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CUOMO v. BARR

February 9, 1993

MARIO CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York; THOMAS A. COUGHLIN, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services; and PAUL RUSSI, Chairman of the New York State Division of Parole, Plaintiffs,
v.
WILLIAM BARR, Attorney General of the United States of America; EUGENE McNARY, Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization Service; STANLEY McKINLEY, Director of the INS Eastern Regional Office;1 WILLIAM SLATTERY, INS Director for the New York District; and JACK INGRAM, INS Director for the Buffalo, NY District, 2 Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FREDERICK J. SCULLIN, JR.

 MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

 Background

 This lawsuit was commenced by the filing of a Complaint by the plaintiffs on April 27, 1992. The defendants filed their Answer to that Complaint on June 26, 1992. That same day, June 26, 1992, the plaintiffs filed the instant motion for summary judgment, to which the defendants cross moved for summary judgment on August 14, 1992. All parties have fully briefed the issues here presented. Oral argument was presented to the court in Albany, New York on August 28, 1992, following which a pre-decision conference was held in Syracuse, New York on October 30, 1992.

 This litigation was commenced by the State of New York seeking declaratory, injunctive and mandamus relief for what it perceives to be violations of federal statutes by the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS) vis-a-vis its obligation with respect to alien prisoners. The plaintiffs, in asserting seven separate claims, challenge the policies and practices of the defendants under sections 242(a)(2)(A), 242(a)(2)(B) and 242(a)(3)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [hereinafter referred to as "the Act"], 8 U.S.C. §§ 1252(a)(2)(A), 1252(a)(2)(B) & 1252(a)(3)(A)(i). *fn3" In essence, the plaintiffs claim that the defendants, being obligated under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a) to take and retain custody of alien prisoners released by the New York State Department of Corrections, have failed to do so, that the defendants have failed to implement an information system for the identification of aliens as required by section 1252(a)(3)(A) and that this conduct is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion not in accordance with law and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 706 (1) & (2)(A) & (C).

 Specifically, the plaintiffs claims (numbered as they are in the Complaint) are:

 1) the defendants have violated 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(A) by failing to take custody of aliens convicted of aggravated felonies who are on conditional parole for deportation only, see Complaint at PP 65-66;

 2) the defendants have violated 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(A) by failing to take custody of aliens convicted of aggravated felonies who are released on parole or supervised release, see id. at PP 67-68;

 3) the defendants have violated 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(A) by failing to take into custody all illegal aliens listed in the demand letter, see id. at PP 69-70;

 5) the defendants violated 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(3)(A) by failing to implement a system to assist the plaintiffs in identifying aliens convicted of aggravated felonies, see id. at PP 72-74;

 6) the defendants' failure to take aliens and to retain illegal aliens who have been convicted of aggravated felonies upon their release on parole or supervised release is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion not in accordance with law and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706(1) & (2)(A) & (C), see id. at PP 75-76; and

 7) the defendants' failure to implement an information system to assist the plaintiffs in identifying aliens convicted of aggravated felonies is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion not in accordance with law and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706(1) & (2)(A) & (C), see id. at PP 77-78.

 Discussion

 The standard of review for a summary judgment motion, while easy to state, is generally quite difficult to apply: A motion for summary judgment must be granted where there exists no genuine issue of material fact. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 2552-53, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, (1986); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, (1986). It has been held that a material fact is one which affects the outcome of the litigation. Hahn v. Sargent, 523 F.2d 461, 464 (1st Cir. 1975), cert. denied, 425 U.S. 904, 96 S. Ct. 1495, 47 L. Ed. 2d 754 (1976). Inasmuch as both parties have moved for summary judgment, it may well be that there are no genuine issues of material fact and, thus, the litigation would be a pure question of law for this court to decide. See Cargill, Inc. v. Charles Kowsky Resources, Inc., 949 F.2d 51, 55 (2d Cir. 1991); Eastman Mach. Co., Inc. v. United States, 841 F.2d 469, 473 (2d Cir. 1988); Bank of Am. Nat'l Trust & Sav. Ass'n v. Gillaizeau, 766 F.2d 709, 716 (2d Cir. 1985); Benson v. RMJ Securities Corp., 683 F. Supp. 359, 365 (S.D.N.Y. 1988). However, that is not necessarily the case, and the court must evaluate each side's motion on its own merits, in each instance drawing all inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Schwabenbauer v. Board of Educ. of City School Dist. of City of Olean, 667 F.2d 305, 313-14 (2d Cir. 1981).

 Rather than discuss each cause of action, the court will rather address the issues presented by the parties in their motions for summary judgment.

 I. Parole for Deportation Only

 Section 1252(a)(2)(A) provides that the Attorney General must take into his custody all alien prisoners who have been convicted of aggravated felonies upon their release from State correctional facilities. The statute continues parenthetically to provide that the Attorney General shall, irrespective of the possibility of rearrest for further confinement for the same offense, take custody of these prisoners, regardless of whether the release is to "parole," "supervised release," or "probation."

 New York State has a statute that allows for "conditional parole for deportation only" which the plaintiffs contend falls within the meaning of "parole" as Congress intended that term. With this the defendants take issue.

 Conditional Parole for Deportation Only [hereinafter referred to as "CPDO'] is provided for in section 259-i(2)(d)(i) of the New York Executive Law, which reads in pertinent part as follows:

 (McKinney Supp. 1992).

 The defendants contend that this CPDO program is not a release pursuant to "parole" as that term is used in section 1252(a)(2)(A), but that it is merely a transfer of custody. The plaintiffs assert that it is a release since it is a variety of "parole" and thus, the INS has an obligation to take custody of these alien prisoners when they are ...


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