New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MITCHELL v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2009-015-161, Claim No. 111167-A, Motion No. M-76453


Synopsis


Pro se inmate's motion for the issuance of judicial subpoenas was denied as an inappropriate procedural vehicle for obtaining discovery.

Case Information

UID:
2009-015-161
Claimant(s):
MARK MITCHELL
Claimant short name:
MITCHELL
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
111167-A
Motion number(s):
M-76453
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant’s attorney:
Mark Mitchell, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Stephen J. Maher, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
April 14, 2009
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate proceeding pro se, moves for the issuance of judicial subpoenas compelling the production of chronological history reports of his transfers from cell to cell at Great Meadow Correctional Facility and from prison to prison during the period of his custody with the Department of Correctional Services. The claim alleges, in pertinent part, the following causes of action:
"(1), Negligent[ly] transferring claimant, (2), Failure to properly monitor and reserve claimants [sic] right to protective custody, (3), Transferr [sic] of claimant was motivated by desire of correctional officials to punish claimant for exercising his constitutionally protected rights, (4), False imprisonment, wrongful excessive confinement, (5) Deliberate Indifference to claimants [sic] Mental Health needs."
The claimant's proposed use of a subpoena to obtain documents which may be obtained from the defendant during the course of discovery is inappropriate. In general, “ 'a subpoena duces tecum may not be used for the purpose of discovery or to ascertain the existence of evidence' ” (Matter of Murray v Hudson, 43 AD3d 936, 937 [2007], quoting People v Gissendanner, 48 NY2d 543, 551 [1979]). CPLR 3120 (1) permits the service of a notice for discovery on a "party" and a subpoena duces tecum on "any other person". Claimant's request for a subpoena is therefore an inappropriate procedural vehicle for obtaining discovery from the defendant in this case. Notwithstanding this fact, however, the defendant has graciously agreed to provide the documents requested in the claimant's motion in advance of trial.

Accordingly, claimant's motion is denied.



April 14, 2009
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 March 25, 2009;
  2. "Affidavit" of Mark Mitchell dated March 25, 2009;
  3. Letter dated April 10, 2009 from Stephen J. Maher.