New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JOHNSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-016-033, Claim No. 114120, Motion Nos. M-74507, M-74750


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):
M-74507, M-74750
Cross-motion number(s):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant’s attorney:
Connie Johnson, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Joseph F. Romani, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
July 15, 2008
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


In his claim, Connie Johnson, an inmate at Woodbourne Correctional Facility, alleges that he has been provided with improper and inadequate medical treatment at the facility. In motion no. M-74507, Mr. Johnson moves for permission to proceed as a poor person and for the appointment of counsel. In motion no. M-74750, he moves for an order compelling defendant to respond to interrogatories and requests for the production of documents. Claimant previously made an application for a reduction of his filing fee. Such application was denied in a September 12, 2007 Order of Presiding Judge Richard E. Sise.

With regard to poor person status, there are no applicable provisions in the Court of Claims Act, and thus the Civil Practice Law and Rules govern. See Court of Claims Act §9, subdivision 9; Wilson v State of New York, 101 Misc 2d 924, 925, 422 NYS2d 347, 349 (Ct Cl 1979). Poor person status is authorized under CPLR 1101, which addresses, among other things, filing fees. Aside from the filing fee, there are no other fees in the Court of Claims and in fact, section 27 of the Court of Claims Act prohibits certain costs, fees and disbursements. Nevertheless, payment of a particular item of expense as the need arises may be available at the proper time upon a showing of sufficient cause. Mapp v State of New York, 69 AD2d 911, 415 NYS2d 278 (3d Dept 1979); Wilson, supra. Because no such showing has been made by claimant at this time, his motion for poor person status must be denied. As to claimant’s request for the assignment of counsel, such is generally not available for civil cases. See Matter of Smiley, 36 NY2d 433, 369 NYS2d 87 (1975).

With regard to claimant’s motion to compel, defendant argues that the interrogatories and document requests are “overly broad, sweeping, vague and inclusory.” Claimant, while not conceding same, states in his reply papers that he will “drop” the interrogatories and document requests and he instead asks, as defendant suggests, that he be provided with copies of his own medical records. Claimant also requests that he “be able to re-instate said Motion for the [background], educational degree and certificates or training if He [sees] the need to do so in the future.”

In view of the foregoing, having reviewed the submissions[1], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-74507 be denied. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that motion no. M-74750 be granted only to the extent that within sixty (60) days of the filing of this Decision and Order, defendant shall provide to claimant copies of his medical records for the period of November 2003 through the present. To the extent that claimant sought documents relating to background, education and training in motion no. M-74750, the denial of such motion is without prejudice to the renewal of such motion at a later date.

July 15, 2008
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]The following were reviewed: claimant’s notice of motion no. M-74507 with affidavit in support; claimant’s February 16, 2008 letter referencing motion no. M-74507; defendant’s affirmation in opposition to motion no. M-74507; claimant’s February 22, 2008 letter referencing motion no. M-74507; claimant’s notice of motion no. M-74750 with supporting affidavit and exhibits A and B; claimant’s submission entitled “Re: Motion to Amend to Motion to Proceed as a Poor Person and the Assignment of Counsel Pursuant to the Uniform Rules of the Court of Claims §206.9(b)”; defendant’s “Affirmation in Opposition to Claimant’s Motion to Compel and Second Application for Permission to Proceed as Poor Person and for Appointment of Counsel” with exhibits A through C; claimant’s “Supporting Affidavit of Motion to Compel”; and claimant’s undated letter filed June 20, 2008.