Lisa I. v. Manikas

Citation123 N.Y.S.3d 734,183 A.D.3d 1096
Decision Date14 May 2020
Docket Number529712
Parties LISA I., Individually and as Parent and Guardian of N.Y., an Infant, Respondent, v. Allan MANIKAS et al., Appellants, et al., Defendant.
CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division

Hagelin Spencer LLC, Buffalo (Sean M. Spencer of counsel), for appellants.

Cooper Erving & Savage LLP, Albany (Carlo A.C. de Oliveira of counsel), for respondent.

Before: Garry, P.J., Clark, Aarons, Pritzker and Reynolds Fitzgerald, JJ.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Reynolds Fitzgerald, J.

In May 2016, plaintiff's 15–year–old daughter (hereinafter the child) attended a sleep over at a friend's home. The house was owned by her friend's parents, defendants Allan Manikas and Melissa Manikas (hereinafter collectively referred to as defendants). During the night, the child was allegedly raped by an adult male relative of defendants. The complaint alleges that defendants permitted the friend and the child to sleep in the relative's bedroom, wherein the relative provided alcohol and marihuana to the child. After the friend fell asleep on the floor of the bedroom, he allegedly sexually assaulted the child. In May 2018, plaintiff, individually and as the parent of the child, commenced this action asserting five causes of action – premises liability negligence, negligent supervision, loss of services, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

As part of the litigation, defendants deposed the friend. During the examination, their attorney extensively questioned the friend about the child's prior sexual history and drug use. In anticipation that defendants would conduct an examination of the child in the same manner, plaintiff moved for a protective order, pursuant to CPLR 3103(a), to preclude defendants from questioning the child during the deposition about her sexual history and drug use. Plaintiff argued that any questions of this nature would be for the purposes of intimidation and harassment. Plaintiff further argued that the Rape Shield Law, codified in CPL 60.42, afforded the child the same protections as a victim in a criminal case, and any testimony as to her sexual history and alleged pregnancies would be irrelevant and immaterial to this civil litigation. Defendants opposed the motion arguing that this line of questioning would be relevant to credibility and as to whether the child had a motive to fabricate the allegations for reasons of a purported pregnancy. Defendants assured Supreme Court that it was not their intent to harass or embarrass the child. Supreme Court partially granted plaintiff's motion by precluding defendants from examining the child regarding her prior sexual history, but permitted defendants to examine her regarding her purported drug use. In reaching this conclusion, the court determined that the Rape Shield Law applies to civil cases. Defendants appeal.

Defendants contend that Supreme Court erred in granting the protective order, as the Rape Shield Law is inapplicable to civil cases. We conclude that Supreme Court did not err in partially granting the motion for a protective order. However, in arriving at this conclusion, it is unnecessary for this Court to reach the question as to whether CPL 60.42 applies to civil cases, as Supreme Court had the responsibility and authority pursuant to CPLR 3103(a) to issue a protective order to protect a party from harassment, irrespective of the application of the criminal statute.

As a general principle, it is well settled that a court "is vested with broad discretion in controlling discovery and disclosure, and generally its determinations will not be disturbed in the absence of a clear abuse of discretion" ( Seale v. Seale, 149 A.D.3d 1164, 1165, 51 N.Y.S.3d 647 [2017] [internal quotation marks and citations omitted]; see DiCostanzo v. Schwed, 146 A.D.3d 1044, 1045, 45 N.Y.S.3d 625 [2017] ; Cooper v. McInnes, 112 A.D.3d 1120, 1120–1121, 977 N.Y.S.2d 767 [2013] ; Mokay v. Mokay, 111 A.D.3d 1175, 1177, 976 N.Y.S.2d 274 [2013] ). "The court may at any time on its own initiative, or on motion of any party or of any person from whom or about whom discovery is sought, make a protective order denying, limiting, conditioning or regulating the use of any disclosure device. Such order shall be designed to prevent unreasonable annoyance, expense, embarrassment, disadvantage, or other prejudice to any person or the courts" ( CPLR 3103[a] ; see Cynthia B v. New Rochelle Hosp. Med. Ctr., 60 N.Y.2d 452, 457, 470 N.Y.S.2d 122, 458 N.E.2d 363 [1983] ). Further, courts have broad discretion in issuing a protective order for the purpose of limiting discovery but, for one to be...

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5 cases
  • Reus v. ETC Hous. Corp.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • March 3, 2022
    ...and generally its determinations will not be disturbed in the absence of a clear abuse of discretion’ " ( Lisa I. v. Manikas, 183 A.D.3d 1096, 1097, 123 N.Y.S.3d 734 [2020], quoting Seale v. Seale, 149 A.D.3d 1164, 1165, 51 N.Y.S.3d 647 [2017] ). Here, there is no dispute that the amended s......
  • Sims v. Reyes
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • May 7, 2021
    ...1697, 1698, 12 N.Y.S.3d 428 [4th Dept. 2015] ; see Forman , 30 N.Y.3d at 662, 70 N.Y.S.3d 157, 93 N.E.3d 882 ; Lisa I. v. Manikas , 183 A.D.3d 1096, 1097, 123 N.Y.S.3d 734 [3d Dept. 2020] ; Hann v. Black , 96 A.D.3d 1503, 1504, 946 N.Y.S.2d 722 [4th Dept. 2012] ). Here, the wording that was......
  • Reus v. ETC Hous. Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • March 3, 2022
    ...disclosure, and generally its determinations will not be disturbed in the absence of a clear abuse of discretion'" (Lisa I. v Manikas, 183 A.D.3d 1096, 1097 [2020], quoting Seale v Seale, 149 A.D.3d 1164, 1165 [2017]). Here, there is no dispute that the amended subpoena to LAS was issued af......
  • Reus v. ETC Hous. Corp.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • March 3, 2022
    ...disclosure, and generally its determinations will not be disturbed in the absence of a clear abuse of discretion'" (Lisa I. v Manikas, 183 A.D.3d 1096, 1097 [2020], quoting Seale v Seale, 149 A.D.3d 1164, 1165 [2017]). Here, there is no dispute that the amended subpoena to LAS was issued af......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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