False Imprisonment, Nursing Homes, and Judicial Immunity

Gross v. Rell, No. 08-2626 (2d Cir. Oct. 27, 2009):

For nearly a year beginning in 2005, Daniel Gross, an octogenarian, had a conservatorship imposed for his estate and person against his will. He was kept in a nursing home for ten months, until a Superior Court judge in Connecticut, citing “a terrible miscarriage of justice,” granted his petition for a writ of habeas corpus and ordered him released. This lawsuit stems from that unfortunate series of events.
It is alleged that a probate court judge signed a facially impossible order that did not comply with the law; the court-appointed attorney disregarded Gross’s wishes to return to his home in New York; the court-appointed conservator forcibly kept Gross in a nursing home, against medical advice; and a nursing home housed Gross with a violent roommate who attacked him. The complaint further alleges that defendant Maggie Ewald, Connecticut’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman at the time, did not act on complaints about Gross’s treatment at the nursing home because of concerns about adverse publicity.
These allegations, if true, might make out a case against the defendants. However, Judge Thomas P. Brunnock, Conservator Kathleen Donovan, Attorney Jonathan Newman, and Grove Manor Nursing Home, Inc. (“Grove Manor”) have asserted absolute immunity to suit: Brunnock has asserted judicial immunity and the other three have asserted quasi-judicial immunity. The District Court agreed and dismissed all claims against those defendants....
The federal common law defense of quasi-judicial immunity applies to Gross’s federal claims, and the similar but distinct state common law defense of quasi-judicial immunity applies to Gross’s state law claims. Connecticut state law is unsettled as to quasi-judicial immunity. Therefore, we certify questions to the Connecticut Supreme Court on the state law claims.
Read the rest here.  Any Connecticut insiders know the story about the names emboldened in the text?  They may be entitled to immunity from suit.  They are not entitled to immunity from public discussion.  Please send me an e-mail if there's corruption that requires the antiseptic of sunlight.

3 comments:

  John C. Kersey

11:25 AM

In 2005 I discovered that 5 Circuit level judges in Rutherford County, TN had selected grand juries illegally for over 10 years. Instead of selecting 12 Grand Jurors as required by law, they selected from 16 to 40 and allowed the forewoman to actually select the grand jurors. She even asked the Grand Jurors if they needed to be let off and she selected the replacement jurors. All of this was in violation of the law. It did not seem to matter that her husband was a partner in a law firm that had represented the county for over 35 years. Imagine trying to get an indictment against a county official. One of these corrupt judges is now Disciplinary Counsel for the Ct. of the Judiciary, which handles complaints against judges, and another of these corrupt judges is "Presiding Judge" of this special court. My complaints against these judges were quickly dismissed. In TN we have what I call an "I pat your back; you pat my back" judiciary.

John Kersey

  Anonymous

5:29 PM

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  Anonymous

5:52 PM

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