Case: People of the State of New York ex rel. Short v. Capra

20-54815 | New York state trial court

Filed Date: May 6, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: This was a state court habeas petition filed by medically vulnerable inmates in Westchester prisons (represented by Legal Aid), requesting immediate release in light of COVID-19. The case was dismissed on May 26, 2020. On May 6, 2020, six inmates filed this action in the Westchester County Court. Represented by the Legal Aid Society and private counsel, the inmates petitioned for habeas corpus, naming the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and t…

COVID-19 Summary: This was a state court habeas petition filed by medically vulnerable inmates in Westchester prisons (represented by Legal Aid), requesting immediate release in light of COVID-19. The case was dismissed on May 26, 2020.


On May 6, 2020, six inmates filed this action in the Westchester County Court. Represented by the Legal Aid Society and private counsel, the inmates petitioned for habeas corpus, naming the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and the superintendents of Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Taconic Correctional Facility, and Bedford Hills Correctional Facility as respondents. The petitioners alleged that their continued incarceration was unconstitutional, violating the New York Constitution and the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and requested immediate release. Specifically, they argued that because preventative measures were effectively impossible in the prison setting, the respondents' failure to release medically vulnerable individuals constituted deliberate indifference. The case was assigned to Judge George E. Fufidio, Jr.

On May 14, the state filed a cross motion, asking the court to deny the petition and dismiss the case, arguing that the respondents had not been "indifferent" but had taken significant steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19.

On May 26, Judge Fufidio, Jr. entered an order dismissing the petition, finding that the petitioners had not successfully demonstrated deliberate indifference, as required for liability. Judge Fufidio Jr. also noted that even if the petitioners had demonstrated deliberate indifference, it was not clear that habeas release was the appropriate remedy.

Summary Authors

Caitlin Kierum (6/18/2020)

People


Judge(s)

Fufidio, George E. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abrams, David J. (New York)

Choi, Brian (New York)

Forster, Jill L. (New York)

Gebreselassie, Sophia (New York)

Intravatola, Jeffrey E. (New York)

Isaacs, Elizabeth L. (New York)

Lewis, Dori A. (New York)

Loftis, David E. (New York)

Luongo, Justine (New York)

Judge(s)

Fufidio, George E. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abrams, David J. (New York)

Choi, Brian (New York)

Forster, Jill L. (New York)

Gebreselassie, Sophia (New York)

Intravatola, Jeffrey E. (New York)

Isaacs, Elizabeth L. (New York)

Lewis, Dori A. (New York)

Loftis, David E. (New York)

Luongo, Justine (New York)

Quackenbush, Robert Matthew (New York)

Short, Stefen Russell (New York)

Torres, Kasowitz Benson (New York)

Werlwas, Mary Lynne (New York)

Yacka-Bible, Andrea (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Annucci, Anthony J. (New York)

Capra, Michael (New York)

Lamanna, Amy (New York)

Mitchell-Voyd, Tanya (New York)

Zaffrann, Rachel Catherine (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

20-54815

Docket [State Court Website]

The People of the State of New York v. Capra

New York state supreme court

May 28, 2020

May 28, 2020

Docket
1

20-54815

Verified Petition for Habeas Corpus

People of the State of New York ex rel Short v. Capra

New York state supreme court

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

Complaint
6

54815

Emergency Affirmation of Stefen R. Short in Support of Order to Show Clause

The People of the State of New York v. Capra

New York state supreme court

May 6, 2020

May 6, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief
12

20-54815

Affirmation

The People of the State of New York

May 14, 2020

May 14, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Docket

Last updated Aug. 20, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 6, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmates in Westchester prisons

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

Sing Sing Correctional Facility, State

Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, State

Taconic Correctional Facility, State

New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Special Case Type(s):

Habeas

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief denied

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

COVID-19:

Mitigation Denied

Mitigation Requested

Release Denied

Release Requested