Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NYS OCFS Forces "Off-the-Books" Litigation in Darryl Thompson Civil Action

Deception in the Great State of New York?Defendants and NYS OCFS are seeking to hide their misconduct from the public by forcing Plaintiff, Anntwanisha Thompson, to file documents "off-the-books" in the matter of Thompson v. Johnson, et al, a civil action filed by Elmer Robert Keach III, who represents the family of Darryl Thompson.

Darryl Thompson, a 15 year old from the Bronx, died in November 2006 after being restrained by two aides at the state-run Tryon Residential Center in Johnstown. An autopsy conducted by Medical Examiner, Dr. Michael Sikirica, ruled Thompson's death a homicide, yet a Fulton County grand jury declined to indict the two aides involved (John P. Johnson and Robert Murphy).

A letter motion, pursuant to the Court's direction, was filed earlier this month by Keach to The Honorable Andrew T. Baker, federal judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of New York to request the unsealing of all documents submitted to the Court. It states, in part, "...the Plaintiff's efforts to learn the truth about her son's death were used against her, in that in order to gain information about how Darryl died, the Plaintiff was forced to agree to a restrictive protective order that required court sealing. The Plaintiff specifically requested that she be provided with an opportunity to revisit the sealing provisions of the order at the appropriate time, and she does so by this letter motion."

Thompson suggests that all documents submitted to the US District Court for the Northern District of New York are judicial documents. To that end, NYS OCFS forcing "off-the-books" litigation not only does not serve the interests of justice, it also precludes the public from being able to access documents upon which the US District Court for the Northern District of New York will make its decisions.In the latest development,  the Court has decided on a letter motion,  keeping the documents sealed. 

(Case 608-cv-01241-DNH-ATB Document 147 filed Nov. 19, 2010)

Thompson is also requesting to take the depositions of Jeffrey Delorme and Robert Hoefs due to the uncertainty amongst the Defendants as to who was present during Thompson's restraint and death. While not Defendants in this action, the depositions of Delorme and Hoefs are said to be "...highly relevant to this litigation..." They are represented by the New York State Attorney General's office, who has refused to allow them to be deposed.
Source: Keach Letter To The Honorable Andrew T. Baxter, federal judge, US District Court for the Northern District of New York
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