New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MURRAY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-040-002, Claim No. 108470, Motion No. M-72333


Pro se
inmate’s motion to compel discovery denied as state has responded.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant’s attorney:
Joel Murray, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Attorney General of the State of New YorkBy: Saul Aronson, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
November 15, 2006

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


For the reasons set forth below, Claimant’s motion to compel the State to respond to discovery demands and interrogatories is denied.

Claimant alleges that in August 2003, he was told that he would be transferred from Dorm G-1 at Bare Hill Correctional Facility to Dorm E-2. Claimant contends that he had been placed in Dorm G-1 for medical reasons because of certain features in that dorm, such as rails in the shower and bathroom. Claimant asserts that he filed a grievance protesting his proposed move, that the grievance committee concluded that Claimant's account was correct and, thus, that he could be moved from Dorm G-1 only at the direction of a doctor.

A month later, on September 16, 2003, Claimant again was informed that he would be moved from Dorm G-1, this time to the annex part of the facility, Dorm M-2. He maintains that again he protested, but that a sergeant who had been present at the first grievance hearing stated that Claimant's medical records did not indicate that he had to be housed in the main part of the facility. Claimant asserts that when he went to sick call, the nurse reviewed his chart and said that he had to be housed in the main facility. During the time Claimant was housed at Dorm M-2, he alleges that he was unable to obtain his special diet for hypertension. On September 26, 2003, he was moved back to a dorm in the main facility. Claimant says that the officer in charge at Dorm M-2 required Claimant to carry his own, very heavy, bags, although he protested that he was restricted from heavy lifting by the doctor. While attempting to carry a duffel bag weighing approximately 100 pounds, Claimant fell and struck his head.

The claim sets out four causes of action: for physical injuries caused by Claimant’s inability to obtain his special diet for a period of time; for injuries suffered when he was forced to carry a heavy bag and, as a result, fell and hit his head; for inadequate medical treatment received following the blow to his head; and for "illegally" moving Claimant from the main facility to the annex on September 16, 2003.

Claimant asserts that on August 2, 2006 he sent a second set of interrogatories and a demand for production of documents to the Defendant.[1] He followed up on this demand with a letter to Assistant Attorney General Aronson dated August 28, 2006 stating that Claimant would make a motion to compel disclosure if he did not receive a response to his discovery requests within seven days of receipt of the letter. Mr. Aronson asserts that he responded to Claimant’s August 28, 2006 letter by letter dated September 11, 2006, which stated that he needed additional time to review, investigate and prepare appropriate responses to Claimant’s demands. Claimant considered counsel’s response a delay tactic and prepared the instant motion on September 21, 2006.

In opposition to the motion, Defense counsel asserts that concurrent with the service of his opposition papers dated October 17, 2006, he served and filed his responses to Claimant’s interrogatories and request for production.[2] He further asserts that he objected to several requests and did not respond to those items.

Since Defendant now has provided responses and documents to Claimant, the Court concludes that the motion to compel the State to respond is moot. Thus, Claimant’s motion is denied. If Claimant objects to any specific response(s) provided to his interrogatories and demand for production, he may make the appropriate motion.

November 15, 2006
Albany, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The following papers were read and considered by the Court on claimant’s motion to compel:

Papers Numbered

Notice of Motion, Affidavit in Support,

Addendum to Notice of Motion and
Exhibit Attached 1

Affirmation in Opposition 2

Filed Papers: Claim, Answer and Response to Interrogatories and Response to

Request for Production

[1]. Claimant asserts that such demand is attached to his motion papers as Exhibit A. However, Exhibit A was not attached to the Court’s copy of the motion.
[2]. The Court notes that the State’s Response to Request for Production states it is a response to the First Request for Production dated February 17, 2005 and the Second Request for Production dated August 4, 2006, and the Response to Interrogatories states it is a response to identical Interrogatories of February 17, 2005 and August 2, 2006. The State does not indicate the reason for the delay in responding to the request for production or interrogatories dated February 17, 2005.