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Giraldi v. Board of Parole

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


March 31, 2008

NEAL GIRALDI AND ALLEN PILBEAM, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
BOARD OF PAROLE, STATE OF NEW YORK, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Scullin, Senior Judge

ORDER

In a Report-Recommendation and Order dated March 27, 2006, Magistrate Judge Homer recommended that this Court deny Defendant's motion to dismiss. See Dkt. No. 27. Defendant has filed objections to that recommendation. See Dkt. No. 28.

Specifically, Defendant argues that it only considered Plaintiffs' history of mental illness and drug abuse as a factor in a complete, individualized assessment of their suitability for release pursuant to N.Y. Exec. Law § 259-i(2)(c)(A). See id. at 10. Therefore, Defendant contends, it did not violate Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") or § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("RA"). Furthermore, Defendant contends that it is entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity because Plaintiffs have not alleged an actual Fourteenth Amendment violation.

The Court has reviewed the file in its entirety and finds that Defendant's objections are without merit. To establish a case under Title II of the ADA, a plaintiff must prove, among other things, that he has been excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination under a program solely because of his disability. See Henrietta D. v. Bloomberg, 331 F.3d 261, 272 (2d Cir. 2003); 42 U.S.C. § 12132. The elements of a claim under § 504 of the RA are substantially the same. See id.; 29 U.S.C. § 794(a). These statutes abrogate state sovereign immunity to the extent that they "create[] a private cause of action for damages against the States for conduct that actually violates the Fourteenth Amendment . . . ." United States v. Garcia, 546 U.S. 151, 159 (2006). The Court finds that Plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts against Defendant to meet these legal requirements.

Defendant submits evidence for the proposition that it considered Plaintiffs' history of mental illness as only one factor in their overall fitness for release; however, the Court will not consider evidence outside the pleadings on a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Courtenay Commc'ns Corp. v. Hall, 334 F.3d 210, 213 (2d Cir. 2003) (citation omitted). To survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, it is sufficient that Plaintiffs allege that Defendant demonstrated animus toward prisoners with mental illnesses by repeatedly referring to their mental health problems as the basis for its decision to deny them parole. See Complaint at ¶¶ 14-16, 29-30. Therefore, the Court hereby

ORDERS that Magistrate Judge Homer's March 27, 2006 Report-Recommendation and Order is ADOPTED IN ITS ENTIRETY for the reasons stated therein; and the Court further

ORDERS that Defendant's motion to dismiss is DENIED; and the Court further ORDERS that this matter is referred to Magistrate Judge Homer for all further pretrial matters.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20080331

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