Amador v. Superintendents of Dep't. of Correctional Servs., No. 08-2079 (2d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Thirteen present and former female inmates of various New York state prisons appealed from the dismissal of their class action complaint brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief compelling the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) to alter its practices and procedures so as to enhance the protection of the class from sexual assault, abuse, and harassment. The complaint also asserted individual claims for damages. The dismissal was based on the grounds that some of the claims of named plaintiffs were moot and that the remaining named plaintiffs had failed to exhaust available remedies as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PLRA), 42 U.S.C. 1997e. The court held that it lacked pendant appellate jurisdiction over the damages claims. The court also held that the claims for injunctive and declaratory relief by plaintiffs who were now free but were in DOCs custody when they brought suit were not moot. The court applied a relation-back theory and determined that plaintiffs' class claims were capable of repetition, yet evading review. The court further held that three plaintiffs have exhausted applicable internal prison grievance proceedings while the remaining ten have not. Accordingly, the court vacated the judgment in part and remanded for further proceedings.