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New York Prison Disciplinary Procedures Violate Due Process, But That’s OK

The U.S. Southern District of New York determined that prisoners’ due process rights were violated, but found in favor of defendants.

Abdel-Jabbor Malik, a New York state prisoner, was served with an “Inmate Misbehavior Report” for violating prison disciplinary rules. Defendant was the disciplinary captain, and pursuant to N.Y. Correctional Rules and regulations, the Captain prepared and served Malik more than 24 hours prior to the hearing. At that point, Malik had a choice of employee assistance, but refused the help. The disciplinary Captain ran the case without Malik present.

Subsequently, Malik filed a civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 due to the unfair disciplinary proceeding. While Malik’s civil action was pending, he filed numerous motions for injunctive relief based on retaliation by several officers not named in the law suit. His claims included food contamination and being subject to cruel and unusual punishment.

The District Court determined that pursuant to New York state law, the defendants held a proper hearing; though the hearing did violate Malik’s due process rights. Even so, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant based upon 11th Amendment immunity. All applications for injunctive relief were denied.

See: Malik v. Tanner, 697 F. Supp 1294 (SDNY 1988).

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Related legal case

Malik v. Tanner