University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Charles v. Orange County, New York MH-NY-0008
Docket / Court 7:16-cv-5527 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Mental Health (Facility)
Case Summary
On July 12, 2016, two legal permanent residents filed this lawsuit against Orange County, New York and its officials in the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs, who both had serious mental illnesses, sued under §1983, alleging violations of the Due Process Clause of ... read more >
On July 12, 2016, two legal permanent residents filed this lawsuit against Orange County, New York and its officials in the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs, who both had serious mental illnesses, sued under §1983, alleging violations of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that county officials discharged them from civil immigration detention at Orange County Detention Center without providing discharge planning for the continuity of their life-sustaining mental health care. At their civil detention center, the plaintiffs had interacted regularly with psychiatric professionals and received medication to target the symptoms of their illnesses. When they left without discharge plans, their care stopped abruptly, and they were left without access to basic mental health resources. Represented by the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), the plaintiffs claimed that the county’s failure to provide the most basic aspect of mental health care endangered their lives, thereby depriving them of due process. They sought compensatory damages.

Defendants filed motions to dismiss on January 30, 2017. On September 29, 2017, Judge Nelson Stephen Roman granted the motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court first examined whether the state had an ongoing and affirmative duty to plaintiffs to provide continuing care upon discharge. Judge Roman found that, given the circumstances of the case and the plaintiffs' inability to find care immediately upon discharge, the state did owe them a limited duty of protection. However, the court also found that the plaintiffs had not shown that the defendants engaged in the type of deliberate indifference that would "shock the conscience" as required to make a due process claim under a failure to protect theory. Because the plaintiffs had not shown that the defendants committed a constitutional violation, Judge Roman ended his inquiry there.

On October 30, 2017, the plaintiffs filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. From November 2017 through February 2018, dozens of mental health professional associations, public defender agencies, and immigrant rights organizations moved to file amicus briefs, appeared as amicus counsel, or be joined as parties. The appeal is ongoing as of March 2018.

Ginny Lee - 01/22/2017
Lauren Latterell Powell - 02/28/2018
Alexandra Gilewicz - 03/09/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Discharge & termination plans
Government Services (specify)
Medical/Mental Health
Medicare eligibility determination
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Mental Disability
Schizophrenia
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Orange County, New York
Plaintiff Description Two individuals with mental illnesses who were confined in civil immigration detention and released without discharge plans.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
7:16-cv-05527-NSR (S.D.N.Y.)
MH-NY-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/30/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
17-3506 (U.S. Court of Appeals)
MH-NY-0008-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/21/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
[Press Release] Federal Lawsuit Challenges Unconstitutional “Discharge and Dump” Policy Targeted at New Yorkers with Mental Illness in Immigration Detention
MH-NY-0008-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 07/12/2016
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Complaint and Jury Demand [ECF# 1]
MH-NY-0008-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/12/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion & Order [ECF# 68] (S.D.N.Y.)
MH-NY-0008-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Psychiatry and The Law, American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, National Association of Social Workers, American Public Health Association,[...] [Ct. of App. ECF# 52-2]
MH-NY-0008-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/20/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Roman, Nelson Stephen (S.D.N.Y.)
MH-NY-0008-0003 | MH-NY-0008-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Agbemenu, Esinam Mawuena Daisy (New York)
MH-NY-0008-9000
Arora, Reena (New York)
MH-NY-0008-0002 | MH-NY-0008-9000
Gemmell, Antony Philip Falconer (New York)
MH-NY-0008-0002 | MH-NY-0008-9000 | MH-NY-0008-9001
Redman, Laura F (New York)
MH-NY-0008-0002 | MH-NY-0008-9000 | MH-NY-0008-9001
Repole, Lauren Elizabeth (New York)
MH-NY-0008-0002 | MH-NY-0008-9000
Rice, Thomas C. (New York)
MH-NY-0008-0002 | MH-NY-0008-9000 | MH-NY-0008-9001
Rosenfeld, Katherine (New York)
MH-NY-0008-0002 | MH-NY-0008-9000
Stujenske, Daniel Joseph (New York)
MH-NY-0008-0002 | MH-NY-0008-9000 | MH-NY-0008-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Cardoso, Anthony Francisco (New York)
MH-NY-0008-9000 | MH-NY-0008-9001
Gallo, Vincent Leonard Jr. (New York)
MH-NY-0008-9000
O'Brien, John Charles Jr. (New York)
MH-NY-0008-9000
Pierce, Carol C. (New York)
MH-NY-0008-9000
Ratner, Daniel Scott (New York)
MH-NY-0008-9001
Other Lawyers Burnim, Ira Abraham (District of Columbia)
MH-NY-0008-0004 | MH-NY-0008-9001
Levitt, Jamie A. (New York)
MH-NY-0008-9001
Panner, Aaron Martin (District of Columbia)
MH-NY-0008-0004 | MH-NY-0008-9001

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