​                                         2021

Vol 31 No. 3 - May 2021
Halt Solitary Confinement Bill Becomes Law!
   Also Inside...
      False Positive Urinalysis Putative Class Action Update
      Court Orders State to Include Prisoners in Category 1b for Vaccine Eligibility
      Court Rejects Challenge to SOCTP "Recommendation"

      Requiring Plaintiff to Wear Restraints While Exercising for Six onths Violates the 8th Amendment

Vol 31 No. 2 - March 2021
Confinement Beyond a Mandatory Release Date  Violates Eighth Amendment
   Also Inside...
      A Message from the Executive Director
      Habeas Action Dismissed but Court Orders DOCCS to Offer Petitioner the Vaccine
      Testimony of DOCCS' Expert Precludes Resolution of Claim on Summary Judgement

      Four Month Denial of Exercise for States 8th Amendment Claim

      No Recognized Independent Right to Be Present at Hearing

      Immigration Matters

Vol 31 No. 1 - January 2021
Second Circuit Finds HO and EA Violated Accused's Due Process Rights 
   Also Inside...
      COVID 19 Update
      Prisoner Released Pending Appeal Due to COVID 19 Concerns
      NY Court of Appeals Addresses SARA Compliant Housing Issues

     The Danger of Abandoning FOIL Requests

     Immigration Matters


Vol 30 No. 6 - November 2020
Second Circuit Rules Administrative Remedies are Exhausted 30 Days After 

​CORC Receives a Timely Appeal of a Grievance
   Also Inside...
      Remembering Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

      Changes in State Statutes of Limitations and Court Filing Deadlines

      Court Issues Preliminary Injunction In E-Stop Challenge

​      Immigration Matters

Vol 30 No. 5 - September  2020
Correction Law §138(4) Insulates Prisoner's Conduct From Discipline
   Also Inside...
     COVID 19 Continues to Strain State Resources
     Pro Se Victories

     Negligence of DOCCS Employees Caused Prisoner's Death

     Court Finds Officer Lied About Prior Misconduct

     Immigration Matters

     Your Right to an Education

Vol 30 No. 4 - July  2020
Court Reverses Habeas Relief Granted to Medically Vulnerable Senior
   Also Inside...
     Protect Yourself and Your Facility From COVID 19

     Update DOCCS Protocol COVID 19

     Pro Se Victories!

     Ad Seg Claims Survive Motion for Summary Judgment

     Immigration Matters

Vol 30 No. 3- May 2020 - COVID-19 SPECIAL EDITION
Protect Yourself and Your Facility from COVID-19

Vol 30 No. 2- April 2020
Court Limits Exclusion of Court Ordered Participants from Shock

   Also Inside...
      Coronavirus Pandemic - New Protocols

      False Positive Urinalysis Putative Class Action Update
      Pro Se Victories!
     Routine Incident Reports Do Not Fall Within FOIL Exemptions

Vol 30 No. 1- February 2020
Damages for Time Spent in Prison for Administratively Imposed PRS
   Also Inside...
      Update on False Positive Drug Testing Results
      Alcantara v. Annucci Upstate; RTF At Fishkill C.F.
      Court Reverses Decision Granting Summary Judgment to State
      Court Issues Preliminary Injunction to the OVS


Vol 29 No. 6 - December 2019
Court Holds DOCCS' "Correction" of Illegal Sentence is Unconstitutional
   Also Inside...
      A Message from the Executive Director
      Pro Se Victories!
      Failure to Comply with OSC Leads to Dismissal
      When Does a Claim Accrue?

      When Does a Claim Arise?

      Court Orders Prisoner Plaintiff to Pay Defendants' Cost

Vol 29 No. 5 - October 2019

Parole Board Denial of Release Was Deficient in Three Respects

   Also Inside...

      Parole in New York State - Time for a Change?

      Pro Se Victories!

      Court Finds Waiver of Right to Attend Tier III Hearing Was Not Voluntary and Knowing

      Court Dismisses Challenge by Victim's Representative to Parole Release Decision

Vol 29, No. 4 - August 2019

DOCCS Fefendants Found in Contempt for Failing to Obey Court Order

   Also Inside...

      A Message from the Executive Director

      Pro Se Victories!

      SOL for Excessive SHU Confinement Claim Runs from Date of Release from SHU

      Pro Se Practice: Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act: Resentencing Options

Vol. 29, No. 3 - June 2019

Freedom of Information Law Requires Disclosure of The Names of Officers Mentioned in Incident Reports

   Also Inside...

       Pro Se Victories!

       Subject to Statutory Exceptions DOCCS Must Comply with Judicial Shock Sentences

       Judge Holds MHLS and the Executive Director of CNYPC in Contempt of Court

Vol. 29, No. 2 - April  2019
Appellate Court Holds Police Body Cam Footage is Not a Personnel Record
    Also Inside...
       Pro Bono Submissions

       Hearings Reversed Where Prisoners Were Not Present When Their Witnesses Testified

       Court Restricts the Application of The SARA Housing Limitations

       Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Ordering Merit Release Re-hearing

Vol. 29, No. 1 - February 2019
Court Denies Motion for Summary Judgement for Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

Where CORC's Delay in Deciding Plaintiff's Appeal Rendered IGP Unavailable
    Also Inside...
        Court Approves Community Opposition as a Lawful Consideration in Parole Decisions
        DOCCS Practice of Confining Sex Offenders in RTF's Until SARA Housing is Approved
       Claims that Plaintiff was Savagely Assaulted Following the Clinton Escape Survive Motion to Dismiss


Vol. 28, No. 6 - December 2018
Court Holds Criminal Defendants Have No State or Federal Constitutional Right to 

Legal Representation on Applications for Leave to Appeal to the Court of Appeals
    Also Inside...
        Education & Vocation Programs
        2004 DLRA Bars Imposition of PFO Status for Drug Offenders
       RTF Update
       Court Imposes Sanctions on Plaintiff for Non-responsive Discover Responses

       New Appellate Division Practice Rules

Prisoners' Legal Services Educational Questionnaire

Vol. 28, No. 5 - October 2018
Court Holds that First Amendment Protects the Refusal to Act as a Snitch
    Also Inside...
       The Right to Special Education
        District Court Finds that Administrative Remedies Were Not Available to Plantiff
        Pro Se Victories!
        The CNA Databank and DNA Databank Fee.

Vol. 28, No. 4 - August 2018
Second Circuit Reinstates Rluipa Claim
    Also Inside...
        Prison Reform: A Report From the National Front
        Court Denies Petition to Compel Rescission of Parole Release Decision
        Pro Se Victories!
        Seeking Modification of a Child Support Order

Vol. 28, No. 3 - June 2018
Excessive Confinement Claim Survives Defendants' Summary Judgment Motion
    Also Inside...

        Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against NYS Parole Board
        Governor Restores Voting rights to Parolees!
        Pro Se Victories!
        Court Finds Denial of Parole to Have Been Arbitrary and Capricious

        Entry Information for Incarcerated Veterans

Vol. 28, No. 2 - April 2018

Court Finds That Parole Denial Was Irrational Bordering on Impropriety

    Also Inside...

        New Work Release Opportunities

        PLS Family Matters Unit

        Pro Se Victories!

        Preliminary Injunction Allows Plaintiff to Pray in Yard at Cayuga CF

Vol. 28, No. 1 - February 2018

Condition Imposed by the Division of Parole Was Arbitrary and Capricious

     Also Inside...

         Gov. Cuomo's Proposal to Expand Programs for Veterans Behind Bars

         Pro Se Victories!

         Duty of Care Owed to a Prisoner

         Knowing Your Rights: Unpacking

         Hassell v. Fischer

​​                                              2017

Vol. 27. No. 6 - December 2017

Albany County Supreme Court Rules that Videotape of Incident Is Nat a Personnel Record

     Also Inside...

         PLS Testifies at Assembly Hearing on Medical Care

          Update on PLS' Mental Health Report

          Prisoners Cannot Compel DOCCS to use Article 75 to Discipline Employees

          Pro Se Practice: Defeating the Charge of Interfering With an Employee

Vol. 27. No. 5 - October 1017

​Foil Bars Shifting Cost of Videotape Review to Imates

     Also Inside...

           Education in Prison

           DOCCS Adopts New Policy on Controlled Substances

           Pro Se Victories!

           PRO SE PRACTICE: Jucicial Basic Training

Vol. 27. No. 4 - August 2017

Second Circuit Rules that Correctional Association Report is Hearsay

     Also Inside...

            Solitary Confinement: The Push for New Limits

            Challenge to DOCCS Use of Residential Treatment Centers

            PRO SE VICTORIES:

            Denial of Visitation with Incarcerated  Father Upheld by Appeals Court


Vol. 27, No. 3 - June 2017

Magistrate Judge Recommends Holding Acting Commissioner Liable for Damages

    Also Inside...

           PRO SE VICTORIES!

           Petitioner Charged with Turning Violently and Lunging Cannot be Penalized for Assault with Weapon

           Court Rejects Arbitrator's Punishment of Officer Who Assaulted a Prisoner

​​​​​​​​Vol. 27, No. 2 - April 2017

Second Circuit Holds that 60 Day Ad Seg Reviews Must be "Meaningful"

     Also Inside....

           Visitation Update

           Pro Se Victories!

           Court Finds Failure to Consider Sentencing Minutes in Harmless Error

Vol. 27, No. 1 - February 2017

Prisoners Have a Liberty Interest in Not Having Parole Release Decisions Rescinded

      Also Inside....

          2016 - A Review

          Court Rules Denial of Parole Was Arbitrary and Capricious

          KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, The Right to Special Education


Vol. 26. No 6 - December 2016
Court Re-opens Discovery in Suit for Damages for Unlawful PRS
     Also Inside....
          PLS Opens Two New Units
          Exclusion of Individuals with Mental Illness from the Shock Incarceration Program
          Proving the Value of Lost or Destroyed Legal Work

​Vol. 26, No. 5 - October 2016

Second Circuit Agrees that DOCCS and Parole Executives are Liable for PRS Violations
    Also Inside....
​            Attica Revisited
            Total Ban on Motorized Wheelchairs Violates ADA and RA
            Court Recommends That DOCCS Rewrites Two Provisions of Its Grievance Procedure

Vol. 26, No. 4 - August 2016
Supreme Court Rejects "Special Circumstances" Exception to the Requirement that Prisoners Exhaust Their Administrative Remedies Before Suing in Federal Court
     Also Inside...
​            PLS Files Lawsuit Challenging DOCCS' Use of Alleged Residential Treatment Facilities (RTFs)
            Third Department Reverses Finding of Civil Contempt
            Denials of Family Reunion Applications (two articles)

Vol. 26, No. 3 - June 2016
Parole Board Must Weigh Age at Time of Crime
     Also Inside....
​           NCCHC Issues Position Statement on Solitary Confinement
           Update on Peoples Settlement
            NY Top Court Wrestles with Laws Governing Mandatory Surcharge

​​Vol. 26, No. 2 - April 2016
Sex Offenders Must Be Released On or Before Their Maximum Expiration Dates
     Also Inside....
​            Lawsuit Seeks Injunctive Relief to End Sexual Abuse of Female Prisoners  
            DOCCS Not Ordinarily Liable for Alleged Acts of Malpractice by Outside Doctors
            An Inmate Must sufficiently Plead Personal Involvement of Individual Defendants in 1983 Claim
            Paternity Actions: Establishing That You Are the Biological Father of a Child

​​Vol. 26, No. 1 - February 2016
Solitary Reform in NY State Prisons
     Also Inside....

           Court of Appeals Revisits When Remittal for a New Tier Hearing May Be Warranted
           Court Rules Pat Frisk Policy Does Not Violate the 8th Amendment
           Court Refuses to Dismiss Suit Brought by Prisoner's Sister Over Harassment by Officers


Vol. 25, No. 6 - December 2015
Trial in Lawsuit Seeking Damages for Illegally Imposed PRS Set for December 2015
     Also Inside....

           Pope Francis Speaks to Us All
           Court Finds HO Violated Plaintiff's Right to Call and Question Witness
           ADA Not Violated by Policy Prohibiting Electric Wheelchairs

Vol. 25, No. 5 - October 2015
Court Finds Top DOCCS Execs Liable for Unlawful Imposition of PRS
     Also Inside.
          Solitary Confinement: An Update
          Second Circuit Clarifies 8th Amendment Standard Relating to Sexual Abuse by Guards
          Right to Special Education Under the IDEA for Disabled Prisoners Under 22 Years Old

​​Vol. 25, No 4 - August 2015
Court Awards $90,000 for 6½ Months of Unlawful Confinement and Parole Supervision
     Also Inside...

          Don't Throw Out the Baby With the Bathwater: Incentive Programs Work
          Court Holds Board of Parole in Contempt
          Parole Denial Reversed; Board Focused Exclusively on Seriousness of Crime

Vol. 25, No. 3 - June 2015
State Found Liable For Confining Claimant Beyond SHU Expiration Date 
     Also Inside....

           ​The SARA Leads to the Creation of Non-Conforming RTF's
           Pro Se Practice: A Prisoner's Right to Visit with His or Her Children

Vol. 25, No. 2 - April 2015
Class Certified in Case Seeking Damages for Unlawful Imposition of  Post-Release Supervision
     Also Inside....

          Pardon Me, Can You Commute My Sentence?
          Pro Se Victories!
          Court Upholds Finding of Deviation from Accepted Standard of Medical Practice
          Court Rules Use of Jumpsuit in Lewd Conduct Program Does Not Violate Constitution

​Vol. 25, No. 1 - February 2015
Discretionary Denials of 440 Motions Can Be Reviewed by Court of Appeals 
     Also Inside....

          DOCCS Issues New Disciplinary Guidelines
          Pro Se Victories!
          For Articles 10 Purposes, the Diagnosis of ASPD Is Not a Mental Abnormality


​Vol. 24, No. 6 - December 2014
     Also Inside....

         PREA and Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
         Pro Se Victories!
​         Parole Denial Annulled: Determination So Irrational as to Border on Impropriety

​​​​​​Vol. 24, No. 5 - October 2014
Court Rules that in Prison, a Cell Phone Is Dangerous Contraband  
     Also Inside....

         PLS Receives Denison Ray Award
         PLS Celebrates 40 Years
         Rape Crisis Hotline Pilot Project
         Court Finds DOCCS Substantially Burdened Prisoner's Religious Rights
         Pro Se Practice - Tier III Hearings-Rights, Exhaustion, Effects of Pleading Guilty

​​​Vol. 24, No. 4 - August 2014
Court of Appeals Rules on Untimely Notices of Appeal and Leave Applications   
     Also Inside....

         How Solitary Confinement Thwarts Brain Development In Youths
         Rights at Tier III Hearings
         Pro Se Victories!
         Pro Se Questions & Answers

Vol. 24, No. 3 - June 2014
3rd Department Rules in Favor of Parole Board on Amendments to Executive Law   
     Also Inside..
        Letters to the Editor
        Pro Se Victories!
        Court Annual Denial of Parole
        Third Dept. Holds Cell Phone is Dangerous Contraband

V​ol. 24, No. 2 - April 2014
Solitary Confinement Takes Center Stage From New York to Washington and Across the Country

​Vol. 24, No. 1 - February 2014
State Court Holds Prisoner Entitled to Damages For  Time Spent in Prison as a Result of DOCCS-Imposed Post-Release Supervision
     Also Inside....
  Enrolling in Medicaid
          Prisoner Recovers for Excessive Imprisonment; DOCCS Conduct Not Privileged
          2nd Circuit Holds Dismissal of Article 78 Does Not Collaterally Estop Section 1983 Action
          Pro Se Practice: Protecting Your Right to Appeal


Vol. 23, No. 6 - December 2013
Court Strikes Rule Prohibiting DOCCS Staff from Associating with Prisoners and Parolees
     Also Inside....

          Justice Reinvestment
          Pro Se Victories
          Alleged Interference with Exercise of Religion Trivial​

​​Vol. 23, No. 5  - October 2013
Transgender Prisoners and the Law
     Also Inside....

          Parole Denial Reversed: Court Finds BOP Failed to Apply Written Guidelines
          Third Department Rules that Revised Executive Law 259-c(4) is Not retroactive
          Court Finds that Denial of Request for Temporary Release Violated Stature

​​Vol. 23, No. 4 - August  2013
Did DOCCS Exec Make Reasonable Efforts to Excise Plaintiffs' Unlawfully Imposed Post Release Supervision or to Organize a Re-Sentencing Process?
     Also Inside....

          Important Immigration Information
          Court Upholds Condition Barring Petitioner From Contact With Wife
          Claimant's Right to Discovery About Background of Another Prisoner

​​​Vol. 23, No. 3 - June  2013
Court Finds Amendment of Parole Statute Requires Parole to Make New Rules
     Also Inside....

          New Report Confirms Crisis of Prisoner Rape
          Court of Appeals Rules That Predicate Sentencing is a Collateral Consequence
          Court of Appeals Affirms Order Awarding Incarcerated Father Visits With Child
          Statements Made to the Case Review Team Are Admissible at Civil Commitment Trials

​​Vol. 23, No. 2 - April  2013
Using Juvenile's Age as a Mitigating Factor, Court Finds Tier III Sanction Excessive
     Also Inside....

          New York's Aging Prison Population
          No Damages for Continuation of Level III Statue at Southport After Reversal of Hearing
          Supreme Court Rules that Principle of Law Announced in Padilla is Not Retroactive

​​Vol. 23, No. 1 - February  2013
Court Reverses Termination of Incarcerated Father's Parental Rights
     Also Inside....

          NYSBA Calls For Restrictions on Long Term Solitary Confinement
          Pro Se Victories!
          2nd Circuit Fails to Reach Merits of Challenge to HO's Handwriting Comparison


Vol. 22, No. 6 - December  2012
Court Fines DOCCS Defendants $9,600 for Contempt
     Also Inside....

          Inmate Proves Medical Malpractice
          Three Court of Appeals Judges Question Diagnosis Frequently Used as Basis of Civil                                               Commitment
          Second Circuit Rejects Claim That Policy of Denying Parole to Violent Felony Offenders                                         Violates Constitution

Vol. 22, No. 5 - October  2012
New York Civil Liberties Union Issues Report on New York's Use of 'Extreme Isolation"

​​Vol. 22, No. 4 - August  2012
You Are Not Alone!
     Also Inside....
 Testimony of Karen Murtagh Executive Dir. of PLS Before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the
          Consitiution, Civil Rights and Human Rights

​​Vol. 22, No. 3 - June  2012
Prisoner Wins Summary Judgment in Civil Rights Case Where Hearing Officer and Director of Inmate Discipline Ignored "Some Evidence"
     Also Inside....
 DOCC Creates Incentive Program for Prisoners in Ad Seg
         New Rules for Visitation and Suspension of Visitation
         Court Orders Drug Conviction Sealed

​Vol. 22, No. 2 - April  2012
Court Denies DOCCS Officials Qualified Immunity For Imposing PRS
     Also Inside....

         DLRA 10 Year Look Back
         SCOTUS Holds That In-Prison Interrogation Is Not Custodial Per Se
         Retaliation Claim Does Not Survive Summary Judgement 

Vol. 22, No. 1 - February  2012
Failure to Apply New Criteria Results in Reversal of Parole Denial
     Also Inside....

         Liability for Wrongful Confinement
         Summary Judgment Sexual Assault
​         Prescribing OTC Pain Medications Not Deliberate Indifference​

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PLS Newsletters - Pro Se 

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Pro Se Newsletter

Pro Se is a newsletter published bi-monthly by Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York for incarcerated individuals in New York State prisons. Pro Se provides information and analysis on recent developments in the law. Pro Se advises people in prison of changes in the law, provides practice pieces to assist them in complying with statutory and regulatory requirements, and explains technical aspects of various laws affecting prisoners. Pro Se is sent free of charge to individuals incarcerated in New York State who request to be placed on our mailing list.

Pro Se accepts individual subscription requests. With a subscription, a copy of Pro Se will be delivered directly to you bi-monthly. To subscribe, send a subscription request with your name and address (DIN number, and facility if you are incarerated)  to Pro Se, 114 Prospect Street, Ithaca, NY 14850.

Pro Se also appreciates hearing your comments, questions or suggestions about the contents of Pro Se. Please send your comments to: Pro Se, 41 State Street, Suite M112, Albany, NY 12207.

Please do not send requests for legal representation to Pro Se. Requests for legal representation and all other problems should be sent to the PLS office that handles the prison in which the individuals is are incarcerated. Please check our 
Contact Page for office addresses and the facilities they serve.

PLS is grateful for the past support from the New York Bar Foundation which has provided grants in support of our client education efforts, including the printing and distribution of Pro Se, our bi-monthly newsletter for incarcerated New Yorkers.