Fisher v. Goord, No. 96-CV-0486A.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court of Western District of New York
Writing for the CourtArcara
Citation981 F.Supp. 140
PartiesRoseann FISHER and Amy Fisher, Plaintiffs, v. Glenn S. GOORD, individually and in his official capacity as Acting Commissioner and former Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services, Thomas A. Coughlin, III, individually and in his official capacity as former Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services; Philip Coombe, individually and in his official capacities as former Assistant Commissioner and former Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services; Anthony Annucci, individually and in his official capacity as Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services; Anginell Andrews, individually and in her official capacity as Superintendent of Albion Correctional Facility; Gary Stevens, individually and in his official capacity as Deputy Superintendent of Albion Correctional Facility, Robert Schwartz, individually and in his official capacity as Sergeant of Albion Correctional Facility; Martin Kearney, individually and in his official capacity as Acting Captain of Albion Correctional Facility; Gary Desalvo, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility, Frederick Hemley, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility; Ira Stiles, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility; Michael Galbreath, individually and in his official capacity as Sergeant of Albion Correctional Facility; Brian Malone, individually and in his official capacity as Inspector General of the New York State Department of Correctional Services; Barbara D. Leon, individually and in her official capacity as an Investigator for the Inspector General of the New York State Department of Correctional Services; D.A. Schmidt, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility; Bruce Kuttner, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility; Richard (Rick) Shimley, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility; Mark Taylor, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility; and Dino Thomas, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility, Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. 96-CV-0486A.
Decision Date16 July 1997

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981 F.Supp. 140
Roseann FISHER and Amy Fisher, Plaintiffs,
v.
Glenn S. GOORD, individually and in his official capacity as Acting Commissioner and former Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services,
Thomas A. Coughlin, III, individually and in his official capacity as former Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services;
Philip Coombe, individually and in his official capacities as former Assistant Commissioner and former Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services;
Anthony Annucci, individually and in his official capacity as Deputy Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services;
Anginell Andrews, individually and in her official capacity as Superintendent of Albion Correctional Facility;
Gary Stevens, individually and in his official capacity as Deputy Superintendent of Albion Correctional Facility,
Robert Schwartz, individually and in his official capacity as Sergeant of Albion Correctional Facility;
Martin Kearney, individually and in his official capacity as Acting Captain of Albion Correctional Facility;
Gary Desalvo, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility,
Frederick Hemley, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility;
Ira Stiles, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility;
Michael Galbreath, individually and in his official capacity as Sergeant of Albion Correctional Facility;
Brian Malone, individually and in his official capacity as Inspector General of the New York State Department of Correctional Services;
Barbara D. Leon, individually and in her official capacity as an Investigator for the Inspector General of the New York State Department of Correctional Services;
D.A. Schmidt, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility;
Bruce Kuttner, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility;
Richard (Rick) Shimley, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility;
Mark Taylor, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility; and
Dino Thomas, individually and in his official capacity as Correctional Officer of Albion Correctional Facility, Defendants.
No. 96-CV-0486A.
United States District Court, W.D. New York.
July 16, 1997.

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COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

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Glenn Edward Murray, Buffalo, NY, Thomas T. McVann, Westhampton Beach, NY, for Plaintiffs.

William Lonergan, Asst. Atty. Gen., Buffalo, NY, Andrew Lipkind, Williamsville, NY, Patrick B. Curran, Damon & Morey, Buffalo, NY, Robert C. Mulvey, Ithaca, NY, Brian J. O'Donnell, Rowley, Forrest, O'Donnell & Beaumont, Albany, NY, Mark D. Grossman, Niagara Falls, NY, Richard J. Barnes, Morris, Cantor, Barnes & Goodman, Buffalo, NY, Corey Hogan, Corey J. Hogan & Associates, Amherst, NY, Cheryl Smith Fisher, Buffalo, NY, Denise O' Donnell, Acting U.S. Atty., Buffalo, NY, Lawrence J. Vilardo, Mark Richard Uba, Connors & Vilardo, Buffalo, NY, Mark R. Walling, Watson, Bennett, et al., Buffalo, NY, Brian J. O'Donnell, Rowley,

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Forrest, O'Connell & Beaumont, Albany, NY, Kevin S. Casey, Hite & Casey, Albany, NY, Michael Sawicki, Buffalo, NY, for Defendants.

DECISION AND ORDER

ARCARA, District Judge.


INTRODUCTION

On July 18, 1996, plaintiffs, Amy Fisher ("Fisher"), an inmate at the Albion Correctional Facility ("Albion"), and her mother Roseann Fisher ("Mrs.Fisher"), commenced this action in the Eastern District of New York. The case was subsequently transferred to this Court.

Plaintiffs allege that, while Fisher has been incarcerated in Albion, she has been raped and sexually abused by several correction officers. They claim that they complained about the correction officers' conduct to various officials in the New York State Department of Correctional Services ("DOCS"), but their complaints were not acted upon, and Fisher was, in fact, retaliated against as a result of the complaints. Plaintiffs' complaint asserts claims under the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a); the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.; the Copyright Revision Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq.; the New York State Constitution; N.Y. Exec. L. § 290; and the New York common law. Plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages, declaratory judgment and injunctive relief.

The defendants in this case are Glenn S. Goord, the Acting Commissioner of DOCS and former Deputy Commissioner; Thomas A. Coughlin, III, former Commissioner of DOCS; Philip Coombe, former Assistant Deputy Commissioner and Acting Commissioner of DOCS; Anthony J. Annucci, Deputy Commissioner and Counsel of DOCS; Anginell Andrews, Superintendent of Albion; Gary Stevens, Deputy Superintendent of Albion; Brian Malone, Inspector General ("IG") of DOCS; Barbara D. Leon, an IG investigator; Martin Kearney, Acting Captain at Albion; and Robert Schwartz, Gary DiSalvo,1 Frederick Hemley, Ira Stiles, Michael Galbreath, Dean A. Schmidt,2 Bruce Kuttner, Richard Shimley, Mark Taylor, and Dean Thomas,3 all of whom are present or former correction officers at Albion.4

After the case was transferred to this Court, plaintiffs moved for a temporary restraining order ("TRO"), pursuant to Fed. R.Civ.P. 65, requiring the defendant prison officials to surrender Fisher to the United States Marshal for the Western District of New York for the purpose of transporting her to the Danbury Federal Correctional Institute in Danbury, Connecticut ("Danbury"), where she would be incarcerated during the pendency of this litigation.5 Oral argument was held on the TRO motion on July 26, 1996. The Court denied the motion orally from the bench and scheduled a date for a preliminary injunction hearing.

On August 9, 1996, plaintiffs filed their motion for a preliminary injunction, seeking: (1) an order requiring that Fisher be transferred to Danbury during the pendency of this action; and (2) an order requiring defendant Kuttner to provide a blood sample. Because

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plaintiffs had problems effecting service upon all the defendants, the original date for the preliminary injunction hearing had to be adjourned. Plaintiffs subsequently reported to the Court that they had not effected service on defendant Kuttner, but agreed to proceed with the preliminary injunction hearing on the condition that Kuttner would not be bound by any injunction issued.6

In light of plaintiffs' request that the Court order Fisher transferred to a federal correctional facility, and because neither the United States nor the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("FBP") is a named party in this action, the Court contacted the United States Attorney's Office and alerted it to the situation. The United States requested and was granted permission to appear amicus curiae. The United States argues that the relief requested by plaintiffs, i.e., transfer to a federal facility pending resolution of this case, is improper and contrary to 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a), because the prospective relief extends further than necessary to correct the alleged wrong. The United States also argues that the Court lacks authority to order FBP to accept a state prisoner into its custody under the circumstances present here.

In response to the position of the United States, plaintiffs argue, inter alia, that 18 U.S.C. § 3626 is unconstitutional. Accordingly, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2403, the Court has issued an order allowing the United States to intervene regarding the question of the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. § 3626. However, because the Court's decision on the instant motion is not based on 18 U.S.C. § 3626, the Court has not required, up to this point, any additional briefing on the issue of the constitutionality of the statute.

The Court held a hearing on plaintiffs' preliminary injunction motion on September 24, 25, 26, 27 and 30, and October 21, 22 and 23, 1996. In addition to the evidence offered at the hearing, the parties offered various affidavits and exhibits. Following the hearing, the parties were given an opportunity to brief their respective positions, and oral argument was held on December 3, 1996.

After carefully considering the evidence adduced at the hearing and the various affidavits and exhibits, reviewing the submissions of the parties, and hearing argument from counsel, the Court denies plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. The following constitutes the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Fed. R.Civ.P. 52(a).

FINDINGS OF FACT

I. General Background

Plaintiff Amy Fisher is currently an inmate at Albion, serving a sentence of five to fifteen years for assault in the first degree. The criminal case resulting in her incarceration received extensive media coverage, which resulted in Fisher, herself, attaining significant notoriety.

Albion is a women's medium security facility located in Albion, New York, about midway between Buffalo and Rochester. Fisher has been housed at Albion since December 1992, except for two brief periods when she was transferred to the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility ("Bedford Hills"), located in Westchester County, so that she could attend other court proceedings downstate.

Fisher claims that throughout the time she has been incarcerated at Albion, she has been raped and sexually abused by several of the defendant correction officers. She claims that she complained about her treatment to DOCS authorities, including the Superintendent at Albion and the DOCS IG, but they took no action on her complaints and, in fact, retaliated against her by confining her in Albion's special housing...

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158 practice notes
  • Little v. Mun. Corp., Case No. 12–CV–5851 KMK.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • September 29, 2014
    ...on the associational rights among inmates.”); Vega v. Artus, 610 F.Supp.2d 185, 201–02 (N.D.N.Y.2009) (same); Fisher v. Goord, 981 F.Supp. 140, 169 (W.D.N.Y.1997) (noting that an “inmate does not have a constitutional or statutory right to associate with other inmates” (internal quotation m......
  • Little v. Mun. Corp., Case No. 12–CV–5851 (KMK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • September 30, 2014
    ...on the associational rights among inmates.”); Vega v. Artus, 610 F.Supp.2d 185, 201–02 (N.D.N.Y.2009) (same); Fisher v. Goord, 981 F.Supp. 140, 169 (W.D.N.Y.1997) (noting that an “inmate does not have a constitutional or statutory right to associate with other inmates” (internal quotation m......
  • Smith v. Cochran, No. 00-CV-35C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. Northern District of Oklahoma
    • May 9, 2001
    ...The coercive nature of these duties exert compelling pressures on inmates which undermine their free will. See Fisher v. Goord, 981 F.Supp. 140, 172 (W.D.N.Y. 1997) ("an inmate might feel compelled to perform sexual favors for correction officers in order to be on the officer's `good side' ......
  • V.W. v. Conway, 9:16–CV–1150
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of New York
    • February 22, 2017
    ...must always be viewed with great caution so as not to immerse the federal judiciary in the management of [ ] prisons." Fisher v. Goord , 981 F.Supp. 140, 167 (W.D.N.Y. 1997) (citing Farmer , 511 U.S. at 846–47, 114 S.Ct. 1970 ). Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), preliminary i......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
152 cases
  • Little v. Mun. Corp., Case No. 12–CV–5851 KMK.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • September 29, 2014
    ...on the associational rights among inmates.”); Vega v. Artus, 610 F.Supp.2d 185, 201–02 (N.D.N.Y.2009) (same); Fisher v. Goord, 981 F.Supp. 140, 169 (W.D.N.Y.1997) (noting that an “inmate does not have a constitutional or statutory right to associate with other inmates” (internal quotation m......
  • Little v. Mun. Corp., Case No. 12–CV–5851 (KMK).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • September 30, 2014
    ...on the associational rights among inmates.”); Vega v. Artus, 610 F.Supp.2d 185, 201–02 (N.D.N.Y.2009) (same); Fisher v. Goord, 981 F.Supp. 140, 169 (W.D.N.Y.1997) (noting that an “inmate does not have a constitutional or statutory right to associate with other inmates” (internal quotation m......
  • Vogelfang v. Capra, No. 10 Civ. 3827(PAE).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • March 13, 2012
    ...Eighth Amendment violation, particularly where inmate did not allege that he was physically injured by such conduct); Fisher v. Goord, 981 F.Supp. 140, 175 n. 42 (W.D.N.Y.1997) (declining to decide whether defendant's exposing himself to plaintiff and showing plaintiff nude pictures of hims......
  • Smith v. Cochran, No. 00-CV-35C.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. Northern District of Oklahoma
    • May 9, 2001
    ...The coercive nature of these duties exert compelling pressures on inmates which undermine their free will. See Fisher v. Goord, 981 F.Supp. 140, 172 (W.D.N.Y. 1997) ("an inmate might feel compelled to perform sexual favors for correction officers in order to be on the officer's `good side' ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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