New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GREEN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-015-259, Claim No. 113634, Motion No. M-73890


Claimant's motion to amend claim to add a cause of action for bailment unrelated to the original claim was denied. Although proposed amended claim was timely when motion was made, it was untimely when motion was decided and the Court lacked discretionary authority under Court of Claims Act § 10 (6) to grant late claim relief.

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:
Shawn Green, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Michael T. Krenrich, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
December 14, 2007
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant, an inmate proceeding pro se, moves for a default judgment and/or the imposition of monetary sanctions pursuant to CPLR 3126 as the result of the defendant's alleged failure to respond to interrogatories. The claim sets forth causes of action for the use of excessive force by various correction officers at Great Meadow Correctional Facility on March 25, 2007, causes of action arising out of the issuance of a misbehavior report on that same date and the manner in which the disciplinary hearing with respect to those charges was conducted. The claim also alleges that the defendant failed to provide medical attention for "aches and pains" following the March 25, 2007 incident. On May 24, 2007 claimant filed a supplemental claim setting forth two additional causes of action unrelated to the causes of action set forth in the original claim.

Claimant avers in his affirmation in support of his motion that he served interrogatories on defendant on June 7, 2007. There were four sets of interrogatories. The first set required a response from three different individuals and the second and third set of interrogatories were directed to two other specifically identified individuals. Not having received a response, claimant sent a letter to defense counsel dated June 29, 2007 requesting answers to the interrogatories. By letter dated July 12, 2007, defense counsel replied indicating that additional time was needed to prepare the required responses. Defendant served its answers to the claimant's interrogatories on October 9, 2007.

Sanctions may be appropriate where a party "refuses to obey an order for disclosure or wilfully fails to disclose information which the court finds ought to have been disclosed" (CPLR 3126). While the nature and the degree of the sanction is a matter that rests within the court's discretion, sanctions are inappropriate absent a clear showing that the failure to comply with discovery was willful, contumacious or in bad faith (Gillen v Utica First Ins. Co., 41 AD3d 647 [2007] [absent clear showing that failure to answer interrogatories was in bad faith, denial of motion to strike the defendant's answer was a provident exercise of discretion]; Negro v St. Charles Hosp. & Rehabilitation Ctr., 44 AD3d 727 [2007] [failure to disclose which was the result of disorganization and ineptitude of plaintiff's counsel did not warrant the imposition of sanctions]; cf. O'Brien v Clark Equip. Co., 25 AD3d 958 [2006] [prolonged willful failure to provide certain discovery warranted sanctions]).

Here, there is no indication that the delay in providing the responses to interrogatories was willful, contumacious or in bad faith. Consequently, no sanction is appropriate pursuant to CPLR 3126.

Based on the foregoing, the claimant's motion for sanctions pursuant to CPLR 3126 is denied.

December 14, 2007
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated August 20, 2007;
  2. "Affirmation" of Shawn Green sworn to August 20, 2007 with exhibits;
  3. Memorandum of law of Shawn Green dated August 20, 2007;
  4. Affirmation in opposition of Michael T. Krenrich dated October 10, 2007 with exhibits;
  5. Reply of Shawn Green sworn to October 14, 2007.