New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
GRESSLER v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2018-015-106, Claim No. 124165, Motion No. M-91579

Synopsis

Claimant's letter motion to adjourn the trial, direct the return of certain evidence confiscated by his parole officer and for the appearance of a witness at trial was denied.

Case information

UID: 2018-015-106
Claimant(s): CHARLES JAMES GRESSLER
Claimant short name: GRESSLER
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 124165
Motion number(s): M-91579
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney: Charles James Gressler, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: No Appearance
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: January 31, 2018
City: Saratoga Springs
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Claimant filed a "letter motion" seeking an adjournment of the upcoming trial of this claim, an Order directing the return of "digital evidence" confiscated by his parole officer, and the presence at trial of a witness to testify on his behalf.

Claimant alleges he was the victim of an unprovoked beating by correction officers following a visit with his parents on May 12, 2013. He requests an adjournment of the trial in order to obtain certain records from the defendant including a visitation room logbook, correction officers' work schedules, post assignments and personnel records. Claimant also requests an Order directing the return of digital evidence, allegedly confiscated by his parole officer, and the presence at trial of the Deputy Superintendent of Security at Great Meadow Correctional Facility to testify on his behalf.

First, to the extent claimant's request for an adjournment is premised upon his need for documents in the defendant's possession, the appropriate method to obtain such documents is through a notice for discovery served pursuant to CPLR 3120. Claimant has had ample time to request such documents in the nearly four-years this claim has been pending. Moreover, claimant has not identified the nature of the "digital evidence" sought. As a result, he has failed to demonstrate that the digital evidence is both material and necessary to the prosecution of his claim (CPLR 3101 [a]).

Similarly, claimant failed to identify or otherwise demonstrate the relevance or necessity of the witness he requests, the Deputy Superintendent of Security at Great Meadow. Pro se litigants are not included among those who are authorized to issue a subpoena. Where a subpoena is required, therefore, issuance by the court is necessary (CPLR 2302 [a]). To obtain a subpoena compelling the attendance of witnesses at trial, the burden rests on the party seeking the subpoena to establish that the testimony sought is both material and necessary to the prosecution or defense of the action (Romance v The State of New York, UID No. 2014-038-525 [Ct Cl, DeBow, J. June 3, 2014]; Allaway v The State of New York, UID No. 2010-030-532 [Ct Cl, Scuccimarra, J., April 7, 2010]). Although claimant indicates this witness' testimony is necessary to establish the procedures applicable to inmates in long-term keeplock status, such as the claimant, he failed to specifically identify the witness he seeks or to explain the relevance of his anticipated testimony.

Based on the foregoing, claimant's motion is denied.

January 31, 2018

Saratoga Springs, New York

FRANCIS T. COLLINS

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

  1. Claimant's Letter Motion, dated December 4, 2017 with Affidavit of Service attached.