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Case Name People of the State of NY ex rel. Corey Stoughton, Esq., on behalf of Jeffrey v. Brann JC-NY-0077
Docket / Court 451078/2020 ( State Court )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: In this case, New York State Supreme Court Justice Mark Dwyer ordered that the NY Department of Correction should release 18 COVID-vulnerable individuals incarcerated in New York City jails because detention during the pandemic violated their federal and state due process rights ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: In this case, New York State Supreme Court Justice Mark Dwyer ordered that the NY Department of Correction should release 18 COVID-vulnerable individuals incarcerated in New York City jails because detention during the pandemic violated their federal and state due process rights.

On March 24, 2020, 32 COVID-19 vulnerable individuals incarcerated in New York City jails filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York. The petitioners sued the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction and the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Represented by the Legal Aid Society of New York, the petitioners requested that the court issue a writ of habeas corpus and order their immediate release. The petition alleged that continuing to hold these individuals on bail or for parole violations constituted deliberate indifference to the risk of serious medical harm in violation of their Fourteenth Amendment due process rights and state constitutional rights to due process. As of March 26, New York City reported at least 73 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its jails.

On March 26, New York State Supreme Court Justice Mark Dwyer ordered that 16 individuals should be released. See Legal Aid Society's press release here. Of these 16, some had been jailed pretrial and others for parole violations. Their age and medical conditions made them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 such that incarceration during the pandemic violated their due process rights. Judge Dwyer stated that the City and the State failed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the local jails and that further action was needed. He also granted leave to the Legal Aid Society to renew applications for release on an additional 9 individuals, suggesting that he may release them if the Legal Aid Society provides further information in court on March 27.

In response to these amended applications, on April 6, Judge Dwyer issued a release order for more petitioners, 18 in total. Some other petitioners had been released on bail or on consent. Judge Dwyer found that their continued confinement in Rikers violated their federal and state due process rights and rejected respondent's claim that they took "reasonable care" to mitigate the COVID-19 risk for these individuals. The release order specified that it applied only to individuals with substantial risk factors, but it included individuals charged with violent crimes as well. The case is ongoing.

Lily Sawyer-Kaplan - 03/27/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Bail/Bond
Conditions of confinement
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Release Denied
COVID-19 Release Granted
COVID-19 Release Requested
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction
Plaintiff Description The plaintiffs are 32 COVID-19 vulnerable individuals incarcerated in New York City jails on bail or for parole violations.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Habeas relief
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 03/24/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
451078/2020 (State Supreme Court)
JC-NY-0077-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/27/2020
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
JC-NY-0077-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/24/2020
Affirmation of Martin Bowe in Opposition to Writ of Habeas Corpus
JC-NY-0077-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/25/2020
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Supplemental Affirmation of Martin Bowe in Opposition to Write of Habeas Corpus
JC-NY-0077-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/26/2020
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Untitled (2020 WL 1679209)
JC-NY-0077-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | External Link | Detail
Date: 04/06/2020
Source: State Court Website
show all people docs
Judges Dwyer, Mark Court not on record show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0004
Plaintiff's Lawyers Billingsley, David (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0001
Bowe, Martin John (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0002 | JC-NY-0077-0003
Cooney, James Brennan (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0002
Gottesman, Lauren (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0001 | JC-NY-0077-0002 | JC-NY-0077-0003
McGrath, Michelle (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0001 | JC-NY-0077-0002 | JC-NY-0077-0003
Ndiaye, Marie (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0001 | JC-NY-0077-0002 | JC-NY-0077-0003
Quackenbush, Robert Matthew (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0001
Simpson, Kayla (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0001
Stoughton, Corey (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0001 | JC-NY-0077-0002 | JC-NY-0077-0003
Vela, Veronica (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0001
Werlwas, Mary Lynne (New York) show/hide docs
JC-NY-0077-0001

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