New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

LARABY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-015-006, Claim No. 113283, Motion No. M-74142


Pro se inmate's motion to compel discovery was denied as items sought were not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of information bearing on the claim.

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:
Edward Laraby, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Belinda A. Wagner, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
January 11, 2008
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


In this pro se inmate claim arising out of alleged religious discrimination by officials of the Department of Correctional Services, the claimant moves to compel a response to his notice for discovery and inspection dated May 29, 2007. As noted by defense counsel in opposition to the motion, the claim very specifically alleges that the discriminatory conduct occurred on November 21, 2006 and November 27, 2006. On these two dates the claimant alleges that he was "singled out by corrections officials and systematically degraded, ridiculed, scorned, physically and verbally mistreated, and threatened because he is a white Rastafarian" (see claim, ¶ 10). Notwithstanding the allegations in the claim, claimant's notice for discovery and inspection requested information regarding the identity of correction officers who worked in specified areas of the prison on numerous dates other than those specifically set forth in the claim, together with personal information including the officers' home addresses and social security numbers. Defendant responded to those demands which requested information for the dates alleged in the claim and objected to those that did not. In addition, the defendant objected to the disclosure of certain personal information regarding the correction officers as privileged.

CPLR 3101 provides for the disclosure of all items "material and necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action". While these words have been liberally construed, " '[u]nder our discovery statutes and case law, competing interests must always be balanced; the need for discovery must be weighed against any special burden to be borne by the opposing party' " (Kavanagh v Ogden Allied Maintenance Corp., 92 NY2d 952, 954 [1998], quoting O'Neill v Oakgrove Constr., 71 NY2d 521, 529 [1988], rearg denied 72 NY2d 910 [1988]; see also Andon v 302-304 Mott St. Assoc., 94 NY2d 740,747 [2000]). It is therefore incumbent upon the party seeking disclosure to demonstrate that the discovery sought " 'is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of information bearing on the claims' " (Vyas v Campbell, 4 AD3d 417,418 [2004], quoting Crazytown Furniture v Brooklyn Union Gas Co., 150 AD2d 420, 421 [1989]).

Here, the claimant has completely failed to demonstrate that the discovery sought is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of information bearing on the claim. As to those demands which do relate to the allegations made in this case, the defendant's response was adequate. Based on the foregoing, the claimant's motion is denied.

January 11, 2008
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated October 25, 2007;
  2. Affidavit of Edward Laraby sworn to October 23, 2007 with exhibits;
  3. Affirmation of Belinda A. Wagner dates November 14, 2007 with Exhibits;
  4. "Answer to Defendant's Affirmation In Opposition" of Edward Laraby dated November 19, 2007.