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Mental Hygiene Legal Serv. v. Cuomo

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 31, 2014

MENTAL HYGIENE LEGAL SERVICE, Plaintiff,
v.
ANDREW CUOMO, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of New York, et al., Defendants

Page 290

For Mental Hygiene Legal Services, Plaintiff: Sadie Zea Ishee, LEAD ATTORNEY, Mental Hygiene Legal Service, New York, NY; Dennis Bruce Feld, Mental Hygiene Legal Service, Second Judicial Dept, Mineola, NY; Hollie Sue Levine, Mental Hygiene Legal Service, Third Dept., Binghamton, NY.

For Andrew Cuomo, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of New York, Michael Hogan, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health, Diana Jones Ritter, in her official capacity as Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Brian Fischer, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services, Defendants: Edward J. Curtis, Jr, LEAD ATTORNEY, New York State Department of Law Litigation, New York, NY; Joshua Benjamin Pepper, New York State Office of the Attorney General (NYC), New York, NY.

For David A. Paterson, Defendant: Joshua Benjamin Pepper, New York State Office of the Attorney General (NYC), New York, NY.

OPINION

Page 291

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

Deborah A. Batts, United States District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on remand after the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an Opinion vacating the Court's March 29, 2011 Order, which invalidated three sections of the New York Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act (" SOMTA" or the " Act" ). Mental Hygiene Legal Servs. v. Schneiderman, 472 F.App'x 45 (2d Cir. 2012). The Circuit remanded the case " for reconsideration in light of [its] decision in Disability Advocates, Inc. v. N.Y. Coal. for Quality Assisted Living, Inc., 675 F.3d 149 (2d Cir. 2012)," which issued while the appeal in this case was still pending. Accordingly, the Circuit Court instructed this Court to consider " whether plaintiff-appellee Mental Hygiene Legal Services can establish any of the 'indicia of membership' required for a nonmembership organization to assert associational standing." Id. at 46. Having considered as much, and upon Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment, the Court concludes that Plaintiff cannot establish associational standing. In addition, Plaintiff fails to demonstrate that it has third-party standing to bring suit. Therefore, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED, and the action is DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction.

Page 292

I. BACKGROUND

On March 29, 2011, this Court issued an Order[1] granting in part and denying in part the Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Plaintiff Mental Hygiene Legal Services (" MHLS" or " Plaintiff" ) and Defendants Andrew Cuomo, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of New York, Eric Schneiderman, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of New York, Michael Hogan, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health, Courtney Burke, in her official capacity as Acting Commissioner of the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, and Brian Fischer, in his official capacity as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Correctional Services (" DOCS" ), (collectively, " Defendants" ). Mental Hygiene Legal Serv. v. Cuomo, 785 F.Supp.2d 205 (S.D.N.Y. 2011). Upon Plaintiff's pre-enforcement, facial challenge to discrete provisions of SOMTA, which is codified within New York Mental Hygiene Law Article 10, the Court concluded that § § 10.06(k), 10.07(c), and 10.07(d) would fail to provide respondents sufficient procedural safeguards and, therefore, unconstitutionally deny affected persons due process rights.[2] Mental Hygiene Legal Serv., 785 F.Supp.2d at 225-28. On April 7, 2011, the Court issued an Order enjoining Defendants from enforcing the unconstitutional provisions of SOMTA, and on April 11, 2011, it ordered the Clerk of the Court to close the docket in the case. (ECF Nos. 109, 110.) Defendant filed a timely Notice of Appeal on April 15, 2011. (ECF No. 111.)

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, on June 20, 2012, issued a Summary Order vacating the April 7, 2011 Order and remanding the matter to this Court. (ECF No. 112.) The Circuit's Mandate issued on July 12, 2012. (ECF No. 113.) The Parties have submitted their Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment and supporting papers on the standing issue, which the Court reviews below.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard for Summary Judgment

The District Court should grant summary judgment when there is " no genuine dispute as to any material fact," and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Allianz Ins. Co. v. Lerner, 416 F.3d 109, 113 (2d Cir. 2008). " However, reliance upon conclusory statements or mere allegations is not sufficient to defeat a summary judgment motion." Davis v. New York, 316 F.3d 93, 100 (2d Cir. 2002). Summary judgment is appropriate only when, " after drawing all inferences in the light most favorable to [the non-movant], no reasonable jury could" find in that party's favor. Jeffreys v. City of New York, 426 F.3d 549, 554 (2d Cir. 2005).

In assessing whether summary judgment should be granted, " [t]he mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the [non-movant's] position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the

Page 293

plaintiff." Melendez v. Mitchell, 394 F.App'x 739, 740 (2d Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). In addition, " conclusory statements, conjecture, or speculation by the party resisting the motion will not defeat summary judgment." Kulak v. City of New York, 88 F.3d 63, 71 (2d Cir. 1996); see also Burgess v. Fairport Cent. Sch. Dist., 371 F.App'x 140, 141 (2d Cir. 2010) (same). Instead, when the moving party has documented particular facts in the record, " the opposing party must come forward with specific evidence demonstrating the existence of a genuine dispute of material fact." FDIC v. Great Am. Ins. Co., 607 F.3d 288, 292 (2d Cir. 2010)(citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986)). Establishing such evidence requires going beyond the allegations of the pleadings, as the moment has arrived " to put up or shut up." Weinstock v. Columbia Univ., 224 F.3d 33, 41 (2d Cir. 2000). Thus, unsupported allegations in the pleadings cannot create a material issue of fact. Id.

The same standards apply where, as here, there are cross-motions for summary judgment. Fourth Toro Family Ltd. P'ship v. PV Bakery, Inc., 88 F.Supp.2d 188, 193 (S.D.N.Y. 2000). When faced with cross-motions for summary judgment, the Court need not " grant judgment as a matter of law for one side or the other," Heublein, Inc. v. United States, 996 F.2d 1455, 1461 (2d Cir. 1993), but " must evaluate each party's motion on its own merits, taking care in each instance to draw all reasonable inferences against the party whose ...


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