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The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs acted within its authority under N.Y. Social Services Law 493 when it required Petitioner to undertake certain remedial measures to correct the systemic problems that led to three sexual assaults at Petitioner’s residential health care facility. The sexual assaults at Petitioner’s facility were committed by the same resident and occurred within a six-month period. After an investigation, the Justice Center substantiated allegations of neglect against Petitioner and required it to undertake certain remedial measures to correct its “systemic problems.” Petitioner brought this N.Y. C.P.L.R. 78 proceeding seeking to annul the Justice Center’s determination, contending that section 493 did not authorize the Justice Center to substantiate a finding of neglect against Petitioner and that the Justice Center’s determination was not supported by substantial evidence. The Appellate Division granted the petition and annulled the Justice Center’s determination. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that section 493 enables the Justice Center to address systemic issues at a facility regardless of whether allegations against a particular employee are also substantiated. View "Anonymous v. Molik" on Justia Law

Posted in: Health Law

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The New York City Board of Health’s promulgation of the flu vaccine falls within the powers specifically delegated to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in New York City Administrative Code 17-109. At issue was the Board’s amendments to the New York City Health Code mandating that children between the ages of six months and fifty-nine months who attend city-regulated child care or school-based programs receive annual influenza vaccinations. Petitioners - parents of children enrolled in child care programs subject to the flu vaccine rules who objected to their children receiving the vaccination - commenced this hybrid N.Y. C.P.L.R. 78 proceeding and declaratory judgment action to enjoin Respondents from enforcing the flu vaccine rules. Supreme Court granted Petitioners’ motion and permanently enjoined Respondents from enforcing the flu vaccine rules. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) the Board permissibly adopted the flu vaccine rules pursuant to its authority to regulate vaccinations; (2) the Board’s actions did not violate the separation of powers doctrine; and (3) the flu vaccine rules are not preempted by state law. View "Garcia v. New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene" on Justia Law

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Because the record in this criminal case failed to establish that the trial court provided counsel with meaningful notice of the precise contents of two substantive jury notes in discharge of a core obligation under N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law 310.30, a mode of proceedings error occurred and a new trial must be ordered. On appeal from their convictions for robbery in the second degree, Defendants Lawrence Parker and Mark Nonni argued, among other things, that the trial court failed to provide counsel with notice of jury requests for information during deliberations. The Court of Appeals reversed the convictions, holding that because there was no record indicating that counsel was informed of the precise contents of two of the jury’s three substantive notes, the court failed to fulfill its obligation under People v. O’Rama, 78 N.Y. 2d 270 (1991), and its progeny. View "People v. Parker" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Because Defendant and the court supervising Defendant’s waiver of the right to indictment by a grand jury followed the procedure set forth under N.Y. Const. art. I, 6 by signing a written instrument in open court in the presence of his counsel, the Court of Appeals affirmed Defendant’s conviction. On appeal from the judgment of conviction and sentence, Defendant argued that his waiver of indictment was invalid because there was no evidence in the record that it was executed in open court and because there was no colloquy with the court on the subject. The Appellate Division upheld the validity of the waiver. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the Constitution precludes a holding that a waiver of the right to indictment by grand jury is ineffective unless a judge conducts an oral inquiry on the record; and (2) contrary to Defendant’s arguments, the record evidenced that the waiver was signed in open court, and there was nothing in the record to suggest that Defendant did not understand what he was waiving. View "People v. Myers" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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At issue was whether the Town of Champion, which replaced a fire protection district with two substitute fire protection districts, complied with its statutory obligation to dissolve and terminate the fire protection district. Petitioners filed this N.Y. C.P.L.R. 78 proceeding claiming that the Town of Champion failed to accomplish and complete the dissolution of the Town of Champion Fire Protection District, as required by the General Municipal Law. Supreme Court dismissed the petition, concluding that the Town followed the required procedures and acted within its authority. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the Town’s actions were not improper because the Town prepared, approved, and implemented a dissolution plan in compliance with the applicable statutory requirements and lawfully created two legally distinct fire protection districts to deliver fire protection services to Town residents, in accordance with Town Law section 170. View "Waite v. Town of Champion" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the Appellate Division concluding that the claims asserted by plaintiff Ambac Assurance Corporation in its appeal from Supreme Court’s judgment in a suit against defendant Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. lacked merit. Ambac, a monoline financial guaranty insurer, agreed to insure payments of principal and interest owed to the holders of residential mortgage-backed securities sponsored by Countrywide. Many of the loans backing those securities went into default following a market downturn, causing substantial losses. Ambac filed suit against Countrywide, alleging that Countrywide breached several contractual representations and warranties and fraudulently induced Ambac to enter into the insurance agreements. The Court of Appeals held that the Appellate Division correctly determined that (1) justifiable reliance and loss causation are required elements of a fraudulent inducement claim; (2) Ambac may only recover damages on its fraudulent inducement claim that flow from nonconforming loans; (3) the remedy for Ambac’s contract claims was limited to the repurchase protocol provided for in the contract’s sole remedy provision; and (4) Ambac was not entitled to attorneys’ fees. View "Ambac Assurance Corp. v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeals held that whether an absolute privilege applies to a communication made in the course of a quasi-judicial proceeding depends on the status of the subject of the communication. New York Downtown Hospital terminated the employment of Plaintiff, a medical scientist, and removed her as chairperson of the hospital’s Institutional Review Board. Dr. Steven Friedman’s statements to the FDA during an investigation of Downtown Hospital’s IRBs about Plaintiff, which discussed the reasons for the removal of Plaintiff from her positions, were published in an Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) released by the FDA. Plaintiff commenced this defamation action against Downtown Hospital, Friedman, and others, asserting that her professional reputation was damaged by the publication of defamatory statements about her made by Friedman to the FDA inspectors. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss. Supreme Court allowed Plaintiff’s defamation claim against Downtown Hospital and Friedman to survive, concluding that the statements were not shielded by an absolute privilege because the FDA’s investigation had none of the indicia of a quasi-judicial proceeding. The Appellate Division reversed, concluding that the complained-of statements were made in a quasi-judicial context in which an absolute privilege protected them. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that Friedman’s statements, as published in the EIR, were not protected by absolute privilege. View "Stega v. New York Downtown Hospital" on Justia Law

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The Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) may withhold payments to recover from Petitioner, the operator of a methadone clinic and provider of Medicaid-covered services, the full $1,857,401 in overpayments assessed following an audit. OMIG notified Petitioner than it had been overpaid $1,857,401 in claims from 2003 through 2007. OMIG informed Petitioner that it had twenty days to agree to settle these claims for a lower amount or OMIG would begin to withhold a percentage of Petitioner’s payments. When Petitioner did not agree to settle after twenty days and failed timely to commence an administrative appeal to challenge the audit findings, OMIG commenced withholding. Petitioner commenced this article 78 proceeding seeking to prohibit OMIG from liquidating the full amount in overpayments and a declaration that OMIG can collect only $1,460,914, the amount for which Petitioner declined to settle. The Court of Appeals held that OMIG was not precluded from seeking to withhold the full $1,857,401 amount. View "West Midtown Management Group, Inc. v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Public Benefits

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The Court of Appeals affirmed Defendant’s conviction for assault in the second degree, holding that Defendant’s claim on appeal were either unpreserved or meritless. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court erred by failing to inquire as to a juror’s impartiality and fairness, as required by People v. Buford, 69 N.Y.2d 290 (1987), and erred by permitting prejudicial testimony about gang customs and practices. The Court of Appeals held (1) Defendant did not preserve for appellate review his claim that the trial court erred in failing to inquire about a juror’s impartiality and fairness; and (2) Defendant’s objection to the challenged testimony as wholly inadmissible was without merit. View "People v. Bailey" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Court of Appeals affirmed the conclusion of the courts below that the finding of the Nassau County Police Officer Indemnification Board that Petitioner’s conduct was not “proper” within the meaning of N.Y. Gen. Mun. Law 50-1 was rational. Petitioner, a Nassau County police officer, commenced this N.Y. C.P.L.R. 78 proceeding seeking a judgment annulling the determination of the Nassau County Police Officer Indemnification Board revoking a prior defense and indemnification determination in favor of Petitioner. At issue was whether Petitioner’s conduct was “proper” under N.Y. Gen. Mun. Law 50-1, which provides for defense and indemnification of Nassau County police officers in civil actions arising out of “a negligent act or other tort of such police officer committed while in the proper discharge” of the officer’s duties and within the scope of the officer’s employment. Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s petition, concluding that the Board rationally concluded that Petitioner’s conduct was not proper. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the Board’s determination that Petitioner’s conduct was not in the “proper discharge of his duties” was not arbitrary and capricious. View "Lemma v. Nassau County Police Officer Indemnification Board" on Justia Law