New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
WOODY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2021-053-566, Claim No. 131376, Motion No. M-97189

Synopsis

Pro se incarcerated individual's motion to compel defendant to conduct his deposition is denied. Motion to compel defendant to answer his interrogatories pursuant to CPLR 3124 is granted.

Case information

UID: 2021-053-566
Claimant(s): RONNIE WOODY
Claimant short name: WOODY
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 131376
Motion number(s): M-97189
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: J. DAVID SAMPSON
Claimant's attorney: RONNIE WOODY, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: HON. LETITIA JAMES
New York State Attorney General
BY: Darren Longo, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: December 10, 2021
City: Buffalo
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Claimant Ronnie Woody, an incarcerated individual proceeding pro se, alleges that he was assaulted by correction officers at Gowanda Correctional Facility on December 15, 2017.

Now before the Court is claimant's discovery motion seeking an order compelling defendant to conduct his examination before trial and answer his interrogatories. For reasons stated below, the Court will grant the motion, in part.

Claimant's motion contains two requests for relief. Claimant seeks an order compelling defendant to conduct his examination before trial. Attached to claimant's motion papers is a copy of the demand defendant served in December 2019 noticing claimant's examination before trial for "a date, time, and place to be determined" (Affidavit in Support of Motion to Compel Submission to Examination Before Trial of Ronnie Woody, sworn to August 27, 2021, attachment [Examination Before Trial]). In response to the motion, defendant argues that an order compelling claimant's examination before trial is not necessary because it was scheduled for the following month, October 2021. No papers have been submitted to the Court suggesting that claimant's deposition did not proceed as scheduled in October. The Court concludes that it is likely, based upon defendant's counsel's representation, that claimant's deposition has already been completed or, if it has not, that it has been rescheduled for the near future. As such, the Court will deny claimant's request to compel defendant to conduct his examination before trial as moot.

Claimant's motion also seeks to compel defendant to answer his interrogatories. CPLR 3130 (1) and 3132 provide that after commencement of an action, one party may serve written interrogatories on another party. Mr. Woody represents that he served the interrogatories attached to his motion papers upon defendant on June 14, 2021 and that, to date, he has not received a response (Affidavit in Support of Motion to Compel Responses to Interrogatories Pursuant to CPLR 3124 of Ronnie Woody, sworn to August 27, 2021, attachment [Interrogatories Pursuant to CPLR 3130]). The interrogatories consist of five questions with numerous subparts (id.). Defendant's papers in response to the motion do not address claimant's request for an order compelling answers to his interrogatories. CPLR 3124 provides that "[i]f a person fails to respond to or comply with any . . . interrogatory, . . . the party seeking disclosure may move to compel compliance or a response." The Court will grant claimant's request and direct defendant to respond to the interrogatories within 30 days of entry of this decision and order.

Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby

ORDERED, that claimant's motion to compel defendant to conduct his deposition is denied as moot; and it is further

ORDERED, that claimant's motion to compel defendant to answer his interrogatories is granted; defendant shall serve answers to claimant's interrogatories within 30 days of entry of this decision and order.

December 10, 2021

Buffalo, New York

J. DAVID SAMPSON

Judge of the Court of Claims

The following were read and considered by the Court:

1. Notice of Motion to Compel Submission to Examination Before Trial, dated August 27, 2021, filed September 7, 2021;

2. Affidavit in Support of Motion to Compel Submission to Examination Before Trial of Ronnie Woody, sworn to August 27, 2021, with attachments;

3. Notice of Motion to Compel Responses to Interrogatories Pursuant to CPLR 3124, dated August 27, 2021, filed September 7, 2021; and

4. Affirmation of Assistant Attorney General Darren Longo, dated September 21, 2021, filed September 24, 2021.