3-7 Filed papers: Claim, Answer, Claim Supplement (filed July 24, 2008), Answer
to Claim Supplement, Claim Supplement (filed August 18, 2008)
David Binkley alleges in his claim that defendant’s agents at Sing Sing
Correctional Facility [Sing Sing] - specifically the package room and later the
grievance and/or media review committees - wrongfully withheld from his
possession Japanese language flash cards purchased for educational and religious
purposes. The package room advised claimant that the cards would not be provided
to him on February 1, 2008, and claimant pursued grievance claims thereafter.
Such denial, he asserts, interfered with his right to free exercise of his
religion. He seeks “incidental relief in the form of order to issue
religious/educational ‘books,’ defined by International Standard
Book Numbers as such for all intents and purposes under Federal and State law,
restoring claimant’s liberty, property and due process rights . . . [and]
compensatory and/or punitive damages: $100,000.00. [Claim No. 115465,
¶¶3 and 7]. He states that on April 30, 2008 the Central Office Review
Committee [CORC] issued its decision denying the grievance he filed with regard
to the materials. [Claim No. 115465, ¶3]. In copies of letters claimant
wrote in pursuit of his grievance, that are attached to the claim filed in the
Court of Claims, claimant indicates that the materials were returned to his
mother. [Letter to Central Office Media Review Committee from David Binkley
dated March 10, 2008].
The present motion, entitled “Disclosure Motion” by
, is essentially his demand for
disclosure served on defendant and filed with the clerk of the court as required
by 22 NYCRR §206.5(c). As a motion to compel such disclosure it is
Civil Practice Law and Rules §3124], and denied
summarily on that ground alone.
Civil Practice Law and Rules §3101, setting forth the scope of disclosure
in a civil case and applicable in the Court of Claims [see Court of
Claims Act §9(9)], provides in pertinent part that “[t]here shall be
full disclosure of all matter material and necessary in the prosecution or
defense of any action, regardless of the burden of proof . . .”
As noted in the Court’s decision with regard to M-75442, claimant’s
issues would appear to be more properly addressed in the context of an Article
78 proceeding commenced in Supreme Court. There is no dispositive cross-motion
before the court, however, thus no action can be taken.
With regard to the discovery requests that are the subject of this motion,
defendant has responded by forwarding documents to claimant with regard to some
of the requests, and objecting to others, while reserving the right to
supplement its response in the event additional information becomes available.
The following documents were provided: cover memorandum from Jeffrey DeLoatch to
Taudia Todmann dated July 1, 2008; attached inmate grievance history at Sing
Sing; photocopy of grievance #44145-08; copy of letter from David Binkley to
Director of Education [Affirmation in Opposition by Elyse Angelico, Assistant
Attorney General, Exhibit B]; and claimant’s medical records [ibid.
The defendant notes that the grievance file pages that were bate stamped 51-56,
containing the “outgoing certified mail log for claimant’s
mail and legal mail log for incoming legal mail” are excluded for in
camera review. [See Affirmation in Opposition by Elyse Angelico ¶ 5,
Exhibit B]. The documents referenced have been supplied and reviewed, and
defendant is directed to furnish legible copies of same to claimant, with
information concerning other inmates redacted. Notably, the area of the pages
where the date the mail was received and processed is stamped is illegible, due
to a white streak in the photocopy.
Claimant’s request for “documents, records, correspondence and
other materials grounds [sic] for belief in defendant’s answers to
claim and claim supplement which do not duplicate or demonstrate variance with
claimants [sic] exhibits” [See Disclosure Motion, ¶2] is
denied as vague and overbroad. All document requests in the present motion have
either been responded to or appropriately objected to.
Based on the foregoing, claimant’s motion [M-75510] to compel discovery