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New York Mail Rule Disciplinary Conviction Reversed

The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, of the New York Supreme Court has ordered the removal from a prisoner’s institutional record of a misbehavior report for failing to comply with correspondence rules.

Curtis Davis, a prisoner at New York’s Attica prison, commenced an action pursuant to CPLR Article 78 to annul an administrative determination that he violated “inmate rules 108.13 and 180.11.” The Supreme Court found the misbehavior report and Davis’ own admissions constituted substantial evidence that he had possessed a magazine article about prison escape and had ordered equipment used to pick locks and bypass security systems, which was delivered to his attorney in New York City. Thus, his disciplinary violation for rule 108.13, which prohibits possession of an article or paraphernalia demonstrating a planned escape, was well founded.

There was no evidence, however, that Davis had violated the correspondence procedures of rule 180.11. While he received a letter from a former prisoner named “Sparky,” there was no evidence that Davis corresponded with Sparky while Sparky was incarcerated. Additionally, the misbehavior report stated only that Davis had received the mail, and did not indicate he had “kited” mail or wrote to a party other than the addressee on the exterior of the envelope.

As such, the determination that Davis violated rule 180.11 was ordered annulled and expunged from his institutional record. See: Matter of Davis v. Goord, 39 A.D.3d 1255, 833 N.Y.S.2d 802 (N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept., 2007).

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Related legal case

Matter of Davis v. Goord