John D. Justice v. King, Case # 08-CV-6417-FPG

Decision Date27 March 2015
Docket NumberCase # 08-CV-6417-FPG
PartiesJOHN D. JUSTICE, and on behalf of all parolees similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. TERRY KING; SAVING GRACE MINISTRIES, INC.; EUGENIO RUSSI; KEN WILSON; CHARLES SEARS; TOM TORTORA; RICHARD MIRAGLIA; KC SHARMA; BRENDA MARTIN; DR. ARVLND SAMANT; KIM KARALUS; DR. JEFFREY GRACE; MICHAEL HOGAN, Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Western District of New York
DECISION & ORDER
I. INTRODUCTION

This prisoner's civil rights action was commenced on May 9, 2008 by pro se Plaintiff John Justice ("Plaintiff"), an inmate in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ("DOCCS"), who is currently housed at Great Meadow Correctional Facility ("Great Meadow"). The Second Amended Complaint1 ("SAC"), filed on June 14, 2012, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 42 U.S.C. § 1985, and 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c), alleges violations of the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute ("RICO").2 ECF No.414. A RICO Case Statement was filed pursuant to Rule 9 of Local Rules of Civil Procedure of the Western District of New York (L. R. Civ. P. 9) and Standing Order No. 22. ECF No. 416.

Before the Court for determination are several motions.3 Plaintiff, pro se, filed separate motions denominated as: (1) Notice of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order ("TRO") (ECF No. 440) and Memorandum of Law in Support of Temporary Restraining Order (PL's TRO Mem.) (ECF No. 441); (2) Notice of Cross-Motion for Sanctions and Preclusion Order ("Sanctions") (ECF No. 431); and (3) Notice of Motion for Class Action Certification ("Certify Class") (ECF No. 41).

Six named Defendants have sought dismissal of the SAC pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Defendants Terry King ("King") and Saving Grace Ministries, Inc. ("SGM") have filed a Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint ("King & SGM MTD"). ECF No. 418. Defendants Michael Hogan ("Hogan"), Richard Miraglia ("Miraglia"), Eugenio Russi ("Russi"), and Thomas Tortora ("Tortora"), collectively referred to as "State Defendants," have filed a Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint for Failure to State a Claim ("State Defs.' MTD"). ECF No. 426.

Plaintiff, pro se,4 filed Plaintiff's Combined Opposition to Motions to Dismiss (ECF No. 430) and, on his behalf, pro bono counsel filed a Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants' Motions to Dismiss ("PL's MOL") (ECF No. 448). Thereafter, in response to pro bono counsel's Memorandum of Law in Opposition, Defendants King and SGM, and the StateDefendants filed their respective replies. ECF Nos. 451, 452. This is the present posture of the case.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
A. State Court Trial and Appellate History

Summarized in a decision by the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department (Green, Justice), are the initial background facts in this case:

The facts of this tragic case are not in dispute and may be stated briefly. On September 16, 1985 at approximately 3:15 P.M. defendant, then 17 years of age and academically gifted, stabbed his brother to death as the brother returned home from school. Shortly thereafter, defendant fatally stabbed his mother when she returned home from work, then picked up his father from work in the family car and stabbed him to death as he entered the house. Defendant then made several unsuccessful attempts at suicide, left the house in the family car at approximately 7:15 P.M., drove the car at an excessive rate of speed and crashed into a car operated by Wayne Haun, who was killed. Defendant sustained only minor injuries.
Defendant was charged with four counts of murder in the second degree and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree for the stabbing deaths of his brother, mother and father and the death of Mr. Haun. At trial defendant asserted the affirmative defense of insanity (see, Penal Law § 40.15). The jury found that defendant established the affirmative defense with respect to the deaths of his father and brother and found defendant not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect on those counts. The jury found defendant guilty of intentional murder in the death of his mother and guilty of depraved indifference murder in the death of Mr. Haun.

People v. Justice, 173 A.D. 2d 144, 145-46 (N.Y. App. Div. 1991). Following these verdicts, Defendant was sentenced in Erie County Court on February 20, 1987 to a term of 25 years to life on each of the murder counts and a term of one year on each of the weapons possession charges, all sentences to be served concurrently. Erie County Court ordered these sentences to be served first and that compliance with these sentences was to satisfy the statutorily requiredcommitments as a result of having been found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect in the deaths of his brother and father.

On appeal, the Fourth Department did not disturb the not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect dispositions, but reversed the murder convictions and the related weapon possession counts, on the ground that the trial court failed to properly respond to a jury request for supplemental instruction on the insanity defense, and remanded for a new trial. Id. at 148-49. Following a retrial, at which he was convicted of manslaughter in the first degree in the death of his mother and manslaughter in the second degree in the death of Mr. Haun, and the related weapon possession counts and, thereafter, on January 14, 1993 sentenced to consecutive terms of 8 1/3 to 25 years, and five to 15 years, an aggregate term of 13 1/3 to 40 years, on the manslaughter convictions, and one year on each of the weapon possession convictions, Plaintiff again appealed. The judgment was unanimously affirmed. People v. Justice, 202 A.D. 2d 981 (N.Y. App. Div. 1994).

B. Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint

Plaintiff has sued all Defendants in their individual and official capacities, and the SAC describes the Defendant parties to this action as follows: SGM—a corporation organized under New York Law with its principal place of business at 1932 Bailey Avenue, Buffalo, New York and "formed for the purposes of, inter alia, 'promot[ing] and engag[ing] in efforts ... to influence youth and others to follow the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ'"; King—an individual with a principal place of business at 1932 Bailey Avenue, Buffalo, New York, a founder of SGM and its Executive Director at all relevant times; Russi—an individual with a principal place of business at 460 Main Street, Buffalo, New York, an employee of the New York State Division of Parole ("DOP"), and upon information and belief, current DOP Regional Director; Tortora—an individual with a principal place of business at 454 E. Broad Street, Rochester, New York, anemployee of the DOP, and upon information and belief, current DOP Program Specialist; Miraglia—an individual with a place of business at 100 Park Street, Glens Falls, New York, an employee of the New York State Office of Mental Health ("OMH"), including at relevant periods, Associate Commissioner; and Hogan—an individual with a place of business at 44 Holland Avenue, Albany, New York, current Commissioner of OMH ("Comm. OMH"). ECF No. 414, ¶¶ 3-9.

The SAC recounts the trial and appellate history related above (ECF No. 414, ¶¶ 11-14, 18), advancing several claims in five separate counts, the first three pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the last two pursuant to RICO, 18 U.S.C. § 1961, et seq. Count I alleges that Defendants Miraglia and Hogan deprived him of liberty without due process in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by subjecting him to New York Criminal Procedure Law § 330.20 ("CPL § 330.20"); violated his rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by treating him differently than other persons who have satisfied statutory commitment requirements under CPL § 330.20 and intentionally discriminated against him; and violated his right to substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment by subjecting him to CPL § 330.20. ECF No. 414, ¶¶ 33-39.

Count II alleges a putative class of "all parolees who have resided at properties owned or operated by Defendant SGM" and that Defendants SGM, King, and Russi violated Plaintiff's individual and (putative) class members' rights under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by coercing them to accept placement at SGM residences and to participate in Evangelical Christian and Start Teaching About Relationship Truths ("S.T.A.R.T.") Program activities, while in placement. ECF No. 414, ¶¶ 40-47. Count III alleges that Defendants SGM, King, Miraglia, Hogan, andRussi violated his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments by their deliberate indifference to his mental health needs. ECF No. 414, ¶¶ 48-50.

Counts IV and V allege RICO violations. On behalf of Plaintiff individually and the members of the (putative) class of "all parolees who have resided at properties owned or operated by SGM," Count IV alleges that Defendants King and Tortora violated RICO, 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) by establishing an enterprise. ECF No. 414, ¶¶ 51-71. On behalf of Plaintiff individually and (putative) class members, Count V alleges that Defendants SGM, King, and Tortora violated RICO, 18 U.S.C. § 1962(b) by acquiring an interest or control of the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. ECF No. 414, ¶¶ 72-74. Plaintiff's RICO Case Statement basically tracks these allegations.

III. DISCUSSION
A. Before proceeding to discuss the Defendants' motions to dismiss the SAC, I will address, in turn, pro se Plaintiff's other motions.
1. TRO

Pro se Plaintiff states that he is the subject of a Criminal Procedure Law § 330.20(14) Recommitment Application filed against him in Erie County on behalf of D...

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