First, the good news, Gov. Hochul’s quarantine camp regulation no longer exists. It was struck down by New York Supreme Court Judge Ronald Ploetz in July of 2022. Hochul put the regulation (10 NYCRR 2.13) in place on an emergency basis, which means it had to be renewed every 90 days. The initial Court decision forbade the Governor from renewing the regulation and it lapsed. So right now, the quarantine camp regulation no longer exists.
Now, the bad news, the recent Appellate Division decision overturning Ploetz’s order gives Governor Hochul a green light to re-introduce the regulation. She has not done so yet, and we need to persuade her not to do it again.
Use the panel at the right to send a message to Governor Hochul expressing your opposition to the reintroduction of a new Quarantine Camp Regulation.
Contact Governor Hochul’s office and her social media to let her know you oppose any new Quarantine Camp Regulation.
Governor Kathy Hochul (518) 474-8390, (212) 681-4580
Fax (518) 474-1513
Gov. Kathy Hochul,
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Bobbie Anne Cox, the attorney who represented a group of legislators and a community organization in the lawsuit, argued that the quarantine camp regulation was so wildly out-of-sync with the 70-year-old New York quarantine law as to amount to the Governor creating entirely new laws under her own authority. That is a violation of the State Constitution. The Appellate Division avoided saying anything about the merits of the case and held that the legislators did not have standing to sue the state since they did not suffer personnel harm as a result of the regulation. The Appellate Division decision significantly narrows the basis for legislators to challenge attempts by the Governor to make new laws under the guise of regulations. Cox has announced she will be appealing to the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court.
The regulation would have allowed public health authorities to seize anybody suspected of having been exposed to a communicable disease and hold them for an indefinite period. No proof that a person is infected would be required, no court order would be necessary, and there is no due process. New York law requires public health authorities to prove in court that a person is indeed infected and that they are not voluntarily complying with standard stay-at-home quarantine measures. Detained people could be placed anywhere in the state the public health authorities choose. New York law requires a person quarantined by court order to be released as soon as they are no longer infectious. The regulation included no language at all on how a detained person was to be released since no actual infection was required for seizure and detention.
Judge Ploetz got it exactly right when he found that Rule 2.13 unacceptably gives the "Commissioner of Health unfettered discretion to issue a quarantine or isolation for anyone, even if there is no evidence that person is infected or a carrier of the disease. Further, the Commissioner sets the terms, duration, and location of the detention, not an independent magistrate as required by New York longstanding quarantine law Public Health Law Sec. 2120."
Judge Ploetz also held that the separation of powers was violated, "The key issue in this action concerns the separation of powers. Article III Sec. 1 of the New York State Constitution endows the Legislature with exclusive power to make laws, while Article IV gives the Executive Branch power to execute and administer the laws. To determine whether administrative rule making crosses the line into improper lawmaking, four factors established by the seminal case of Boreali v. Axelrod While none of the Boreali factors are individually conclusive, when considered together, this Court finds that adoption of Rule 2.13 was invalid in light of the preexisting provisions adopted by the Legislature in Public Health Law Sec. 2120."
Governors do not have the authority to rule by decree. Not yet anyway. Let’s make sure it stays that way.