New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SINGH v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-015-206, Claim No. 111719, Motion No. M-73071


Synopsis


Defendant's motion to dismiss claim for failure to respond to discovery pursuant to CPLR 3126 was granted.

Case Information

UID:
2007-015-206
Claimant(s):
HARMANDEEP SINGH
Claimant short name:
SINGH
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
111719
Motion number(s):
M-73071
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant’s attorney:
Estrin & Benn, LLCNo Appearance
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Michael T. Krenrich, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
June 25, 2007
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant moves for an order dismissing this claim pursuant to CPLR 3126 on the ground that the claimant willfully failed to provide responses to various demands for discovery. Claimant has submitted no opposition to the motion. The claim alleges the claimant was arrested on December 14, 2004 due to the failure of the Department of Motor Vehicles to properly maintain its records. Following the service of a notice of intention, the claim was filed on December 8, 2005 and served on the Attorney General on June 26, 2006. Issue was joined by service of the defendant's answer on August 3, 2006. On that same date, the defendant served a demand for a verified bill of particulars, combined demand, and a notice for an examination before trial of the claimant to be held within ninety days of the service of the notice.

To date the claimant has failed to comply with the defendant's demands for discovery notwithstanding an order directing the parties to complete disclosure and file the note of issue by February 22, 2007. By letter dated February 20, 2007 defense counsel notified the Court that the claimant had not yet responded to certain discovery demands and requested that the Court strike the order requiring filing of the note of issue and require claimant to serve responses to the outstanding demands. A copy of this letter was sent to counsel for the claimant. In response to the letter, the Court notified defense counsel to make a motion for the requested relief and this motion ensued.

It is well settled that dismissal of an action pursuant to CPLR 3126 as a sanction for failure to comply with discovery is a drastic remedy which should be granted only where the conduct of the resisting party is shown to be willful and contumacious (Goldstein v Kingsbrook Jewish Med. Ctr., 39 AD3d 816 [2007]; Maiorino v City of New York, 39 AD3d 601 [2007]). It is also well settled that willfulness may be inferred from the circumstances, including the failure to comply with a court order and inadequate excuses for the default (id.; see also Wolford v Cerrone, 184 AD2d 833 [1992]). Here, the claimant has failed to respond to any of the defendant's demands for discovery much less complete discovery by February 22, 2007, the court-ordered date to do so. In addition, the claimant has failed to respond to the instant motion to dismiss. As a result, the Court finds dismissal of the claim pursuant to CPLR 3126 appropriate.

Accordingly, the claim is dismissed.



June 25, 2007
Saratoga Springs, New York

HON. FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Judge of the Court of Claims


The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated March 16, 2007;
  2. Affirmation of Michael T. Krenrich dated March 16, 2007 with exhibits.