New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WILLIAMS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2009-038-561, Claim Nos. 114391, 114392, Motion No. M-76594


Claimant's motion to compel production of documents granted in part. Defendant directed to produce two documents that are fully described in claimant's motion, or submit an affidavit explaining that they do not exist or the reason why they cannot be produced.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
114391, 114392
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant’s attorney:
Defendant’s attorney:
ANDREW M. CUOMO, Attorney General of the State of New York
By: Glenn C. King, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
July 28, 2009

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


These claims seek monetary compensation for injuries allegedly sustained when claimant, who was then incarcerated in a tuberculosis isolation room at a state Correctional Facility, was allegedly assaulted by correction officers. Claimant seeks an order compelling defendant to comply with claimant’s discovery demands. Defendant has responded to the motion with production of documents, and requests that the motion be denied. Claimant filed a motion to compel in June 2008, in which he requested documents that he labeled as A-O (see Affidavit of Darren Williams in Support of Motion for Demand for Discovery and Inspection, sworn to June 23, 2008). Defendant responded with a letter dated July 21, 2008, which set forth defendant’s objections to various demands, and further noted that the motion was premature because claimant had not yet requested the documents from defendant (see Williams Affidavit, Exhibit A). Defendant formally responded to the motion, reasserting the objections set forth in its July 21 correspondence, and stating that “with respect to the demands for which defendant does not object, defendant is taking steps to obtain responses to said demands and will provide such in the near future” (Affirmation of Glenn C. King, AAG, dated July 31, 2008, ¶ 5). Claimant’s motion was denied as premature because his submission did not demonstrate that he had made a prior discovery demand with which defendant had not complied (see Williams v State of New York, UID # 2008-038-619, Claim Nos. 114391 and 114392, Motion Nos. M-75169 and M-75296, DeBow, J. [Oct. 24, 2008]).

The instant motion was brought by claimant to compel defendant to comply with his document demands, which defendant candidly concedes have gone unanswered.[1] In response to the motion, defendant states that the correctional facility did not understand claimant’s demands for certain items, and it provided twenty pages of documents that constitute “all [the] documents [the facility] thought might be responsive to any of [claimant’s] demands” (Affirmation of Glenn C. King, AAG, dated June 1, 2009, ¶ 5 and Exhibit A). Defendant asserts that certain of claimant’s demands (i.e., Demands G, I, K, M and N) seek information, and not documents, and should therefore be presented to defendant in the form of interrogatories (id. ¶ 4). Thus, defendant apparently views its response to claimant’s demand as complete, and it requests denial of claimant’s motion.

In response, claimant objects to defendant’s disclosure of the documents included in defendant’s Exhibit A because claimant is already in possession of those documents, and he objects to defendant’s comment regarding the need for interrogatories “because interrogatories are written questions submitted to the opposing party for an answer, which must be answered under oath” (Williams Correspondence, dated June 5, 2009, ¶¶ 2; 4). Neither of these responses have any substantive merit requiring further relief. Claimant provides further clarification of two documents that he seeks and which were not included in defendant’s disclosure: (1) a “chart-list,” which was originally requested as item “L”, and which claimant describes as “a list of persons who are authorized and/or medically cleared to enter inside TB respiratory isolation cells; and (2) the “dohen [sic] hard copies [which] is a document that must be transferred before discharging a person from TB isolation (id.),” and which appears to have been previously requested as item “H” (see Correspondence of Darren Williams, undated, received Aug. 4, 2008, on Motion No. M-75169). Claimant asserts no other objection to defendant’s response to his discovery demand. As to the two items enumerated above, claimant’s motion will be granted, and defendant should produce these two documents or submit to claimant and the Court an affidavit setting forth that they do not exist or the reason that they cannot be produced.

To the extent that claimant seeks to schedule a settlement conference with the Court, such a request will not be granted. Settlement of a claim is a matter between the parties, and defendant will not be compelled to participate in a settlement conference. In sum, it is

ORDERED, that claimant’s motion to compel is GRANTED IN PART, and defendant is directed to produce the documents requested as Claimant’s “H” and “L” forthwith, or, within thirty (30) days of the date of filing of this decision and order, submit to claimant and the Court an affidavit setting forth why the documents cannot be produced, and it is further

ORDERED, that the motion is DENIED in all other respects.

July 28, 2009
Albany, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers considered

(1) Claim No. 114391, filed October 23, 2007;

(2) Claim No. 114392, filed October 23, 2007;

(3) Decision and Order, Claim Nos. 114391 and 114392, Motion Nos. M-75169, M-75296, filed
November 14, 2008, with: Notice of Motion for Demand for Discovery and Inspection, dated June 23, 2008; Affidavit of Darren Williams, sworn to June 23, 2008, in Support of Motion for Demand for Discovery and Inspection; Correspondence of Glenn C. King, AAG, dated July 21, 2008; Affirmation in Response to Claimant’s Motion of Glenn C. King, AAG, dated July 31, 2008, with Exhibit A; Undated Correspondence of Darren Williams, received Aug. 4, 2008;

(4) Notice of Motion, dated April 22, 2009;
(5) Affidavit of Darren Williams in Support of Motion, sworn to April 22, 2009, with

Exhibits A-B;

(6) Affirmation of Glenn C. King, AAG, in Response to Claimant’s Motion to Compel, dated

June 1, 2009, with Exhibits A-B;

(7) Correspondence of Darren Williams, dated June 5, 2009.

[1]. The instant motion is unsupported by a copy of claimant’s discovery demand. However, the documents claimant seeks are recited in his affidavit in support of the prior motion, and that affidavit is part of the record of the claim. Thus, the instant motion will not be denied for claimant’s failure to include a copy of the list of documents he seeks.