Alfonso Rizzuto, New York City, appellant pro se. Letitia James, Attorney General, Albany (Beezly Kiernan of counsel), for respondents.
Calendar Date: March 21, 2022
Alfonso Rizzuto, New York City, appellant pro se.
Letitia James, Attorney General, Albany (Beezly Kiernan of counsel), for respondents.
Before: Garry, P.J., Pritzker, Reynolds Fitzgerald, Ceresia and Fisher, JJ.
Appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court (McGrath, J.), entered February 11, 2021 in Albany County, which dismissed petitioner's application, in a proceeding pursuant to CPLR article 78, to review determinations denying six grievances.
Petitioner is an incarcerated person who began serving a prison term in May 2017 upon his conviction of burglary in the second degree (People v Rizzuto, 167 A.D.3d 531 , lv denied 33 N.Y.3d 980 ). He thereafter filed 66 inmate grievances over the ensuing 13 months, many voluminous and duplicative of earlier grievances. After repeated warnings and guidance regarding the proper use of the grievance procedure (see 7 NYCRR part 701), petitioner was notified by letter dated June 18, 2018 that, due to his bad faith abuse of the grievance process, he would be permitted no more than two grievances per week; that restriction was thereafter extended several times at successive correctional facilities to which he was moved, based upon his continued misuse of the grievance process. As relevant here, petitioner filed six grievances complaining about, among other things, the grievance restrictions, which were denied by the Central Office Review Committee. In March 2020, petitioner commenced this CPLR article 78 proceeding challenging the denial of the six grievances. Respondents filed an answer and petitioner filed a reply. Supreme Court thereafter dismissed the petition, finding, among other things, that the grievance restriction and extensions thereof had a rational basis. Petitioner appeals.
The record is unclear whether one of the grievances, No. WB-17974-19, which was denied by the Superintendent of Woodbourne Correctional Facility, was reviewed by the Central Office Review Committee.
By subsequent letter of June 18, 2021, the grievance restriction was again extended.
During the pendency of this appeal, petitioner was released to parole supervision on January 26, 2022.
Accordingly, as petitioner is no longer aggrieved by the grievance restrictions and the denial of his grievances, his appeal from the dismissal of his petition is now moot (see Matter of Waters v Central Off. Review Comm. of the Dept. of Corr. & Community Supervision, 142 A.D.3d 1204, 1204 ; Matter of Campbell v Fischer, 105 A.D.3d 1222, 1222 , lv denied 22 N.Y.3d 853 ; Matter of McCants v Le Claire, 14 A.D.3d 736, 736 ; Matter of La Tour v New York State Dept. of Correctional Servs. Cent. Off. Review Comm., 5 A.D.3d 890, 891 ). Further, we do not find that this matter falls within the exception to the mootness doctrine (see Matter of Hearst Corp. v Clyne, 50 N.Y.2d 707, 714 ; cf. Matter of Gonzalez v Annucci, 32 N.Y.3d 461, 470 ).
Garry, P.J., Reynolds Fitzgerald, Ceresia and Fisher, JJ., concur.
ORDERED that the appeal is dismissed, as moot, without costs.