Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

PARKS v. EDWARDS

March 1, 2004.

CARLOS A. BAILEY PARKS, Petitioner, -against- LESTER G. EDWARDS (F.P.O. II); A. BUTLER (F.P.O. I) MOHAWK; STATE OF N.Y. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT-DIVISION OF PAROLE, Respondents, CARLOS A. BAILEY PARKS, Plaintiff, -against- GEORGE E. PATAKI (GOVERNORN.Y.S); EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT-DIVISION OF PAROLE N.Y.S.; A. BUTLER (FACILITY PAROLE OFFICER MOHAWK); LESTER G. EDWARDS (FACILITY PAROLE OFFICER), Defendants


The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOHN GLEESON, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

These are the two most recent cases brought pro se by petitioner/plaintiff Carlos A. Bailey Parks, a state prisoner at Mohawk Correctional Facility. Since both of these actions relate to the same facts and contain many of the same allegations, they are consolidated for purposes of this Order. For the reasons set forth below, Parks's requests to proceed in forma pauperis are granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, but these actions are dismissed. Page 2

BACKGROUND

 A. Prior Cases

  Sometime in 2000, Parks was convicted in New York State Supreme Court of attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree (a class E violent felony), and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of four years to life. During that term of incarceration, Parks filed at least eleven actions, including the two at issue herein. Several of these cases have been consolidated with others, and two of these actions have been dismissed. See Parks v. United States Probation Dept. No. 03 CV 2193, and Parks v. Hollins, No. 00 CV 4587. There is no need to discuss all of the ongoing actions, because only two are relevant to the instant cases: (1) Parks v. New York City Police Department, No. 00 CV 2564, a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the New York City Police Department and several of its officers, and (2) Parks v. Perlman, No. 03 CV 805, a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

  In Parks v. New York City Police Department Parks claims that defendants' counsel, assistant corporation counsel Paul M. Villanueva, has offered to settle the action. Indeed, Parks moved for a writ of mandamus directing the defendants to settle the case and an order directing that Villanueva be charged with mail fraud for not settling. Those motions were denied. Parks v. N.Y. City Police Dept., No. 00 CV 2564, slip op. (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 5, 2004). In Parks v. Permian, Parks seeks a writ of habeas corpus, principally alleging that settlement of the aforementioned civil action would somehow impact his criminal conviction. The Court is currently awaiting the government's response to that petition.

 B. The Instant Cases

  In October 2003, Parks filed Parks v. Edwards, No. 03 CV 5588, the first of the two cases at issue herein, seeking immediate release from incarceration. Anticipating that Page 3 defendant Division of Parole ("Parole") and its employees would "bow to the public[] policy preferences of Governor George E. Pataki's administration . . . [which] opposes parole for people convicted of violent crimes" (Edwards Compl. ¶ 3), Parks petitions this Court for a writ of mandamus directing Parole and its employees, defendants Lester G. Edwards and A. Butler, to release him. Although Parole had not yet decided whether to release Parks, he alleges that defendants would "ignore [their] duties under Executive Law § 259-1 and Penal Law § 70.40," and "fail to properly consider [Parks's] exemplary institutional record and enormous efforts to educate [himself]." (Id. ¶ 2.) Parks reasons that since he had already served four years and since the City of New York had expressed a "willingness to settle" in Parks v. New York City Police Department, it would "not be fair" for Parole to deny him release. (Id. ¶ 6.) He demands that I order his immediate release and direct the City of New York to "settle the [civil] suit." (Id. ¶¶ 5, 7.)

  On November 12, 2003, Parole sent Parks a Release Decision Notice, denying him "discretionary release." (Parks v. Pataki, No. 03 CV 6234, Compl. Ex. A.) Parole noted that Parks had refused to appear before them, had had disciplinary reports filed against him in prison, and had an "involved and serious" criminal history, culminating in the illegal weapon possession offense for which he was incarcerated. (Id.) Although Parole stated that Parks's "institutional programming show[ed] some progress," it concluded that there was "a reasonable probability that [he] would not live and remain at liberty without violating the law," and that "[d]iscretionary release [was] not in the community interest." (Id.)

  Following his receipt of this decision, Parks filed the complaint in Parks v. Pataki, No. 03 CV 6234, the second lawsuit at issue herein. Pataki is an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Page 4 alleging many of the same facts and naming the same defendants as the mandamus petition. In the Pataki complaint, Parks again refers to his ongoing civil action against the City of New York, alleging that the case was in the process of being "settled for $5 million by . . . the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York . . . and his assistant Mr. Paul M. Villanueva." (Pataki Compl. at 4.) He claims that settlement of this civil action would somehow deprive Parole of jurisdiction, stating that his "case is presently before the Parole Division only because of Mr. Villanueva's [reluctance] to close out the suit settlement." (Id.) Parks again alleges that Parole violated "Executive Law § 259-1 and Penal Law § 70.40," stating that they "failed to properly consider the facts [of] the arrest and settlement," and implying that it failed to consider his "steady employment" prior to his arrest and his "legendary" work ethic. (Id.) Parks claims that Parole made "an ex-post-facto decision" in violation of Article I, § 10, of the United States Constitution, based solely on his "frivolous" conviction and past criminal history. (Id. at 4-5.)

  DISCUSSION

 A. Standard of Review

  Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I must review the complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from officers or employees of a governmental agency and "identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint . . . is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also Carr v. Dvorin, 171 F.3d 115, 116 (2d Cir. 1999) (per curiam). An action is frivolous as a matter of law when, inter alia, it is based on an "indisputably meritless legal theory" — that is, when it "lacks an arguable basis in law . . . or [when] a dispositive defense clearly exists on the face of the complaint." Livingston v. Adirondack Beverage Co., 141 F.3d 434, 437 (2d Cir. 1998). Because Page 5 Parks is proceeding pro se, I must read his petition and complaint liberally and interpret them as raising the strongest arguments they suggest. Burgos v. Hopkins, 14 F.3d 787, 790 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.