New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
SCOTT v. STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2020-015-057, Claim No. 130050, Motion No. M-95392

Synopsis

Claimant's motion to compel discovery or strike defendant's answer was granted in part.

Case information

UID: 2020-015-057
Claimant(s): RANDOLPH SCOTT, 15-B-2127
Claimant short name: SCOTT
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 130050
Motion number(s): M-95392
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney: Randolph Scott, pro se
Defendant's attorney: No Appearance
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: May 20, 2020
City: Saratoga Springs
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Claimant, proceeding pro se, moves to compel discovery or, in the alternative, to strike the defendant's answer pursuant to CPLR 3126 for its willful failure to comply with discovery.

Claimant, a former inmate of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS), seeks damages for an assault and battery by Correction Officer R. Taylor that allegedly occurred at Great Meadow Correctional Facility on June 2, 2017.

On January 28, 2020 claimant served defendant with a Notice for Discovery and Inspection which included a request for "[p]ictures of injuries sustained . . . taken of claimant's injuries on June 2, 2017 . . . , [x]-rays of claimant's injuries . . . [and] [d]isciplinary hearing . . . audiotape" (claimant's Exhibit B). In February 2020 claimant served a second Notice for Discovery and Inspection in which these same items were requested, but claimant additionally requested materials and photographs pertaining to Correction Officer Taylor's injuries. Claimant states in his affidavit submitted in support of the motion that defendant has failed to disclose "Number of x-rays taken of plaintiff o[n] 6/2/17[,] Disciplinary Hearing audio tape which is to be converted to words translation revealing testimony of inmates in plaintiff's behalf and with present discovery demands" (affidavit of Randolph Scott, 6).

Claimant's description of the discovery materials that remain outstanding does not enable the Court to precisely determine the nature of the materials the defendant allegedly failed to provide. Claimant's discovery notice did not include a request for the number of x-rays taken of him; indeed, such a request would be inappropriate under CPLR 3120. Rather, he requested production of the x-rays. Similarly, claimant requested the audiotape of his disciplinary hearing, not a transcription of the testimony and his additional reference to his present discovery demand does not indicate what materials remain outstanding. Nevertheless, considering the broad scope of disclosure under CPLR 3101 (a) (Allen v Crowell-Collier Publ. Co., 21 NY2d 403, 406 [1968]), and the interests of judicial economy, the Court will grant the claimant's motion to the following extent : defendant is directed to provide claimant, within 30 days of the date of this Decision and Order: (1) copies of the reports of any x-ray taken of the claimant on June 2, 2017 or shortly thereafter; (2) color copies of any photographs of claimant's injuries taken on June 2, 2017, and (3) a copy of the audiotape of the disciplinary hearing which arose from the incident and a transcription of the testimony. If there is a fee for these records, defendant shall notify the claimant of same within 30 days of the date of this Decision and Order and thereafter provide the records within 15 days of the date payment of the fee is received.

May 20, 2020

Saratoga Springs, New York

FRANCIS T. COLLINS

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

1. Notice of Motion dated February 27, 2020;

2. Affidavit in support sworn to February 21, 2020, with Exhibits A and B.