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Case Name Marone v. Nassau County JC-NY-0058
Docket / Court 3630-2012 ( State Court )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On March 21, 2012, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and two prisoners at the Nassau County Correctional Center (NCCC) filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court for Nassau County, New York, against Nassau County and its County Executive, pursuant to CLPR Article 78 and Article XX § 2004 of ... read more >
On March 21, 2012, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and two prisoners at the Nassau County Correctional Center (NCCC) filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court for Nassau County, New York, against Nassau County and its County Executive, pursuant to CLPR Article 78 and Article XX § 2004 of the Nassau County Charter. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from NYCLU, sought an order of mandamus from the Court to compel the defendants to appoint seven members to the NCCC Board of Visitors pursuant to Article XX § 2004 of the Nassau County Charter.

Between January 2010 and March 2012, seven people died while in custody at the jail since January 2010, including five suicides. NYCLU received a large number of complaints from the prisoners about the failure to provide necessary medication, the mistreatment of persons with disabilities and the utter lack of mental health services at the jail. The plaintiffs argued that all of the above point to the facility's inadequate grievance system.

The county charter authorizes the seven-member committee to respond to inmate grievances and advise the sheriff on programs that would improve the care and treatment of people housed at the jail. According to the county charter, the Board of Visitors is to be composed of seven county residents who will serve three-year terms and have some "working knowledge of the correctional system."

The arguments revolved around two issues. Firstly, the defendants argued that it had discretion on whether to appoint the seven-member Board. Secondly, the defendants argued that the County Executive's recent submission of four names to the nominations committee of the Nassau County Legislature renders this complaint moot.

On April 3, 2013, the Court (Acting Justice James McCormack) exercised its power of mandamus and ordered the County Executive to appoint a Board of Visitors consistent with the County Charter, and to submit a list of names to constitute the seven-member Board within 90 days. Marone v. Nassau County, 39 Misc. 3d 1034, 1047(N.Y. 2013). The Court rejected both of the defendants' arguments. The language of the County Charter left no discretion to the County Executive on the appointment of the Board, and such appointment was clearly mandated by the language of the Charter. Ibid., 1045 (N.Y. 2013). The second argument was also rejected, because the language of the Charter made it clear that the Board must have seven members, which means it was not the intention to create a seven-member quorum to allow a four-member board to vote. Ibid., 1047(N.Y. 2013). Moreover, there was no evidence that the four members were in fact approved, so the submission of four names was of no importance. Ibid.

Zhandos Kuderin - 04/23/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Failure to supervise
Suicide prevention
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Nassau County
Plaintiff Description Two prisoners at the Nassau County Correctional Center and a non-profit organization aiming to defend and promote human
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
12-003630 (State Supreme Court) 04/04/2012
JC-NY-0058-9000.pdf | Detail
Westlaw
General Documents
Verified Petition 03/21/2012
JC-NY-0058-0002.pdf | Detail
Decision and Order of the Court 03/24/2013 (39 Misc.3d 1034)
JC-NY-0058-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges McCormack, James P (State Supreme Court)
JC-NY-0058-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dunn, Christopher (New York)
JC-NY-0058-0002
Stoughton, Corey (New York)
JC-NY-0058-0002 | JC-NY-0058-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Ciampoli, John M. (New York)
JC-NY-0058-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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