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Case Name Betances v. Fischer CJ-NY-0011
Docket / Court 1:11-cv-03200 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On May 11, 2011, three inmates in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) who were given extra-judicial sentences of post-release supervision, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against DOCS ... read more >
On May 11, 2011, three inmates in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) who were given extra-judicial sentences of post-release supervision, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against DOCS and the New York State Division of Parole (DOP). The plaintiffs, individually and on behalf of those similarly situated, were represented by private counsel and asked the court for declaratory relief and compensatory and punitive damages. Plaintiffs claim that the defendants' imposition of extra-judicial sentences of post-release supervision violates their rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that the post-release supervisory sentences, which were imposed administratively, rather than judicially, are unconstitutional.

Plaintiffs cite to the precedent of Hill v. United States ex rel. Wampler , a Supreme Court case holding that only the judgment of a court may establish a defendant's sentence, and that the imposition of an extra-judicial sentence violates a defendant's constitutional rights. The plaintiffs also cite a Second Circuit case, Earley v. Murray , in which DOCS and DOP themselves were held to have violated the constitution and Wampler . Despite the holding in Earley , DOCS and DOP have continued to impose extra-judicial sentences on inmates in their custody. The plaintiffs have been re-incarcerated for violating the administrative sentences, outside the judicial process and after the expiration date of their determinate sentences.

On February 10, 2012, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied the defendants' 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. The court found that the plaintiffs had made plausible factual allegations that the defendants were responsible for the deprivation of their constitutional rights, holding that dismissal under 12(b)(6) was inappropriate. The defendants appealed from the denial of their motion to dismiss, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court's holding.

On January 1, 2015, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin granted plaintiffs' Motion to Certify Class. The court found that the plaintiffs satisfied the requirements of class certification.

The case is presently in the midst of discovery.

Kevin Nomura - 02/16/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Habeas Corpus
Over/Unlawful Detention
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) New York State Department of Correctional Services
New York State Division of Parole
Plaintiff Description Inmates in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services who were given extra-judicial sentences of post-release supervision.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Links Philadelphia Forfeiture
http://ij.org/case/philadelphia-forfeiture/
By: Institute for Justice (Institute for Justice)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
1:11-cv-03200 (S.D.N.Y.) 05/11/2011
CJ-NY-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/11/2011
CJ-NY-0011-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 10/20/2011
CJ-NY-0011-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order Denying Defendant's 12(b)(6) Motion 02/10/2012 (852 F.Supp.2d 379) (S.D.N.Y.)
CJ-NY-0011-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
2nd Cir. Court of Appeals Summary Order Affirming District Court Denial of 12(b)(6) 07/08/2014 (519 Fed.Appx. 39)
CJ-NY-0011-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 01/28/2015 (304 F.R.D. 416) (S.D.N.Y.)
CJ-NY-0011-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Droney, Christopher F. (D. Conn., Second Circuit)
CJ-NY-0011-0004
Katzmann, Robert A. (Second Circuit)
CJ-NY-0011-0004
Kearse, Amalya Lyle (Second Circuit)
CJ-NY-0011-0004
Scheindlin, Shira A. (S.D.N.Y., E.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
CJ-NY-0011-0003 | CJ-NY-0011-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brinckerhoff, Matthew D. (New York)
CJ-NY-0011-0001 | CJ-NY-0011-0002 | CJ-NY-0011-9000
Horowitz, Hayley (New York)
CJ-NY-0011-9000
Pulver, Adam R (New York)
CJ-NY-0011-0002 | CJ-NY-0011-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cooney, James Brennan (New York)
CJ-NY-0011-9000
Hehenberger, Anna (New York)
CJ-NY-0011-9000
Keane, Michael J. (New York)
CJ-NY-0011-9000
Okereke, Christina Chinwe (New York)
CJ-NY-0011-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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