Judge Robert Patterson

Pollack is confined at the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center (MHFPC). Although released from representation in a habeas challenge to continued confinement, the Mental Hygiene Legal Service (MHLS) advocates for him on other matters. An order granted Pollack online access to legal research websites. Pollack asserted that MHFPC requires he use MHLS for his “legal pursuits” but that because “MHLS decrees they do only Mental Hygiene work” he cannot prepare for his proceedings absent a law library. The court denied MHFPC judgment on the pleadings. As to MHFPC retention proceedings, Pollack’s representation by MHLS was a constitutionally acceptable alternative to a law library under Bounds v. Smith. However, the court was not provided evidence MHLS will represent Pollack in his pending habeas petition. When originally filed, Pollack lacked adequate legal assistance to challenge MHFPC confinement until the order. If the court were to dismiss Pollack’s action, its order awarding him temporary injunctive relief would not remain in effect and Pollack would again lack access to a law library to challenge his retention at MHFPC or any unconstitutional conditions of his confinement.