In re Edghill v. Perez, No. 19809-06, Supreme Court, Westchester County; Edghill v. State, Claim No. 112986 Court of Claims, Westchester County

Nature of Claims: The plaintiff gave birth on Rikers Island and under state law had a right to have her infant with her in the nursery on Rikers Island. She was denied that right on the ground that she had a “history” with the Administration of Children’s Services, which was not the case. She filed an administrative appeal but was transferred to state custody and never received a response. In the state prison system, she was again denied the right to have her child with her in the prison nursery, even after PRP obtained proof from ACS that in fact she had no “history” inconsistent with having her child with her. Instead, they transferred her to a prison several hundred miles away, where she would not even have been able to have visits with her child.

Current Status: In cooperation with pro bono counsel Darby & Darby, we filed an Article 78 petition challenging the state prisons’ refusal to allow Ms. Edghill custody on October 10, 2006. On October 19, counsel learned that she had been transferred to the nursery at Taconic Correctional Facility and her child was to be (and was) returned to her on October 24, 2006. The Article 78 petition was dismissed as moot. We then filed a damages claim in the State Court of Claims with pro bono counsel, which was dismissed as more properly brought against the City. Along with pro bono counsel at Goodwin Proctor, we now have brought a damages claim against the City which is currently pending. The case should be tried in 2010 unless it is settled.

Reported decisions: Edghill v. State of New York, #2007-029-023, Claim No. 112986, Motion Nos. M-72795, M-73105.