People (ex rel. Welch) v. Warden, Rikers island Correctional Facility
Justice Dominic Massaro
Welch sought a writ of habeas corpus to vacate a pending warrant based on his claim respondents illegally detained him by failing to transfer him for drug rehabilitation to Willard Drug Treatment. He argued respondents violated their own regulations by failing to enroll him in Willard within a reasonable time, thus causing him to be incarcerated beyond the time agreed to in his plea at a final parole revocation hearing. Welch believed the delay in transferring him to Willard meant he would serve more than the 90 days a hearing officer approved for him in the plea bargain. Respondents sought dismissal, arguing as Welch was transferred to Willard, habeas relief was moot. The court denied Welch's writ finding respondents did not illegally detain him especially because the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) was awaiting New York City's conclusion concerning Welch's "state ready" status. DOCCS argued Welch could not be regarded "state ready" when he was subject to further criminal prosecution pending after the final parole revocation hearing. Also, the court noted the fact Welch was at Willard currently, moots his relief.