NYS Court Of Claims Grants Movant Gladstone Taylor Late Claim Motion Over Inaccurate Results Of Drug Screening Test And Wrongful Incarceration

November, 2021

The New York State Court of Claims granted Gladstone Taylor the right to file a late claim over a false positive that appeared in his drug screening test. The court found that the correction officers knew the tests provided by Microgenics Corporation were faulty and Mr. Taylor’s due process rights were violated during the disciplinary hearings.

On June 26, 2019, Mr. Taylor was transferred and admitted to the Temporary Release Program (TRP) at the Fishkill Correctional Facility which allowed him to spend five days and four nights a week at home and allowed to work at his job while he was incarcerated. On January 9, 2020, he was given a Microgenics drug test, which came positive for opiates. The movant believed the test results to be wrong because he never took opiates. Three days later, a corrections officer told him he was removed from the TRP. An Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator (ORC) wrote up Mr. Taylor for drug use and violating TRP rules.

The movant was transferred to a general population dormitory to Fishkill Correctional Facility on January 22, 2020, and his good behavior and privileges were revoked. Before his disciplinary hearing on January 29, 2020, he requested a second urinalysis using his sample. A second urinalysis was not conducted, and he was told his sample was discarded. During his hearing, the hearing officer threatened to revoke the movant’s privileges if he contested the ticket; the ORC said he would never go home if he didn’t plead guilty. Mr. Taylor did not plead guilty and, as a result, was found guilty by the hearing officer. He later appealed and, on March 26, 2020, he was released without explanation.

On May 18, 2021, Mr. Taylor filed a late claim motion for wrongful incarceration. The state argued that the motion was filed after the statute of limitations expired (movant’s motion was filed more than one year after release from parole). But Mr. Grant argued that then-Governor Andrew Cuomo signed executive orders tolling statute of limitations from March 20, 2020 through November 3, 2020. Furthermore, the number of days of tolling — 242 days — that if subtracted from the number of days between the release from parole and the filing — 418 days — is 176 days. As such, the instant late claim motion was timely filed before the statute of limitations expired.

On October 27, 2021, the Court of Claims granted Mr. Taylor his late file claim motion. The court found that he was given a faulty drug test, his constitutional rights were violated and was denied due process during his hearing and he was wrongfully incarcerated.
Fred Brewington of The Law Offices of Frederick K. Brewington represented the movant.