Pre-Trial Release Of Coronavirus Vulnerable Inmates Using NY’s Criminal AND Civil Courts: Part 1 Of 2

Both New York State’s civil and criminal courts provide procedures to have inmates waiting for trial released based upon heightened susceptibility to death from coronavirus due to “co-morbidities”. Co-morbidities include a wide variety of medical conditions, not limited to respiratory disease, as well as old age, that make certain inmates much more susceptible to death from coronavirus than young, healthy inmates.

Proceedings can be brought in either a criminal court or a civil court in New York to request the release of an inmate with a co-morbidity that makes the inmate especially vulnerable to death from COVID-19. The decision of which court to use will depend upon the inmate’s particular circumstances.

Both the civil and criminal court options are available in COVID-19 release cases. If we do not succeed in one court, we can go to the other.

This post pertains to a proceeding to obtain an inmate’s release by making a motion in a criminal court.  In New York City, the criminal courts consist of the regular Criminal Court where nearly all criminal cases start and finish, and the Criminal Term of the Supreme Court where felony cases are tried if they are not settled in the Criminal Court.

Option 1:  Motion for Temporary Release Through New York’s Bail Reform Act in a Criminal Court

New York State’s Bail Reform Act allows for the temporary release of pretrial inmates under “compelling” circumstances. Public defenders have secured the release of thousands of inmates waiting for trial by making motions for the release of inmates under the Bail Reform Act.

However, many COVID-19 vulnerable inmates have been left behind, and experienced private criminal attorneys are necessary to assure that all inmates who can escape a death sentence from coronavirus infection are released as soon as humanly possible.

Our “criminal history”:

Prior to dedicating its practice to representation of victims of foreclosure fraud and other financial crimes after the previous financial collapse in 2008, LeNoir Law Firm represented clients in numerous felony and misdemeanor cases in New York State and federal courts.

In fact, we started handling criminal cases as soon as our doors opened in 1995. We know our way around the criminal courts of New York State, especially those of New York City. We are well equipped to take aggressive action in any criminal court to obtain the prompt release of any inmate vulnerable to death from coronavirus infection.

Our next blog post will discuss Option 2:  a different proceeding under New York’s habeas corpus law that can be brought in a civil court (Supreme Court or County Court) to accomplish the same goal of releasing an inmate who is waiting for trial (and presumed innocent under the Constitution) based upon high susceptibility to death from COVID-19.

If you are concerned about an inmate dying from coronavirus infection while waiting for trial, we encourage you to call LeNoir Law Firm immediately to learn your legal options. You have nothing to lose and may save an innocent inmate’s life.

S. John LeNoir, Esq.

2585 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, NY 10025
Tel:  212-531-0284