Gonzalez v. Annucci, 117 N.E.3d 795 (N.Y. 2018)
Nature of Case: Petitioner was convicted of a sex offense and incarcerated. Pursuant to New York state law, he was subject to a period of post-incarceration supervision. A condition of petitioner’s release included that he find housing that was compliant with New York’s Sexual Assault Reform Act (SARA), which imposed, inter alia, residential exclusion zones. Petitioner was unable to locate compliant housing prior to his discharge date, and was transferred to a residential treatment facility where he continued to be held.
NYS law required that the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision must assist inmates who are eligible for community supervision. Petitioner had proposed 58 potential residences, all of which were denied. Petitioner was ultimately placed in a SARA-compliant shelter in Manhattan.
Petioner filed a challenge in state court prior to placement alleging that DOCCS was not in compliance with NYS law regarding assistance that it provides to locate housing. Appellate Division held that DOCCS failed to meet this statutory obligation, and state appealed.
Holding: New York Court of Appeals held that DOCCS did meet its statutory obligation to assist petitioner in finding housing, and concluded that lower court erred in imposing heightened standard on DOCCS with respect to the assistance that it is obligated to provide.
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