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New York State Court of Appeals Ruling in Walton v. DOCS Finding Plaintiff's Claims to be Timely and Remanding to Supreme Court

  • Organization: New York State Court of Appeals
  • Document Type: Case law/admin decisions
  • Date Created: Thursday, February 22, 2007
  • Submitted: Thursday, February 22, 2007
  • Attachment(s): PDF

The lawsuit, Walton v. NYSDOCS and MCI, seeks an order prohibiting the State and MCI from charging exorbitant rates to the family members of prisoners to finance a 57.5% kickback to the State and money damages for the recipients of those calls. MCI charges these family members a 630% markup over regular consumer rates to receive a collect call from their loved ones, the only way possible to speak with them. The case was dismissed in 2004 by Judge George Ceresia of the Supreme Court of New York, Albany County, citing issues of timeliness and the Appellate Division affirmed that dismissal in 2006.

The Court held today that plaintiffs acted reasonably in bringing their complaints to the Public Service Commission, the administrative body that regulates telephone rates, before bringing the case in State Court. The Court remanded the case back to the Supreme Court, to rule on whether plaintiffs' Constitutional claims state a cause of action.

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