823 F.3d 125 (2nd Cir. 2016), 13-3412, Warren v. Pataki

Docket Nº:13-3412
Citation:823 F.3d 125
Opinion Judge:Sack, Circuit Judge
Party Name:ROBERT WARREN, CHARLES BROOKS, Consolidated Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. GEORGE PATAKI, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK STATE, SHARON CARPINELLO, GLENN S. GOORD, EILEEN CONSILVIO, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MANHATTAN PSYCHIATRIC CENTER AND KIRBY FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIC CENTER, ROBERT DENNISON, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE NEW YORK STATE BOARD OF PAROLE AND CHI...
Attorney:KAREN R. KING (Jesse S. Crew, Jayme J. Herschkopf, and Ekta R. Dharia, on the brief), Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, New York, New York, for Consolidated Plaintiffs-Appellants. Ameer Benno, Benno & Associates P.C., New York, New York, (on the brief), for Consolidated Plaintiffs-App...
Judge Panel:Before: SACK, HALL, and CARNEY, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:May 17, 2016
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
SUMMARY

Defendant, the former New York State Governor, launched the Sexually Violent Predator Initiative, which provided for the involuntary civil commitment at state psychiatric facilities of some ʺsexually violent predatorsʺ (SVPs) nearing the date of their release from incarceration or supervision. Plaintiffs, six individuals who were civilly committed to a psychiatric hospital, filed suit asserting... (see full summary)

 
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823 F.3d 125 (2nd Cir. 2016)

ROBERT WARREN, CHARLES BROOKS, Consolidated Plaintiffs-Appellants,

ROBERT TROCCHIO, SYLVIA TORRES, AS ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF JORGE BURGOS, JR., LOUIS MASSEI, Consolidated Plaintiffs,

KENNETH BAILEY, Plaintiff,

v.

GEORGE PATAKI, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK STATE, SHARON CARPINELLO, GLENN S. GOORD, EILEEN CONSILVIO, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MANHATTAN PSYCHIATRIC CENTER AND KIRBY FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIC CENTER, ROBERT DENNISON, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE NEW YORK STATE BOARD OF PAROLE AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE NEW YORK STATE DIVISION OF PAROLE, DALE ARTUS, FORMER SUPERINTENDENT OF CLINTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Defendants-Appellees,

JOHN DOE(S), # 3, SUPERINTENDENT OF WYOMING CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, JOHN DOE(S), # 4, SUPERINTENDENT OF ATTICA CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, JOHN DOE(S), # 5, SUPERINTENDENT OF THE DOWNSTATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, JOHN DOES, # 6 THROUGH 20, MEDICAL PERSONNEL WHO EXAMINED AND EVALUATED PLAINTIFF PURSUANT TO NEW YORK STATE MENTAL HYGIENE LAW ARTICLE 9, MICHAEL GIAMBRUNO, JAMES CONWAY, PAUL ANNETTS, EMILIA RUTIGLIANO, PRABHAKAR GUMBULA, OLUSEGUN BELLO, ALLAN WELLS, JONATHAN KAPLAN, MARY ANN ROSS, AYODEJI SOMEFUN, MICHAL KUNZ, WILLIAM POWERS, LEO E. PAYANT, LAWRENCE FARAGO, LUIS HERNANDEZ, SAMUEL LANGER, JEFFREY TEDFORD, FORMER DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SECURITY, CLINTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, WILLIAM J. SACKETT, FACILITY SENIOR PAROLE OFFICER, CLINTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, JEAN LIU, PSYCHIATRIST WHO EVALUATED PLAINTIFF FOR POSSIBLE CIVIL COMMITMENT, ABADUL QAYYUM, CHARLES CHUNG, Defendants.* [*]

No. 13-3412

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

May 17, 2016

Argued June 5, 2015

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The plaintiffs were civilly committed to state psychiatric facilities pursuant to the New York State Sexually Violent Predator Initiative promulgated by the executive branch of the New York State government in 2005. Challenging their commitments by bringing suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the plaintiffs asserted that the defendants, who were allegedly involved in the creation and execution of the Initiative, violated the plaintiffs' rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, and state law. The district court (Jed S. Rakoff, Judge) concluded, on defendants' motion for summary judgment, that the defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity as a matter of law, a conclusion that we affirmed on interlocutory appeal. Many of the claims were thereafter dismissed by the district court on judgments as a matter of law, while the remainder were tried to a jury. The jury found one defendant liable for procedural due-process violations, and awarded each plaintiff one dollar in nominal damages against that defendant. The appellants now challenge the district court's (1) jury instruction on personal involvement; (2) denial of judgment as a matter of law on procedural due-process liability; (3) denial of judgment as a matter of law on the plaintiffs' entitlement to actual, compensatory damages; (4) entry of judgment for the defendants on the plaintiffs' false-imprisonment claims on the grounds that these claims were duplicative; and (5) limitations on depositions, and several other evidentiary decisions. We affirm the judgment of the district court.

KAREN R. KING (Jesse S. Crew, Jayme J. Herschkopf, and Ekta R. Dharia, on the brief), Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, New York, New York, for Consolidated Plaintiffs-Appellants.

Ameer Benno, Benno & Associates P.C., New York, New York, (on the brief), for Consolidated Plaintiffs-Appellants.

CLAUDE S. PLATTON (Barbara D. Underwood, Cecelia C. Chang, on the brief), for Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General of the State of New York, New York, New York, for Defendants-Appellees Except George Pataki.

ABBE DAVID LOWELL (Christopher D. Man, on the brief), Chadbourne & Parke, LLP, Washington, District of Columbia, for Defendant-Appellee George Pataki.

Before: SACK, HALL, and CARNEY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

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Sack, Circuit Judge

In 2005, then-New York State Governor George Pataki launched the Sexually Violent Predator Initiative (the " SVP Initiative" or the " Initiative" ), which provided for the involuntary civil commitment at state psychiatric facilities of some " sexually violent predators" (" SVPs" ) nearing the date of their release from incarceration or supervision. The six plaintiffs in this case were civilly committed to a psychiatric hospital in late 2005, during the first weeks the Initiative was in effect. In 2008, they filed this action against several individuals who allegedly designed or implemented the Initiative, asserting claims under the Fourth Amendment, the substantive and procedural components of the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, and several provisions of New York state law.

In Bailey v. Pataki, 708 F.3d 391 (2d Cir. 2013), we affirmed on interlocutory appeal the decision of the district court (Jed S. Rakoff, Judge ) in Bailey v. Pataki, 722 F.Supp.2d 443 (S.D.N.Y. 2010). There, the district court had concluded that the defendants could not establish as a matter of law at the summary judgment stage that they were entitled to qualified immunity on the plaintiffs' procedural due-process claims. In affirming, we concluded that if the material facts alleged were proven, the Initiative would have violated the plaintiffs' clearly established rights to procedural due process. Bailey, 708 F.3d at 403-04.

Following our decision, the district court held a jury trial on the plaintiffs' false-imprisonment, procedural due-process, substantive due-process, and state law claims against six defendants: former Governor George Pataki; former Office of Mental Health Commissioner Sharon Carpinello; former Department of Correctional Services Commissioner Glenn S. Goord; former Executive Director of Manhattan Psychiatric Center Eileen Consilvio; former Superintendent of Clinton Correctional Facility Dale Artus; and former Division of Parole head Robert Dennison. During the trial, the district court entered judgments as a matter of law pursuant to

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Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50 in the defendants' favor on the false-imprisonment claims, among others, deeming them impermissibly duplicative of the procedural due-process claims. The court also denied the plaintiffs' motions for judgment as a matter of law on their procedural due-process claims and their entitlement to actual, compensatory damages for the alleged due-process violations. The jury ultimately rejected the plaintiffs' remaining substantive due-process claims, found defendant Carpinello liable for procedural due-process violations, and awarded each plaintiff one dollar in nominal damages against her.

Plaintiffs Robert Warren and Charles Brooks appeal, challenging the district court's (1) jury instruction on personal involvement; (2) denial of judgment as a matter of law on procedural due-process liability; (3) denial of judgment as a matter of law on the plaintiffs' entitlement to actual, compensatory damages; (4) entry of judgment for the defendants on the plaintiffs' false-imprisonment claims on the grounds that these claims were duplicative; and (5) limitations on depositions, and several other evidentiary decisions. The plaintiffs dispute neither the judgment against them on their substantive due-process claims nor the denial of their requests for punitive damages.

For the reasons set forth below, we conclude that the plaintiffs' arguments lack merit. We therefore affirm the judgment of the district court.

BACKGROUND

Factual Background

We set forth the factual background underlying this appeal in some detail in our opinion affirming on interlocutory appeal the district court's denial of summary judgment for the defendants on the grounds of qualified immunity. See

Bailey, 708 F.3d at 393-99. We rehearse it here only insofar as we think it necessary to an understanding of our resolution of this appeal.

The SVP Initiative

In October 2005, then-New York State Governor George Pataki faced a challenge: He had tried and failed several times to persuade the State Assembly to establish a program that would permit the civil commitment and confinement of designated sex offenders in New York State. Political pressure on the issue was mounting in the wake of a widely publicized murder committed by a then-recently paroled sex offender. Unwilling to wait any longer, as we described in Bailey,

id. at 394, the Governor directed New York's Office of Mental Health (" OMH" ) and Department of Correctional Services (" DOCS" )[1] to " push the envelope of the State's existing involuntary commitment law," id. The result was the SVP Initiative. Its principal theme was that every "...

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