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United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
July 20, 1995, Argued ; September 9, 1996, Decided
Docket No. 95-7055
[*1069] AMENDED OPINION
LEVAL, Circuit Judge:
Orange County Department of Probation ("OCDP"), the defendant, [**2] appeals from a decision of the district court awarding declaratory judgment, nominal damages of one dollar, and attorney's fees to plaintiff Robert Warner in his civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Warner claimed that a probation condition imposed on him as part of a criminal sentence, which required him to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous ("A.A."), forced him to participate in religious activity in violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, and that OCDP was responsible, in part because it recommended the A.A. therapy to the sentencing court as a condition of probation. OCDP contends it cannot be liable for Warner's exposure to A.A. pursuant to a sentence imposed by the court. We reject OCDP's arguments, and affirm the judgment.
On November 13, 1990, Warner pleaded guilty to driving drunk and without a license in violation of New York law. N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law §§ 511(2), 1192(1)(McKinney 1986 & Supp. 1996). This was his third alcohol-related driving offense in a period of little [*1070] more than a year. Judge David L. Levinson, of the Town of Woodbury's Justice Court in Orange County, New York, accepted the plea and ordered [**3] the Orange County Department of Probation to prepare a presentence report.
The OCDP's report recommended a term of probation with six special conditions, which the department routinely recommends in cases of defendants with alcohol problems. These included that the probationer "totally abstain from the use of intoxicating beverages," avoid "establishments where the primary business is the sale or consumption of alcohol," and, as the fifth condition, that he "attend Alcoholics Anonymous at the direction of [his] probation officer."
These recommended special conditions were set forth on a standard form rider which OCDP routinely provided to sentencing judges in such cases. Judge Levinson sentenced Warner to three years of probation, imposing the special conditions recommended by the OCDP. In imposing these special conditions, Judge Levinson endorsed the Probation Department's standard form.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
115 F.3d 1068 *; 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 42575 **
ROBERT WARNER, Plaintiff-Appellee, --v.-- ORANGE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION, Defendant-Appellant.
Subsequent History: [**1] As Amended May 14, 1997. Vacated by the Court on Remand May 14, 1997, Reported at: 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 11710. Opinion Reinstated April 19, 1999, Reported at: 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 7512.
Vacated by, Remanded by Warner v. Orange County Dep't of Probation, 115 F.3d 1068, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 11710 (2d Cir. N.Y., 1997)
Prior History: Appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Goettel, J.), after a bench trial, finding the Orange County Department of Probation liable for nominal damages of one dollar, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for violating the First Amendment's Establishment Clause by recommending plaintiff's participation in Alcoholics Anonymous as a condition of his sentence of probation.
Warner v. Orange County Dep't of Probation, 870 F. Supp. 69, 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17962 (S.D.N.Y. 1994)
Warner v. Orange County Dep't of Probation, 870 F. Supp. 69, 1994 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17962 (S.D.N.Y., 1994)
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