New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

DAVIS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2009-015-117, Claim No. 114479, Motion No. M-75709


Claimant's motion for sanctions for defendant's purported failure to comply with discovery was denied. Defendant adequately complied.

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:
Samuel Davis, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Michael C. Rizzo, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
January 13, 2009
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant, an inmate proceeding pro se, moves for the entry of a default judgment and the imposition of sanctions for the defendant's purported failure to fully comply with this Court's Order which granted, in part, claimant's prior motion to compel discovery. The claim alleges that the forceful use of a curette constituted a violation of claimant's religious rights and caused irreparable damage to his dreadlocks (Claim ¶¶ 4, 12).

Preliminarily, it should be noted that the claimant has failed, once again, to support his motion with copies of the discovery demands and defendant's responses which he alleges are incomplete. However, inasmuch as the defendant has submitted its responses in opposition to the motion, the Court will address the motion on the merits.

Review of the claimant's demands and the defendant's responses thereto indicates that the defendant is in compliance with the Court Order dated September 5, 2008. This Order required the defendant to respond to the claimant's demands numbered "1", "2", "9", "10", "14", and "24". The first two demands required the production of policies, directives or instructions to medical staff concerning the use of a curette and its purpose and concerning the use of a medical instrument or tool in conducting a search of an inmate. The defendant responded on October 6, 2008, indicating that no such written policies, directives or instructions to medical staff exist. Nevertheless, the defendant provided Directive 4910 governing the control of and the search for contraband. This response was adequate.

Demand numbered "9" required the production of the hearing transcript in which Nurse Lerman testified with respect to the subject incident. This transcript was provided.

Demand numbered "10" required the production of "[a]ll reports / statements filed by Nurse Lerman on August 30, 2007 or after- pertaining to his use of a medical tool on my dreadlocks / hair." The defendant responded that no such reports were filed. This response was adequate.

Demand numbered "14" required production of the names of all inmates, medical staff and security staff present in the hospital on Aug. 30, 2007 at 6.55.
. Defendant responded to this demand with the names of the persons present. This response was adequate.

Demand numbered "24" required production of "[a]ny/ all consent to Aug 30, 2007 use of medical tool with any / all authorization." Defendant responded that it possessed no such consent or authorization.

Not only did the defendant adequately and promptly respond to the claimant's demands, it did so without requiring pre-payment of the reasonable cost of photocopying as was permitted by the prior Court Order.

Accordingly, claimant's motion is denied.

January 13, 2009
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated October 16, 2008;
  2. Unsworn Affidavit of Samuel Davis dated October 16, 2008;
  3. Affirmation of Michael C. Rizzo dated October 27, 2008 with exhibit.