New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
ANDERSON v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2019-015-133, Claim No. 128944, Motion No. M-93613

Synopsis

Claimant's motion for discovery sanctions was denied.

Case information

UID: 2019-015-133
Claimant(s): TERRANCE ANDERSON
Claimant short name: ANDERSON
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 128944
Motion number(s): M-93613
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney: Terrance Anderson, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: Honorable Letitia James, Attorney General
By: Michael T. Krenrich, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: April 17, 2019
City: Saratoga Springs
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Claimant moves for the imposition of sanctions for defendant's alleged failure to properly respond to his demand for discovery.

Claimant, an inmate in the custody of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), seeks damages for wrongful confinement to the Special Housing Unit following a prison disciplinary hearing in which he was found guilty of certain prison rule violations.

On June 14, 2018, claimant served defendant with a notice for discovery in which he requested audio cassette tapes of the disciplinary hearings that were commenced on August 17, 2015, in which Hearing Officer Henley presided, and September 11, 2015, in which Hearing Officer White presided. Claimant explained in support of his prior motion to compel compliance with his demand for discovery, that although he was provided with two cassette tapes, both were damaged and not usable. By Decision and Order dated December 10, 2018, the Court granted claimant's motion to compel discovery and directed that defendant provide claimant undamaged cassette tapes responsive to his demands within 30 days of the date the Decision and Order was filed. Claimant acknowledges receipt of undamaged cassette tapes relating to the hearing which commenced on September 11, 2015, but denies receipt of the hearing tapes relating to the hearing which commenced on August 17, 2015.

In opposition to the motion, defendant submits the affidavit of Dianna L. Sheldon, Office Assistant 2 with DOCCS, in which she states that Officer Henley was initially assigned to conduct the hearing that commenced on August 17, 2015; however, after securing several extensions, a request to re-assign and re-commence the hearing was granted. According to Ms. Sheldon, "the hearing recommenced anew on September 11, 2015. . . . [and] [i]t is likely that the audio tape used to record the initial hearing on August 17, 2015 was reused to record the September 11, 2015 hearing" (Sheldon affidavit sworn to March 21, 2019, 4). Ms. Sheldon states further that she nevertheless searched for a tape of the hearing conducted on August 17, 2017 and "no such audio tape exists" (id. at 5). Inasmuch as defendant has properly searched its records for the requested audio tapes and concluded that none exist for the hearing that commenced on August 17, 2017, defendant adequately complied with this Court's prior Decision and Order directing that the hearing tapes be provided.

Accordingly, claimant's motion is denied.

April 17, 2019

Saratoga Springs, New York

FRANCIS T. COLLINS

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

  1. Notice of Motion sworn to March 1, 2019, with Exhibits A-F;
  2. Affirmation in Opposition dated March 29, 2019;
  3. Affidavit of Dianna L. Sheldon sworn to March 21, 2019, with Exhibit A.