New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

LEWIS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-015-066, Claim No. 111590, Motion No. M-72819


Upon in camera review of inmate's disciplinary records, certain records relating to incidents of violent conduct were discoverable and required to be disclosed.

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:
James Lewis, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Frederick H. McGown, III, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
August 27, 2008
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant, an inmate, alleges he was assaulted by another inmate, Pablo Powell, due to the negligent supervision of the defendant. By Decision and Order of the Court dated October 17, 2006, Presiding Judge Richard E. Sise ordered that the disciplinary records of inmate Pablo Powell be provided to the Court for an in camera review. By Decision and Order of this Court filed August 14, 2008 (M-72819) the defendant’s noncompliance with this aspect of the Order was noted and the defendant was directed to provide these records to the Court within ten days of the date the Decision and Order was filed.

Following the filing of the Decision and Order on August 14, 2008, defense counsel brought to the attention of the Court that the defendant had in fact complied with Judge Sise’s Order directing the production of inmate Powell’s disciplinary records for an in camera review. Unfortunately, the Clerk’s office inadvertently failed to forward the records to Judge Sise for in camera review. The Court has now had the opportunity to review the disciplinary records of Pablo Powell. In claims alleging negligence against the State for injuries sustained in an inmate-on-inmate assault, evidence of the attacker’s prior assaultive or violent conduct is generally discoverable (Wilson v State of New York, 36 AD2d 559 [1971]; Villano v State of New York, 127 Misc 2d 761[Ct Cl, 1985]; Serrano v State of New York, UID # 2006-009-080, Claim No. 112135 [Ct Cl, December 28, 2006] Midey, J.). Upon review of the records provided, the Court finds that the only potentially relevant records are those which relate to an incident that occurred on September 5, 2004 in which inmate Powell was found guilty of violent conduct and the incident of March 28, 2005 which forms the basis for the instant claim. As the proposed redactions are limited to the deletion of the names of correction officers and witnesses, the defendant is directed to provide those portions of the redacted disciplinary records of inmate Pablo Powell which relate to the incidents of September 5, 2004 and March 28, 2005. Service of the records shall be accomplished within fourteen days of the date this Decision and Order is filed.

August 27, 2008
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The court considered the following papers:
  1. Inmate Powell's disciplinary infractions, unredacted;
  2. Inmate Powell's disciplinary infractions, redacted.