University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Shariff v. Allah PC-NY-0063
Docket / Court 6:05-cv-06504-CJS-JWF ( W.D.N.Y. )
Additional Docket(s) 1:03−cv−07664−  [ 03-7664 ]
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On September 29, 2003, a group of paraplegic prisoners, proceeding pro se, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against prison officials. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants failed to provide adequate medical care in violation their rights under ... read more >
On September 29, 2003, a group of paraplegic prisoners, proceeding pro se, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against prison officials. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants failed to provide adequate medical care in violation their rights under the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, they alleged that prison officials failed to provide adequate bladder care and treatment, such as proper use of disposable catheters, properly sterilized catheters, and access to urologists. The plaintiffs also alleged that the defendants unlawfully discriminated against them by failing to construct wheelchair-amenable cells and failing to provide recreational activities, in violation of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The plaintiffs sought money damages and injunctive relief.

By the time the amended complaint had been filed, all plaintiffs had been transferred to facilities in the Western District of New York. Judge Deborah A. Batts considered and denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the case for improper venue. In her unpublished order of August 26, 2005, however, Judge Batts granted the defendants' motion to transfer venue to the Western District of New York.

Under the new case number 05-cv-6504, the case was reassigned to Judge Charles J. Siragusa. On December 14, 2005, Judge Siragusa granted a temporary restraining order directing the defendants to supply plaintiffs with six new single-use catheters per day. This was lifted on September 15, 2006, and Judge Siragusa ordered the defendants to instead supply the plaintiffs with soap and water sufficient for cleaning catheters after reuse. On May 29, 2007, the plaintiffs filed the third and final amended complaint.

On May 30, 2009, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification. However, the court held the plaintiffs' motion in abeyance from 2010 through 2011 while the parties engaged in settlement discussions.

On May 31, 2013, Judge Siragusa approved a joint stipulation that an expert visit the correctional facilities to review the conditions raised by plaintiffs. The expert was supposed to report back by August 16, 2013. However, as of April 23, 2014, there had been no activity in the docket. Although the judge ordered that counsel provide a joint status report to the court by December 11, 2015, the parties failed to do so.

On October 10, 2017, the judge ordered the parties to show cause why the case should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute. In the plaintiffs' response, they said their lack of reporting to the court was based on a misunderstanding and that the parties had resumed settlement negotiations in September, 2017. The plaintiffs noted that they had submitted a settlement proposal to the defendants and that the parties were in the process of negotiating.

After several months of mediation, the parties were unable to reach a settlement agreement. As of November 2018, the case is proceeding to trial.

Jessica Kincaid - 03/02/2014
Eva Richardson - 11/17/2018

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Mobility impairment
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Sanitation / living conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) New York State Department of Correctional Services
Plaintiff Description State prisoners with mobility disabilities in the New York State Department of Correctional Services (“DOCS”)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filing Year 2005
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PC-NY-0057 : Shariff v. Goord (W.D.N.Y.)
Additional Resources
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  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

1:03-cv-7664 (S.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0063-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/24/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
6:05-cv-06504 (W.D.N.Y.)
PC-NY-0063-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Third Amended Complaint [ECF# 84]
PC-NY-0063-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/29/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Batts, Deborah A. (S.D.N.Y.)
Feldman, Jonathan W. (W.D.N.Y.)
Siragusa, Charles J. (W.D.N.Y.)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cook, Jared Kimball (New York)
Cook, David L. (New York)
PC-NY-0063-0001 | PC-NY-0063-9001
Phillips, Spencer D. (New York)
Robinson, Terence Lee Jr. (New York)
PC-NY-0063-0001 | PC-NY-0063-9001
Shariff, Abdul (New York)
Defendant's Lawyers Bruce, Benjamin A. (New York)
Levine, Gary M. (New York)
Nosve, Donald (New York)
PC-NY-0063-9000 | PC-NY-0063-9001
Steinman, Charles (New York)

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