Antrobus v. Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Rights

New York Law Journal

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Judge Andrew Carter

Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center treats individuals—held under Criminal Procedure Law §730—so as to rehabilitate them to stand trial. Antrobus was a patient from Aug. 3, 2011 to Oct. 27, 2011. District court dismissed his pro se Oct. 18, 2011, complaint asserting First Amendment rights violations arising from alleged interference with his mail. Antrobus failed to exhaust all administrative remedies. His complaint was filed while in Mid-Hudson under an order finding him unfit to stand trial on criminal charges. Thus, he was a "prisoner" under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, whose exhaustion requirement applied. Discussing Mid-Hudson's grievance policy, the court found Antrobus' allegations insufficient to conclude that he properly exhausted his remedies. Application of the three-part analysis in Hemphill v. New York was fatal to Antrobus' claims. Among other things Mid-Hudson's Patient Information Handbook set forth the procedures for filing a complaint in simple, clear terms. Also, Antrobus' claims that there were barriers to filing grievances were implausible. Due to the complete lack of clarity concerning those allegations, Mid-Hudson and its codefendants should not be estopped from raising exhaustion as a defense.

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