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Karim-Rashid v. New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

United States District Court, W.D. New York

January 24, 2018

ABDUL ALI KARIM-RASHID, A/K/A/ ANTHONY SALGADO, JR., A/K/A VINCENT DELGADO, Plaintiff,
v.
NYS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION, et al., Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL A. TELESCA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Abdul Ali Karim-Rashid (“Plaintiff”), an inmate formerly in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Services (“DOCCS”) and currently in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (the “BOP”), commenced the instant action on April 29, 2016, alleging that he had been denied the right to practice his Muslim faith while housed at various DOCCS facilities, in violation of his rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (“RLUIPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq. Docket No. 1. On July 14, 2016, then-presiding District Judge Richard J. Arcara referred this matter to Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio to hear and report upon dispositive motions for the consideration of the district judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C). Docket No. 10.

         Defendants subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. Docket No. 12. Plaintiff opposed the motion and, on August 7, 2017, Judge Foschio issued a Report and Recommendation (the “R&R”) (Docket No. 25) recommending that Defendants' motion be granted and the complaint be dismissed. Plaintiff timely filed objections to the R&R. Docket No. 27.

         For the reasons discussed below, the Court finds no error in Judge Foschio's R&R, and therefore adopts it in its entirety.

         II. Discussion

         A. Standard of Review

         When specific objections are made to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the district judge makes a “de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). When only general objections are made to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the district judge reviews it for clear error or manifest injustice. E.g., Brown v. Peters, 1997 WL 599355, at *2-3 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 22, 1997), aff'd, 175 F.3d 1007 (2d Cir. 1999). After conducting the appropriate review, 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)(C).

         B. Defendants' Motion and the R&R

         On August 18, 2016, Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The factual background underlying the motion to dismiss is set forth in detail in the R&R, familiarity with which is presumed, and is repeated here only as necessary.

         Defendants argue in the motion to dismiss that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the instant dispute because Plaintiff's release from DOCCS' custody on August 5, 2016 mooted his requests for injunctive and declaratory relief. In opposition, Plaintiff argues that, pursuant to the terms of a detainer issued by DOCCS, if he is released from federal custody prior to August 5, 2021[1], he will be returned to a DOCCS facility, where there is a reasonable likelihood that he will again be deprived of his religious liberties. Accordingly, Plaintiff contends that his claims are not moot and that the Court retains subject matter jurisdiction.

         In the R&R, Judge Foschio considered the parties' arguments and found that Plaintiff had failed to establish that he was had a reasonable expectation of being subject to RLUIPA violations by the Defendants upon being returned to DOCCS' custody. In particular, Judge Foschio found that, by its own terms, the detainer issued by DOCCS provided that Plaintiff would be returned to Wende Correctional Facility (“Wende”) solely for the purpose of being transferred to a residential treatment facility (“RTF”) for six months, and that there is no evidence in the record that Plaintiff would be detained at Wende for any meaningful length of time, nor is there any evidence that the alleged RLUIPA violations would occur at an RTF.

         Accordingly, Judge Foschio recommended that Defendants' motion be granted and that the matter be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

         C. ...


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