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Smalls v. LaClair

September 5, 2008

ERIC SMALLS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DALE LACLAIR, SGT., CLINTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY; HENRY LAFOREST, DENNIS BOUVIER, RONALD MUSSEM, TERRY ALLEN, JAMES CANNING, R. MITCHELL, AND R. MOORE, EACH CORRECTION OFFICERS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David N. Hurd, United States District Judge

ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

The Office of the Attorney General moves pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 60 for reconsideration and rescission of the judgment for jury costs in the sum of $2,000.

II. BACKGROUND

November 25, 2002 - The plaintiff, a prisoner, was involved in an altercation with the correction officer/defendants at the Clinton Correctional Facility, Dannemora, New York.

January 22, 2003 - Plaintiff and his principal witness, Lewis Jones, were indicted by a Clinton County Grand Jury for assaulting correction officers on November 25, 2002.

May 12, 2003 - Plaintiff plead guilty in Clinton County Court to two felony counts in the indictment - for assaulting correction officer/defendants Henry LaForest and Dennis Bouvier on November 25, 2002. He subsequently received a sentence of two to four years consecutive to his current prison sentence.

July 22, 2003 - Plaintiff's principal witness plead guilty to a misdemeanor for assaulting one of the correction officers on November 25, 2002.

November 25, 2005 - Plaintiff filed a ninety-two (92) paragraph sworn complaint against the correction officer/defendants, claiming he was subjected to excessive force by them on November 25, 2002, with absolutely no fault or aggressive action on his part.

November 25, 2005 to May 6, 2008 - Answers were filed. Extensive pretrial motions and conferences were heard by the Magistrate Judge.

May 6, 2008 - Trial was set for June 10, 2008. Thereafter, two pretrial conferences were held. Writs of Habeas Corpus were issued for the appearance of plaintiff and his principal witness to be brought from prison to court.*fn1

June 2, 2008 - The AAG, as defense counsel, learned (accidentally) for the first time, that plaintiff made extremely damaging admissions by pleading guilty to felony charges for assaulting two of the correction officer/defendants with regard to the very altercation that is the subject of his claims in this action.

June 9, 2008 - The day before trial, the AAG received certified copies of plaintiff's Indictment, Sentence, and Commitment. The AAG did not have a transcript of the plea. The AAG advised plaintiff's pro bono trial counsel about the guilty plea by his client.

June 10, 2008 - A panel of approximately thirty jurors appeared for selection. AAG advised the court for the first time about the admissions in plaintiff's guilty plea and the guilty plea of his principal witness. Trial was adjourned one day to allow the court, the attorneys, the parties, ...


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