New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
NASH v. STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2019-015-135, Claim No. 129666, Motion No. M-93656

Synopsis

Claimant's motion to compel discovery was denied s defendant provided adequate responses and a motion to compel a response to a notice to admit is inappropriate.

Case information

UID: 2019-015-135
Claimant(s): NEHEMIAH NASH
Claimant short name: NASH
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 129666
Motion number(s): M-93656
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney: Nehemiah Nash, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: Honorable Letitia James, Attorney General
By: Shadi Masri, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: April 25, 2019
City: Saratoga Springs
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Claimant, proceeding pro se, moves to compel compliance with a notice for discovery, two notices to admit and interrogatories.

Claimant, an inmate in the custody of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, seeks damages for a period of disciplinary confinement, and for personal injuries and the loss of certain personal property, all of which allegedly occurred at Great Meadow Correctional Facility following the issuance of a Misbehavior Report and claimant's subsequent confinement to his cell and the facility's Special Housing Unit.

CPLR 3101 (a) provides for the "full disclosure of all matter material and necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action." The Court of Appeals has interpreted these words liberally to require the disclosure "of any facts bearing on the controversy which will assist preparation for trial by sharpening the issues and reducing delay and prolixity. The test is one of usefulness and reason" (Allen v Crowell-Collier Publ. Co., 21 NY2d 403, 406 [1968]; see also Wiggins v Kopko, 105 AD3d 1132 [3d Dept 2013]). The scope of the statute is very broad, "consistent with New York's policy of permitting 'open and far-reaching pretrial discovery' " (Kavanagh v Ogden Allied Maintenance Corp., 92 NY2d 952, 954 [1998] [citation omitted]). The party seeking disclosure need only establish either "that the method of discovery sought will result in the disclosure of relevant evidence or is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of information bearing on the claims" (Gomez v State of New York, 106 AD3d 870, 872 [2d Dept 2013], quoting Vyas v Campbell, 4 AD3d 417, 418 [2d Dept 2004] [other citation omitted]; Jordan v Blue Circle Atl., 296 AD2d 752 [3d Dept 2002]).

Defendant indicates in response to the instant motion that it has complied with claimant's First Set of Demands For Discovery (claimant's Exhibit J) and First Set of Interrogatories (claimant's Exhibit N). The Court has reviewed defendant's response to claimant's First Set of Demands for Discovery (defendant's Exhibit F) and finds that its response is adequate. Although defendant did not provide the Court with its response to the claimant's interrogatories, claimant has not submitted a reply and the Court is therefore unable to determine whether or not the response was compliant with CPLR 3133.

With respect to claimant's notices to admit the genuineness of certain documents, such a notice is an appropriate procedural vehicle to request a party's admission as to "the genuineness of any papers or documents" (CPLR 3123 [a]). In the event the party fails to respond within 20 days following service of the notice to admit (plus 5 days for mailing [CPLR 2103 (b) (2)]), "[e]ach of the matters of which an admission is requested shall be deemed admitted" (id.). A motion to compel a response is unnecessary.

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

April 25, 2019

Saratoga Springs, New York

FRANCIS T. COLLINS

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

  1. Notice of motion dated February 19, 2019;
  2. Affidavit in support sworn to February 19, 2019, with Exhibits I-S;
  3. Affirmation in opposition dated April 1, 2019, with Exhibits A-F.