New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WONG v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2009-039-110, Claim No. 111078, Motion No. M-73302


Synopsis


M-73302 is denied to the extent that defendant shall not be compelled to disclose to claimant the personnel file of an identified DOCS officer. Following an in camera review of the materials, the Court concludes that the file contains typical personnel materials exempt from disclosure under Civil Rights Law § 50-a(1), or documents that cannot be characterized as relevant and material to the underlying claim for unjust conviction and imprisonment.

Case Information

UID:
2009-039-110
Claimant(s):
DAVID WONG
Claimant short name:
WONG
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
111078
Motion number(s):
M-73302
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
James H. Ferreira
Claimant’s attorney:
Beldock, Levine & Hoffman LLP
By: Sofia Yakren, Esq. Jonathan C. Moore, Esq.
Defendant’s attorney:
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: Michael RizzoAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
January 29, 2009
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

On March 31, 2008, upon completion of an in camera review, this Court rendered a decision and order granting in part and denying in part claimant’s motion seeking to compel production of certain documents sought in support of an unlawful conviction and imprisonment claim (see Wong v State of New York, Ct Cl, March 31, 2008, UID No. 2008-039-072, Claim No. 111078, Motion No. M-73302). This supplemental decision follows a second interim order for in camera review dated August 14, 2008, wherein defendant was directed to also provide the Court with the personnel file of Joseph G. Wood, a former DOCS officer, who claimant avers was the watch commander on March 12, 1986, the date inmate Tyrone Julius was fatally stabbed in a prison yard at Clinton Correctional Facility. Claimant’s original motion to compel disclosure dated April 30, 2007 inadvertently referred to the watch commander as Mark G. Wood rather than Joseph G. Wood. Defendant complied and provided the personnel file of Joseph G. Wood to the Court on or about November 3, 2008.

Upon reviewing the relevant legal principles[1] and the personnel file at issue, the Court finds that none of the documents contained therein should be disclosed. The file contains typical personnel materials exempt from disclosure under Civil Rights Law § 50-a (1), or documents that cannot be characterized as relevant and material to the underlying claim for unjust conviction and imprisonment. Accordingly, it is hereby

ORDERED that M-73302 is denied to the extent that defendant shall not be compelled to disclose to claimant the personnel file of DOCS officer Joseph G. Wood.


January 29, 2009
Albany, New York

HON. JAMES H. FERREIRA
Judge of the Court of Claims


Papers Considered
:
1. Notice of motion filed on May 1, 2007;
2. Affirmation in support of motion to compel discovery production dated April 30, 2007;
  1. Answering affirmation in opposition to motion to compel discovery filed on June 18, 2007;
  2. Affirmation in further support of motion to compel discovery production dated July 27, 2007; and
5. Letter request from claimant’s counsel dated August 7, 2008.




[1].For a discussion of the relevant law, the Court refers to its earlier decision and order dated March 31, 2008, wherein the Court found that the personnel records of other correction officers were, in large part, either exempt from disclosure or not relevant and material to the underlying claim.