Case: Graziano v. Pataki

7:06-cv-00480 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: Jan. 23, 2006

Closed Date: 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 23, 2006, prisoners in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services and serving sentences for second degree murder filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Governor Pataki and the New York State Division of Parole. Plaintiffs alleged that Governor Pataki instigated an unofficial policy of denying parole release to prisoners convicted of A-1 violent felony offe…

On January 23, 2006, prisoners in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services and serving sentences for second degree murder filed a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Governor Pataki and the New York State Division of Parole. Plaintiffs alleged that Governor Pataki instigated an unofficial policy of denying parole release to prisoners convicted of A-1 violent felony offenses solely on the basis of the violent nature of such offenses, and thus without proper consideration of any other relevant or statutorily mandated factor. This unofficial policy, plaintiffs alleged, resulted in unconstitutional enhancements of their sentences in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, and the ex post facto clause.

Defendants moved to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim. The District Court (Judge Brieant) denied the motion. Graziano v. Pataki, 2006 WL 2023082, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52556 (S.D.N.Y., July 17, 2006).

Defendants subsequently filed a second motion to dismiss. Plaintiff filed opposition papers and moved for class certification on behalf of a class consisting of: all prisoners in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services who: 1) were convicted of A-1 violent felony offenses; 2), were eligible for parole release; and 3) have been denied parole solely because of the "seriousness of the offense." Hearing on pending motions occurred on July 20, 2007, and the motions were taken under submission by the Court. Shortly thereafter, the parties advised the Court that they expected to reach a settlement of the case and asked the Court to defer its ruling on all pending motions.

In November 2007, settlement negotiations broke down and the defendants notified the Court that they no longer wished to pursue settlement. Shortly thereafter, the District Court (Judge Charles L. Brieant) denied the defendants' motion to dismiss and granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification. Graziano v. Pataki, 2007 WL 4302483 (S.D.N.Y. Dec 05, 2007).

On Dec 10, 2010, the US District Court (Judge Seibel) dismissed the case. On January 11, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal. On November 14, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a per curium opinion affirming the judgment of the lower court.

Summary Authors

Gregory Pitt (7/19/2012)

Priyah Kaul (11/18/2014)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4956615/parties/graziano-v-pataki/


Judge(s)

Brieant, Charles L. Jr. (New York)

Katzmann, Robert A. (New York)

Seibel, Cathy (New York)

Underhill, Stefan R. (Connecticut)

Wesley, Richard C. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Isseks, Robert Nathan (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Dawkins, Julinda A. (New York)

Johnson, Jennifer Lynn (New York)

Shevlin, Neil (New York)

Judge(s)

Brieant, Charles L. Jr. (New York)

Katzmann, Robert A. (New York)

Seibel, Cathy (New York)

Underhill, Stefan R. (Connecticut)

Wesley, Richard C. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Isseks, Robert Nathan (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Dawkins, Julinda A. (New York)

Johnson, Jennifer Lynn (New York)

Shevlin, Neil (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

7:06-cv-00480

Docket (PACER)

Nov. 14, 2012

Nov. 14, 2012

Docket
17

7:06-cv-00480

Memorandum and Order

July 17, 2006

July 17, 2006

Order/Opinion
97

7:06-cv-00480

Memorandum and Order

Dec. 5, 2007

Dec. 5, 2007

Order/Opinion
98

7:06-cv-00480

ORDER FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION AND NOTICE TO THE CLASS

Dec. 21, 2007

Dec. 21, 2007

Order/Opinion
140

7:06-cv-00480

JUDGMENT

Dec. 16, 2010

Dec. 16, 2010

Order/Opinion
85-1

11-00116

Judgment

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Aug. 3, 2012

Aug. 3, 2012

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4956615/graziano-v-pataki/

Last updated Aug. 31, 2022, 3:05 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
17

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER denying 8 Motion to Dismiss...the motion is denied....A case management conference with the Court is hereby set for 7/28/06 at 11:00 am. So Ordered. (Signed by Judge Charles L. Brieant on 7/17/06) (fk, )

July 17, 2006

July 17, 2006

RECAP
97

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER...Defendants' motion to dismiss is thus denied....For all of the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs' motion for class certification is granted. Although Plaintiffs have not explicitly moved for an order certifying their coun sel as class counsel, their memorandum of law in support of their motion for class certification discusses their qualifications to represent the proposed class....This Court finds that Plaintiffs' counsel, Robert N. Isseks, Alex Smith and Peter A. Sell, are qualified to represent the class and the Court hereby appoints them as class counsel. A status conference of counsel with the Court will be held on 12/20/07 at 9:00 am., at which time counsel is directed to serve and present for signature an order to provide notice to the class. So Ordered. (Signed by Judge Charles L. Brieant on 12/3/07) (fk)

Dec. 5, 2007

Dec. 5, 2007

RECAP
147

Sealed Document Attorney Notice to Retrieve

June 25, 2020

June 25, 2020

PACER

Sealed Document Disposed

Oct. 21, 2020

Oct. 21, 2020

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 23, 2006

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All prisoners in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services who: 1) were convicted of A-1 violent felony offenses; 2), were eligible for parole release; and 3) have been denied parole because of the “seriousness of the offense"

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

New York State Division of Parole, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Ex Post Facto

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Parole grant/revocation