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McLaurin v. Paterson

August 11, 2008

NORRIS J. MCLAURIN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DAVID A. PATERSON, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK STATE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Paul A. Crotty, United States District Judge

ORDER

In this action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, pro se Plaintiff Norris J. McLaurin alleges that, by denying him parole, Defendants*fn1 violated his constitutional rights under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Ex Post Facto Clause of Article I of the United States Constitution. The motion was referred to Magistrate Judge Frank Maas, who issued a 35-page Report and Recommendation ("R&R") dated June 12, 2008 in which he recommended that the Court grant Defendants' motion to dismiss. McLaurin filed timely objections. Upon careful consideration, the Court adopts the R&R-noting one non-dispositive correction-and grants Defendants' motion to dismiss.

The Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation

In his R&R, Magistrate Judge Maas provided a comprehensive summary of the factual and procedural history bearing on McLaurin's claims, including an exhaustive analysis of his various parole hearings. It need not be repeated here.

Magistrate Judge Maas specifically found the following:

(1) that any claims that accrued before March 12, 2004, including those related to McLaurin's 2001 and 2003 parole hearings, are time-barred (R&R 16);

(2) that claims against the Division of Parole must be dismissed because it does not qualify as a "person" under Section 1983 (R&R 17);

(3) that the Parole Board denied McLaurin parole in 2006 and 2007 in an appropriate and legitimate exercise of its discretion and upon due consideration of McLaurin's criminal record, his institutional adjustment, his future plans, and the recommendation of the sentencing judge (R&R 20-25);

(4) that the Amended Complaint does not plausibly allege an unofficial statewide policy of denying parole for prisoners sentenced under recidivist statutes on the basis of their criminal history (R&R 25-28);

(5) that the State has a rational basis for distinguishing between persistent and non-persistent offenders in making parole determinations (R&R 28-29);

(6) that McLaurin cannot challenge a hypothesized unofficial State policy by which the Parole Board automatically denies parole for violent felony offenders because the challenged policy is not a "law" within the scope of the Ex Post Facto Clause (R&R 30-32); and

(7) that, insofar as McLaurin challenges the application of provisions of the Sexual Offender Registration Act ("SORA"), N.Y. Correct. Law § 168 et seq., as a violation of the Ex Post Facto Clause, his claim is not ripe for review (R&R 33).

Applicable Law

In evaluating the report and recommendation of a magistrate judge, the district court may "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). When a timely objection has been made to the magistrate judge's recommendations, the court is required to review the contested portions de novo. See Pizarro v. Bartlett, 776 F. Supp. 815, 817 (S.D.N.Y. 1991). For uncontested portions of the report and recommendation, the court need ...


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