Is Absolute Immunity Given to Prison Officials In Cases of Non-Compliance of Directives of Department of Correctional Services ?
In Arteaga v. State of New York (72 NY2d 212)v State of New York (supra), the Court of Appeals held the State absolutely immune from liability in the area of prison discipline when its employees act under the authority of, and in full compliance with, the statutes and regulations and their actions constitute discretionary conduct of a quasi-judicial nature.
There can be no doubt that the absolute immunity defined in Arteaga applies to any discretionary action, even where the reasons may not be verbalized or documented.
In Holloway v. State of New York (285 AD2d 765), claimant sought damages for an alleged wrongful confinement as a result of a disciplinary determination which was reversed based upon lack of compliance with a Department of Correctional Services directive allowing inmates to observe all frisks under certain circumstances.
The directive provides that an inmate be allowed to watch the search of his/her cell unless the inmate presents a danger to the safety and security of the facility.