New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

RIVERA v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-015-086, Claim No. 114683, Motion No. M-75249


Synopsis


Certain "D" directives were required to be provided for the Court's in camera review. Other discovery was compelled.

Case Information

UID:
2008-015-086
Claimant(s):
JOSE RIVERA
Claimant short name:
RIVERA
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
114683
Motion number(s):
M-75249
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant’s attorney:
Jose Rivera, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Kent B. Sprotbery, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
November 18, 2008
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate proceeding pro se, moves to compel discovery pursuant to CPLR 3124. By Decision and Order dated June 3, 2008, this Court denied the defendant's motion to dismiss the claim for failure to state a cause of action finding that further discovery may establish that applicable procedures or protocols for the transportation of inmates were violated (Rivera v State of New York, [UID # 2008-015-044, Claim No. 114683, Motion No. M-74616] Ct Cl, June 3, 2008, Collins, J.). In this regard it is alleged in the claim that claimant was placed in full restraints for a period of thirteen hours and deprived of food and water for a period of ten hours during the course of a bus transfer between Great Meadow and Clinton correctional facilities. The Court noted in its prior Decision and Order that the defendant was required to respond only to those demands and interrogatories relevant and material to the issue of claimant's restraint and feeding during the bus trip.

Claimant's prior motion to compel discovery was denied as premature since defendant's motion to dismiss had the effect of staying discovery pending determination of the motion (see CPLR 3214 [b]). Claimant now moves to compel responses to his Demand For Discovery and/or Inspection and First Request For Interrogatories and Admissions. In opposition to the motion, defense counsel relates in his affirmation that the subject discovery responses were served upon the claimant on July 31, 2008.

As noted by claimant in reply to defendant's opposition to the motion the defendant did not provide a copy of Directive 4919 although it indicated that a redacted copy of same was attached to its response (defendant's Exhibit A, response to demand #15). A copy of this Directive as redacted should therefore be provided within twenty days of the date this Decision and Order is filed.

Defendant objected to claimant's demands numbered 16, 17 and 18 on the ground that the directives demanded therein (4900, 4901 and 4906) are classified as "D" directives and would pose a security threat if disclosed. Directive 4900 pertains to security in gate areas and secure posts. Inasmuch as this claim involves procedures for the transfer of inmates having nothing to do with security at gate areas and secure posts, the Court finds that in addition to being classified as ineligible for circulation among inmates, Directive 4900 is neither material nor necessary to the prosecution of this claim. With respect to Directives 4901 [Transporting Prisoners] and 4906 [Transfer of Inmates] defendant is directed to produce these directives for the Court's in camera review within twenty days of the date this Decision and Order is filed (see e.g. Banks v State of New York, [UID #2008-039-082, Claim No. 106549, Motion No. M-74502] Ct Cl, June 4, 2008, Ferreira, J. ).

In response to interrogatory number three requesting the manner in which inmates are secured during a transfer between correctional facilities defendant responded that "Inmates are secured pursuant to NYS DOCS Directive 4906". Resolution of the propriety of the defendant's response to interrogatory number three must await the court's in camera review of Directive 4906. Lastly, the Court notes that defendant's answers to claimant's interrogatories were not answered under oath as required by CPLR 3133. The defendant is directed to provide its answers to interrogatories under oath within twenty days of the date this Decision and Order is filed.

Based on the foregoing, the claimant's motion is granted to the extent indicated herein.



November 18, 2008
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 July 10, 2008;
  2. Affidavit of Jose Rivera sworn to July 10, 2008 with exhibits;
  3. Affirmation of Kent B. Sprotbery dated July 31, 2008 with exhibits;
  4. Affidavit of Jose Rivera sworn to August 7, 2008.