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Paroled New Yorker Wrongfully Confined; Awarded $3,250

Clarence Delaney, Jr. was granted $40 per day for 88 days of unlawful confinement by the State of New York, receiving a total payment of $3,250. He also was able to recover his 42 USC § 1983 filing fee, in a state Court of Claims ruling on May 22, 2019.

Delaney was sentenced on January 6, 2017 to two to four years of parole supervision after completing a 90-day program at Willard Drug Treatment Center. This judgment was recorded in the remarks section at the bottom of Delaney’s Uniform Sentence and Commitment Order. He was to be transferred to Willard within 10 days of arrival to the Department of Corrections reception center and no more than 30 days after the judgment was entered.

Delaney arrived at Downstate Correctional Facility (Downstate) on February 20, 2017, with a post-sentencing classification form that did not mention Willard or his parole supervision. It stated only that Delaney was sentenced to the two to four years with a conditional release date of January 28, 2019. The box marked “Execute as a sentence of parole supervision” was not checked.

Delaney immediately notified Downstate of the error and continued through the grievance procedure when that letter was ignored. Lastly, he filed a 42 USC § 1983 claiming wrongful confinement.

He was transferred to Marcy Correctional Facility before a ruling could be made and the superintendent there decided there had been an error and transferred Delaney to Willard on March 9, 2017. He was released on May 5, 2017.

After a video trial of the pro se claim, Judge Stephen Mignano determined that Delaney had been wrongfully confined for 88 days from February 11, 2017, and that he should be paid $40 per day. See DeLaney v. State, (N.Y. Ct. Cl.), Case No. 2019-029-034. 

 

Related legal case

DeLaney v. State, (N.Y. Ct. Cl.)