New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
COLEMAN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2019-038-534, Claim No. 131889, Motion No. M-93456

Synopsis

Claimant's motion to compel production of documents denied as moot, when defendant responded to demand in response to claimant's motion. To the extent claimant seeks sanctions, claimant has not demonstrated that the seemingly de minimis delay in production of documents was because defendant sought to delay or prolong resolution of the litigation (see 22 NYCRR 130-1.1 [a]; [c] [2]).

Case information

UID: 2019-038-534
Claimant(s): TOWAUN COLEMAN
Claimant short name: COLEMAN
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 131889
Motion number(s): M-93456
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: W. BROOKS DeBOW
Claimant's attorney: TOWAUN COLEMAN, Pro se
Defendant's attorney: LETITIA JAMES, Attorney General
of the State of New York
By: Heather R. Rubinstein,
Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: April 22, 2019
City: Saratoga Springs
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Claimant, an individual incarcerated in a State correctional facility, filed this claim on August 23, 2018, in which he seeks compensation for personal injuries sustained when he was allegedly assaulted by another inmate on June 30, 2018. Claimant seeks an order compelling discovery and for attorneys fees and costs and expenses in litigating this motion. The motion is appended by a request for Production of Documents dated November 21, 2018, but claimant has not demonstrated the date that it was served upon the Attorney General. Defendant states that it received claimant's notice of motion on December 26, 2018, and defendant opposes the motion on the ground that it served claimant with responses to his discovery demand on or about March 6, 2019 by producing documents sought by claimant in his discovery demand (see Discovery Demand, dated 11/21/18; Rubinstein Affirmation, 3, Exhibit 1). Claimant has not replied to defendant's opposition to the motion nor asserted any objection to defendant's response to his request. Accordingly, claimant's motion to compel production of documents will be denied as moot.

Turning to claimant's request for attorneys fees and costs and expenses, a response to a discovery demand such as claimant's is due within 20 days of service of the demand (see CPLR 3126). Here, defendant did not respond to claimant's discovery demand until after claimant filed this motion, but claimant has not demonstrated that the discovery demand had been previously served upon defendant and thus, has not demonstrated that defendant failed to timely comply with his request (see CPLR 3124). To the extent that defendant did not respond to the discovery demand within 20 days of its receipt of claimant's notice of motion, penalties or other sanctions are not warranted in this matter, where there appears to have been a de minimis delay in defendant's production of documents, and claimant makes no argument that defendant's production of documents was withheld with the primary purpose of delaying or prolonging resolution of the litigation (see 22 NYCRR 130-1.1 [a]; [c] [2]).

Accordingly, it is

ORDERED, that claimant's motion number M-93456 is DENIED.

April 22, 2019

Saratoga Springs, New York

W. BROOKS DeBOW

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers considered:

(1) Claim number 131889, filed August 23, 2018;

(2) Notice of Motion for Order Compelling Discovery, dated January 18, 2019, with Attachments

(Correspondence of Kevin J. Macdonald, Principal Court Attorney, dated November 13,

2018; Request for Production of Documents, dated November 21, 2018);

(3) Affirmation of Heather R. Rubinstein, AAG, in Opposition to Motion to Compel, dated

March 11, 2019, with Exhibit 1;

(4) Affidavit of Service of Francine Broughton, sworn to March 12, 2019.