Francis v. Fiacco, No. 18-1011 (2d Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action against four state defendants, alleging that they violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by holding him in state custody for four months after the expiration of his federal sentence, where the state sentencing court had originally directed that plaintiff's state and federal sentences should run concurrently. The district court denied the state defendants' motion for summary judgment.
The Second Circuit held that, under Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976), the state defendants violated the Due Process Clause by implementing plaintiff's sentence in the manner they did without providing adequate notice to the state sentencing court and the attorneys present at plaintiff's state sentencing. The court held, nonetheless, that the state defendants were entitled to qualified immunity from all of plaintiff's constitutional claims. In regard to the Fourteenth Amendment claim, the court held that there was no clearly established law considering whether prison officials implementing a state sentence violate the Constitution by failing to provide notice to the sentencing court and attorneys. Likewise, in regard to the Eighth Amendment claim, there was not clearly established right the state defendants violated in this case. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded with instructions to grant the motion for summary judgment.