decision and order, directed to be disclosed.
Having completed its review of the documentation submitted in camera
(Exhibit B to Item 4), this Court finds and determines that these pages
contain no information relevant or material to the allegations of this claim.
Mr. Brana’s criminal record is devoid of any information that would have
placed the State on notice of Mr. Brana’s propensity to commit a violent
act. Since this documentation contains no information relevant to this claim,
it need not be disclosed, and it is therefore not necessary for this Court to
address defendant’s reliance upon Executive Law § 837(8) and the
Public Interest Privilege.
Therefore, it is
ORDERED, that Motion No. M-71027 is hereby