Case: Perez v. Westchester County Department of Corrections

1:05-cv-08120 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: Sept. 20, 2005

Closed Date: 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Nine Muslim prisoners at the Westchester County Jail filed a civil rights lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the Westchester County Department of Corrections. The lawsuits were filed between August 11, 2005 and April 21, 2006; four of the cases were consolidated on November 29, 2005. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought monetary and injunctive relief based on alleged violations of their First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § …

Nine Muslim prisoners at the Westchester County Jail filed a civil rights lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the Westchester County Department of Corrections. The lawsuits were filed between August 11, 2005 and April 21, 2006; four of the cases were consolidated on November 29, 2005. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought monetary and injunctive relief based on alleged violations of their First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the jail failed to serve Halal or Kosher diets to Muslim prisoners who requested the meals in compliance with their religious dietary restrictions.

On April 30, 2007, Judge Richard Berman granted the defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' causes of action based on alleged violations of the First and Eighth Amendments. The parties then entered into settlement talks on the remaining Fourteenth Amendment claim. On March 12, 2008, after the defendant investigated the availability and possibility of procuring appropriate foods, the parties entered into a settlement agreement, under which the jail agreed to serve Halal meat four times or four meals per week.

On July 22, 2008, the court (Judge Berman) awarded the plaintiffs $99,658 in attorney's fees. The defendant appealed the order for attorney's fees, and the court (Judge Berman) stayed the order pending appeal. On March 9, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Judge Guido Calabresi) affirmed the judgment and remanded the case for the awarding of attorney's fees consistent with the opinion (USCA case number 08-4245/08-4300). On remand, the court (Judge Berman) awarded the plaintiffs $42,000 plus post-judgment interest. The judgment was satisfied on October 27, 2010.

Summary Authors

Priyah Kaul (10/14/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Berman, Richard M. (New York)

Freeman, Debra Carol (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cohen, Richard B. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Felix, Jane Hogan (New York)

Indelicato, Charlene M. (New York)

Magno, Christie Lynne (New York)

Redmond, David P. (New York)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Calabresi, Guido (Connecticut)

Judge(s)

Berman, Richard M. (New York)

Freeman, Debra Carol (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cohen, Richard B. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Felix, Jane Hogan (New York)

Indelicato, Charlene M. (New York)

Magno, Christie Lynne (New York)

Redmond, David P. (New York)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Calabresi, Guido (Connecticut)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:05-cv-10704

Docket [PACER]

Wilson v. Westchester County Department of Corrections

Jan. 22, 2008

Jan. 22, 2008

Docket

1:05-cv-10705

Docket [PACER]

Hall v. Westchester County Department of Corrections

Jan. 22, 2008

Jan. 22, 2008

Docket

1:06-cv-08253

Docket [PACER]

Pack v. Westchester County Department of Corrections

Jan. 22, 2008

Jan. 22, 2008

Docket

1:06-cv-00943

Docket [PACER]

Massa v. Westchester County Department of Corrections

Jan. 22, 2008

Jan. 22, 2008

Docket

1:05-cv-10464

Docket [PACER]

Morgan v. Westchester County Department of Corrections

March 12, 2008

March 12, 2008

Docket

1:05-cv-09226

Docket [PACER]

Whitehead v. Westchester County Department of Corrections

May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008

Docket

1:05-cv-10463

Docket [PACER]

Vicente v. Westchester County Department of Corrections

May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008

Docket

1:05-cv-10462

Docket [PACER]

Barnes v. Westchester County Department of Corrections

May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008

Docket

1:06-cv-03069

Docket [PACER]

Barnes v. Westchester County Department of Corrections

May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008

Docket

1:05-cv-08256

Docket [PACER]

Rosa v. Westchester County Department of Corrections

May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008

Docket

Docket

Last updated Aug. 26, 2022, 3:23 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
2

COMPLAINT against Westchester County Department of Corrections, Rocco Pozzi(individually), Rocco Pozzi(as the Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Corrections), Anthony Amicucci(individually), Anthony Amicucci(as the Seniro Administrator of the Westchester County Jail), Orlando(individually), Orlando(as the facility grievance coordinator of the Westchester County Jail). Reply required under Prison Litigation Reform Act Section 7(2)(g)(2)..Document filed by Aneudy Vicente.(laq, ) (Entered: 12/22/2005)

Dec. 13, 2005

Dec. 13, 2005

Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman is so designated. (laq, ) (Entered: 12/22/2005)

Dec. 13, 2005

Dec. 13, 2005

3

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER: The Clerk of Court is respectfully requested to designate this case as related to Perez v. Westchester County Department of Corrections, No. 05cv8120. (Signed by Judge Richard M. Berman on 1/22/08) (dle) (Entered: 01/22/2008)

Jan. 22, 2008

Jan. 22, 2008

CONSOLIDATED MEMBER CASE: Create association to 1:05−cv−08120−RMB. (dle) (Entered: 01/22/2008)

Jan. 22, 2008

Jan. 22, 2008

CASE ACCEPTED AS RELATED. Create association to 1:05−cv−08120−RMB. (kco) (Entered: 01/24/2008)

Jan. 22, 2008

Jan. 22, 2008

4

ORDER OF SETTLEMENT, RELEASE AND STIPULATION OF DISCONTINUANCE: For reasons further set forth in said Order, this action is settled and discontinued with prejudice as against the County Defendants. See sections 1−2 for stipulations regarding the term "halal" as defined as any food in compliance with the Holy Quran. The Court retains discretion to accept any such case(s) as related. The Clerk is requested to close this case (LEAD CASE 05cv8120(RMB)) and ALL RELATED CASES. (Signed by Judge Richard M. Berman on 3/12/08) Filed In Associated Cases: 1:05−cv−08120−RMB et al.(db) (Entered: 03/12/2008)

March 12, 2008

March 12, 2008

5

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge Richard M. Berman from Richard B. Cohen dated 3/12/08 re: Request for the following briefing schedule − Plaintiff's petition for attorneys fees due 4/18/08; defendant's opposition due 5/9/08; reply due 5/23/08. ENDORSEMENT: Good job! Settlement has been so ordered. The Court also encourages settlement of the legal fees issue − − If that cannot occur, the enclosed briefing schedule is acceptable. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Richard M. Berman on 3/12/08) Filed In Associated Cases: 1:05−cv−08120−RMB et al.(db) (Entered: 03/12/2008)

March 12, 2008

March 12, 2008

6

DECLARATION of Christie L. Magno in Opposition to Application for payment of Attorney Fees to Fox Rothschild LLP. Document filed by Westchester County Department of Corrections, Westchester County Department of Corrections, Westchester County Department of Corrections, Westchester County Department of Corrections, Westchester County Department of Corrections. Filed In Associated Cases: 1:05−cv−08120−RMB et al.(pl) (Entered: 05/28/2008)

May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 20, 2005

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Muslim inmates seeking meals prepared in accordance with Islamic law

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Westchester County Department of Corrections (Westchester), County

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Free Exercise Clause

Equal Protection

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Discrimination Prohibition

Issues

General:

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Religious programs / policies

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination

Affected Gender:

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run