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Paul, Weiss Secures Complete Restoration of Board of Correction’s Access to Video Footage From New York City Jails
- Client News
- September 27, 2023
Paul, Weiss secured an agreement with the New York City Department of Correction (DOC) to promptly and completely restore the 24/7 direct video access to city jails historically held by the New York City Board of Correction, an independent governmental body established under the city charter to provide oversight of the DOC and city jails. The DOC’s commitment, set forth in a memorandum of understanding, comes less than two months after we filed an Article 78 petition on the Board’s behalf, and reverses a DOC policy terminating the Board’s longstanding direct video access to the city jails, thereby stripping the Board of a critically important oversight tool.
Paul, Weiss filed the Article 78 proceeding against the DOC, DOC Commissioner Louis Molina, and the city on August 14 after the DOC refused to restore the Board’s video access and the city not only refused to step in but effectively ratified the DOC’s unlawful action. Our petition demanded preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and an order requiring the restoration of the Board’s video access to the same degree it possessed immediately prior to the policy’s introduction on January 9, 2023.
On the evening before the court was to hear argument on the petition, the city required the DOC enter into the memorandum of understanding, which provides essentially all of our requested relief and cements the Board’s significant authority under the city charter. In addition to restoring the Board’s video access, the agreement acknowledges the Board’s authority to evaluate the DOC’s performance, its broad inspection rights and its expansive right to publish video footage and other evidence to appropriate authorities and the public. Pursuant to the memorandum of understanding, the Board’s video access has now been completely restored.
The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation partner Aidan Synnott, special counsel Steven Banks, pro bono attorney Jeremy Benjamin, and corporate associates Rita Gilles and Daina Goldenberg.