Stevens v. City of New York

Civil Rights

New York Law Journal


Judge Jesse Furman

Stevens was held at Rikers Island's George R. Vierno Center (GRVC) from June 2010 through March 2012. His shoes were replaced with larger Department of Correction (DOC) footwear that pinched nerves and caused pain and bleeding. Other footwear was also confiscated. Despite prescriptions including medical notes for supportive footwear, deputy warden Perez and captain Butler refused to help Stevens. The court dismissed Stevens' complaint alleging Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment violations. On claims that the confiscations deprived him of property absent due process, the court found Stevens did not allege the deprivation part of GRVC practice or procedure. Further, because New York provides an adequate post-deprivation remedy in the form of state law causes of action for negligence, replevin or conversion, the availability of an adequate state remedy precluded relief under 42 USC §1983. The state action constitutes the process due. Citing Martin v. City of N.Y. and Williams v. Dep't of Corr., the court noted that courts in the circuit held that pain and problems resulting from being forced to wear institutional footwear are not serious enough to meet the deliberate indifference standard's objective prong.

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