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Burroughs v. County of Nassau

United States District Court, E.D. New York

June 9, 2014

CRAIG BURROUGHS, EDDIE MURDOCK, GARY WALSH, JEROME KOWALSKI, KEITH ADDISON, MICHAEL DOLLISON, RAMEL NELLUMS, DANIEL MILLER, LEO DUCHNOWSKI, CRAIG THURSTON, WILLIAM COWAN, KURTIS PHILLIP, JAMES SUTHERLAND, JAMEL WILLIAMS, KEVIN FARRELLY, Plaintiffs,
v.
COUNTY OF NASSAU; MICHAEL SPOSATO, Sheriff of Nassau County, Defendants.

Craig Burroughs, pro se Eddie Murdock, pro se Gary Walsh, pro se Jerome Kowalski, pro se Keith Addison, pro se Michael Dollison, pro se Ramel Nellums, pro se Daniel Miller, pro se Leo Duchnowski, pro se Craig Thurston, pro se William Cowan, pro se Kurtis Phillip, pro se James Sutherland, pro se Jamel Williams, pro se Kevin Farrelly, pro se Nassau County Correctional Center East Meadow, NY, for Plaintiffs.

Pablo A. Fernandez, Esq., Sara Kaye Schwartz, Esq., Thomas Lai, Esq., Nassau County Attorney's Office, Mineola, NY, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

JOANNA SEYBERT, District Judge.

Currently pending before the Court are plaintiffs Craig Burroughs, Eddie Murdock, Michael Dollison, Daniel Miller, Leo Duchonowski, and Jamal Williams' motion for a preliminary injunction and Magistrate Judge William D. Wall's Report and Recommendation ("R&R"), issued on March 19, 2014, recommending that the motion be denied. For the following reasons, the R&R is ADOPTED in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

This action was filed on November 18, 2013 by a group of fifteen pro se prisoners who claim that they are disabled and housed in the Medical Unit at the Nassau County Correctional Facility (the "NCCF"), where they allegedly suffer various violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), the Rehabilitation Act ("RA"), and the Fourteenth and Eight Amendments of the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in which they allege, inter alia, that they are prevented from attending court and/or medical appointments because the NCCF does not maintain a handicapped accessible van. (Affirm. of Emergency, Docket Entry 18-1.) However, since the motion was filed and before Judge Wall issued his R&R, several of the plaintiffs either have been transferred out of the NCCF or moved from the Medical Unit to the general housing population. Accordingly, only six plaintiffs-Craig Burroughs, Eddie Murdock, Michael Dollison, Daniel Miller, Leo Duchonowski, and Jamal Williams (collectively, "Plaintiffs")-have claims still pending before the Court on the motion. (Pls.' Reply Letter, Docket Entry 60, at 4[1].)

The proposed Order to Show Cause filed with the motion for preliminary injunction states that Plaintiffs seek to enjoin Defendants:

(1)... from enforcing policies and practices which subject plaintiffs to denial of access to the courts by preventing them from appearing in court;
(2)... from enforcing policies and practices which subject plaintiffs to risk of physical injury with respect to transportation to and from court and medical appointments;
(3)... from enforcing policies and practices or otherwise engaging in behavior which subjects plaintiffs, as disabled persons, to discriminatory treatment and deprives them of the programs, privileges and services afforded to all other inmates whom [sic] are not disabled persons;
(4)... from taking retaliatory actions against plaintiffs either collectively or individually;
(5)... to procure and maintain a handicapped-accessible vehicle for the transportation of plaintiffs and other disabled inmates....

(Proposed Order to Show Cause, Docket Entry 18-4.)

On December 18, 2013, the Undersigned referred the motion for a preliminary injunction to Judge Wall. (Docket Entry 25.) Judge Wall issued his R&R on March 19, 2014, which recommends that Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction be denied because Plaintiffs did not show likelihood of success on the merits on any of the claims asserted and because the balance of equities do not weigh in Plaintiffs' favor. (Docket Entry 62.) Additionally, Judge Wall recommends that the special solicitude normally granted to pro se litigants be withdrawn for purposes of Plaintiffs' motion given Plaintiff ...


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