Case: Ruffin v. Brann

20-260211 | New York state trial court

Filed Date: April 7, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: On April 7, 2020, inmates detained on parole warrants in New York City jails filed this state court lawsuit alleging that holding the inmates in jails amidst the COVID-19 outbreak represented deliberate indifference to the welfare of the inmates in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and New York Constitution's right to Due Process. The state court released some of the inmates but not others. On April 7, 2020, 101 separate inmates detained on parole warrants in New York City…

COVID-19 Summary: On April 7, 2020, inmates detained on parole warrants in New York City jails filed this state court lawsuit alleging that holding the inmates in jails amidst the COVID-19 outbreak represented deliberate indifference to the welfare of the inmates in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and New York Constitution's right to Due Process. The state court released some of the inmates but not others.


On April 7, 2020, 101 separate inmates detained on parole warrants in New York City jails filed this lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Bronx. (In New York, Supreme Court is the trial court.) They alleged that holding the inmates in jails amidst the COVID-19 outbreak represented deliberate indifference to the welfare of the inmates in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and New York Constitution's right to Due Process. The state court released some of the inmates but not others. The writ pointed out that, at the time of filing, New York City was one of the world's hardest hit localities and the prisons and jails were particularly affected. Moreover, the prisoners seeking habeas were immuno-compromised, elderly, or otherwise thought to be particularly susceptible to the virus.

Six days later, Judge Ralph Fabrizio issued his decision, weighing the risk of detainees not returning to Court or custody, versus the health risk to the detainee if they were not released.

Judge Fabrizio's order summarized the following outcomes:

-Fifty-one inmates were released

-Fourteen of the petitioners withdrew their petition or were otherwise mooted their petitions for unknown reasons

-Thirty-four inmates were denied release

-One inmate's petition remained pending, as the Court was still waiting to find out whether they had already been released by the state

-One inmate had already died of COVID-19.

Summary Authors

Jack Hibbard (6/11/2020)

People


Judge(s)

Fabrizio, Ralph (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Billingsley, David (New York)

Gottesman, Lauren (New York)

Ndiaye, Marie (New York)

Quackenbush, Robert Matthew (New York)

Simpson, Kayla (New York)

Stoughton, Corey (New York)

Vela, Veronica (New York)

Werlwas, Mary Lynne (New York)

Judge(s)

Fabrizio, Ralph (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Billingsley, David (New York)

Gottesman, Lauren (New York)

Ndiaye, Marie (New York)

Quackenbush, Robert Matthew (New York)

Simpson, Kayla (New York)

Stoughton, Corey (New York)

Vela, Veronica (New York)

Werlwas, Mary Lynne (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

20-260211

Writ of Habeas Corpus

April 2, 2020

April 2, 2020

Complaint

20-260211

Decision and Order on Petitioners' Writs of Habeas Corpus

People of the State of New York v. Brann

April 13, 2020

April 13, 2020

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 27, 2022, 3 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 7, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

101 prisoners in New York City, thought to be especially vulnerable to COVID-19

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Legal Services/Legal Aid

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections (New York City), City

New York State Acting Commissioner of Department of Correction and Community Supervision, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Special Case Type(s):

Habeas

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Habeas relief

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond

Sanitation / living conditions

COVID-19:

Mitigation Denied

Mitigation Requested

Release Denied

Release Granted

Release Requested