Case: Calvin and Capers v. Abate

91-44831 | New York state trial court

Filed Date: 1991

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1991, this class action lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of New York on behalf of newly-sentenced state prisoners against the New York City Department of Correction, the New York State Department of Correctional Services, and the New York State Division of Parole. The plaintiffs brought their suit pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, seeking injunctive relief to enjoin the swift transfer of newly-sentenced inmates …

In 1991, this class action lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of New York on behalf of newly-sentenced state prisoners against the New York City Department of Correction, the New York State Department of Correctional Services, and the New York State Division of Parole. The plaintiffs brought their suit pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, seeking injunctive relief to enjoin the swift transfer of newly-sentenced inmates to State custody. At some point, claims against the County Clerks for New York, Queens, Kings, Bronx, and Richmond Counties were severed from this lawsuit by stipulation.

On July 29, 1992, the parties proposed a settlement, under which newly-sentenced prisoners would be transferred from City correctional facilities to State facilities within five days of sentencing. The City agreed to notify the sentencing court any time the transfer deadline was not met and to report transfer readiness, rates, and speed to the plaintiffs' counsel every month. The State agreed to be prepared to receive transferring inmates within five days of sentencing and to notify the City of planned placement to facilitate transfer. The Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of New York (Judge Joan B. Lobis) heard class members' concerns about the settlement before approving the agreement on September 21, 1992.

On November 4, 1992, the plaintiffs moved to hold the State in civil contempt for failing to accept the transfer of prisoners within ten business days, as stipulated by the agreement. The court held a hearing on November 13, during which the State admitted it was in violation of the settlement agreement and that it could accept all the prisoners by December 14. Six days after the hearing, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion, holding the State in contempt and ordering the defendants to accept the prisoners by December 14. In addition, the State was to provide weekly updates for monitoring purposes. On December 14, 1992, the court purged the State of contempt after the prisoners had been transferred.

Roughly four months later, on April 27, 1993, the plaintiffs again moved to hold the State in contempt for not accepting prisoners ready to be transferred. On May 17, 1993, the court granted the motion, holding the State in contempt and ordering it to accept the prisoners by May 28, 1993.

Nearly a year later, on April 6, 1994, the plaintiffs once again moved to hold the defendants in contempt. The court granted the motion on July 25, 1994. In addition to holding the defendants in contempt, the court imposed fines in an effort to compel the State's future compliance with accepting prisoners. The State had to pay $35 to each of the 570 prisoners who had been delayed in transfer during this period of contempt.

No further information is known about the enforcement of the settlement agreement.

Summary Authors

Elizabeth Chilcoat (6/22/2006)

Megan Richardson (7/18/2014)

Lauren Yu (8/19/2021)

People


Judge(s)

Lobis, Joan B. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baum, Robert M. (New York)

Hendricks, Susan L. (New York)

Turpen, Michael C. (Oklahoma)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Abrams, Robert W. (New York)

Herman, Louise (New York)

Northey, Rebecca (New York)

Sherwood, O. Peter (New York)

Winston, Susan A. (New York)

Judge(s)

Lobis, Joan B. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baum, Robert M. (New York)

Hendricks, Susan L. (New York)

Turpen, Michael C. (Oklahoma)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Abrams, Robert W. (New York)

Herman, Louise (New York)

Northey, Rebecca (New York)

Sherwood, O. Peter (New York)

Winston, Susan A. (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Proposed Settlement Agreement

Calvin v. Abate

July 29, 1992 Settlement Agreement

Order

Calvin v. Abate

Sept. 21, 1992 Order/Opinion

Order Adjuding Respondent/Defendant Coughlin in Contempt and Granting Interim Relief

Calvin v. Abate

Nov. 19, 1992 Order/Opinion
4

Order Adjudging Respondent/Defendant Coughlin in Contempt

Calvin v. Abate

May 17, 1993 Order/Opinion

Order Adjudging Respondent/Defendant Coughlin in Contempt and Imposing Fines

Calvin v. Abate

July 25, 1994 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1991

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

newly-sentenced inmates in New York State custody

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

New York State Department of Correctional Services, State

New York City Department of Corrections, City

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $19,950

Order Duration: 1992 - None

Content of Injunction:

Monitoring

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Language access/needs

Type of Facility:

Government-run