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Rosario v. New York City

United States District Court, Second Circuit

May 15, 2013

JOSE ROSARIO, Plaintiff,
v.
NEW YORK CITY and WARDEN CARLTON NEWTON, Defendants.

OPINION & ORDER

PAUL A. ENGELMAYER, District Judge.

Plaintiff Jose Rosario, proceeding pro se, brings this lawsuit, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, against defendants New York City (the "City of New York") and Warden Carlton Newton, alleging that his confinement in the custody of the New York City Department of Correction ("DOC"), after the state parole board had approved him for parole, violated his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. Defendants move to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim. For the reasons that follow, the motion is granted.

I. Background[1]

A. Factual Background

The facts underlying Rosario's detention in DOC custody, and the allegations stemming from that detention, are scattered in bits and pieces throughout his submissions. Pieced together and construed liberally, the facts relevant to Rosario's claims, in this case, [2] are as follows.

On December 15, 1989, Rosario was convicted of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree in Supreme Court, New York County, and sentenced to a term of five years to life. See Rosario Br. 12. On May 20, 1994, he was released to parole supervision. Id. at 15.

In November 1999, Rosario, who is also known as William Pagan, see id. at 41, was taken into Connecticut state custody. In July 2000, he was sentenced to a maximum term of 18 years. See Connecticut State Department of Correction, Offender Information Search ("CT Inmate Lookup"), http://www.ctinmateinfo.state.ct.us/detailsupv.asp?id_inmt_num=278476 (last visited May 15, 2013).[3]

On December 22, 2000, Rosario was briefly returned to Supreme Court, Bronx County, where he was sentenced to a term of six years to life for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree, This resulted from a 1996 arrest. See DOCCS Inmate Population Information Search ("NY Inmate Lookup"), http://nysdoccslookup.doccs.ny.gov (last visited May 15, 2013);[4] see also Rosario v. N. State Div. of Parole, 923 N.Y.S.2d 367 (3d Dep't 2011). Rosario was then returned to Connecticut prison.

On March 8, 2001, an immigration court in Hartford issued an order of removal directing that Rosario be removed to the Dominican Republic. Buhta Decl. Ex. A (the "Removal Order"). He was not removed, however, and continued to serve his Connecticut sentence. On some date in 2011 or 2012, [5] Rosario was transferred into custody of the City of New York Department of Correction ("DOC"). See CT Inmate Lookup. The DOC held Rosario at the Otis Bantum Correctional Center ("OBCC") on Rikers Island until July 9, 2012, when he was transferred to the custody of the State of New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ("DOCCS"). See NY Inmate Lookup; see also Rosario Br. 3, 5 (listing July 9, 2012 as the end of his detention in OBCC). Rosario continues to be held in the custody of DOCCS at Washington Correctional Facility. See NY Inmate Lookup; see also Rosario Decl. 6 (representing that, as of April 9, 2013, he continued to be held in DOCCS custody).

The documents attached to Rosario's submissions reflect several events bearing on his parole status. These events are important to Rosario's allegations. First, on April 9, 2012, Rosario received a notice from DOCCS, stating that he was in violation of the terms of his parole and that a final hearing on the alleged parole violation would be held on April 19, 2012 at Rikers Island. Rosario Br. 41; see also Compl. 4 (referring to parole violation warrant). The parole to which this document refers appears to be Rosario's parole based on the 1989 conviction, because it carries the Department Identification Number (DIN) associated with that conviction: 89T4927. Compare Rosario Br. 41, with Id. at 12, 15; see also NY Inmate Lookup. Second, as reflected in another document attached to the Complaint, albeit one that is partly illegible, Rosario's final parole hearing was, apparently, held on May 3, 2012 at Rikers Island. Compl. 10. Third, on May 9, 2012, the state parole board sent Rosario a notice that it had granted parole for him. Id. at 12, 16. This notice also bears the DIN number associated with Rosario's 1989 conviction. Id.

Rosario alleges that his continued detention, after he was granted parole, violated his due process and equal protection rights. See Compl. 7-9. Rosario alleges that he sustained psychological and emotional injuries stemming from this period of confinement. He seeks $1.5 million in compensatory damages for "illegal detention in prison, and psychological and mental distress, emotion and anxiety anguish [sic], lack of sleep, and a great deal of stress." Id. at 18.

B. Procedural History

On June 18, 2012, Rosario filed his Complaint. Dkt. 2. On January 14, 2013, defendants moved to dismiss. Dkt. 19-21. On February 14, 2013, Rosario filed a submission in opposition. Dkt. 25. On March 27, 2013, defendants filed a reply. Dkt. 26. On April 12, 2013, Rosario ...


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