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
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
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
, 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.