The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice’s Special Litigation Unit and the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP filed a federal class action complaint Thursday, October 30, 2014, against New York City and current and former Department of Correction Commissioners and Chiefs, challenging the unlawful policy and practice of placing pretrial detainees in solitary confinement as punishment for conduct that occurred during a previous period of detention. Pursuant to the Department of Correction’s policy and practice, pretrial detainees – who have previously been released and then return to City custody – are placed in solitary confinement to serve the balance of solitary confinement days incurred during their prior detention without due process. DOC Policy treats time in solitary confinement from a previous detention (“Old Time”) as a “sentence” that was “interrupt[ed],” punishing pretrial detainees for conduct from a previous detention even if it is far removed in time and circumstance.
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Seymour W. James, Jr., Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society, announced the appointment of Justine M. Luongo as the Attorney-in-Charge of the Criminal Practice. Justine, known as Tina to all, graduated from Brooklyn Law School where she co-chaired LEGALS and was a member of the Moot Court Trial Team.
Jim Dwyer's About New York Column featured a Legal Aid client with no priors who was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor because a minuscule amount of marijuana was found in the car in which he was a passenger. He denies any knowledge of the pot.
Acting Supreme Court Justice Sheryl Parker ruled in a Legal Aid case that the Department of Correction cannot hold people beyond the end of their sentences based on detention requests from federal immigration authorities without a court order or probably cause.
Adriene Holder, the Attorney-in-Charge of the Civil Practice, will be honored on Friday, October 24, by the Met Council on Housing at the organization's annual gala. Mayor de Blasio, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, and Public Advocate Tish James will be on hand to honor Ms. Holder, Sam Himmelstein, Gloria Sukenick, and Scott Sommer.
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