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Monday, December 11, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Parolee Wants a Break

BROOKLYN (CN) - A parolee claims in court that being forced to urinate in front of his parole officer as a condition of probation violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Gregory Daskalakis sued the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision on Friday in Federal Court.

Daskalakis says he underwent two surgeries, a week apart, when he was 11. The first was to correct a circumcision, but that surgery was botched. The second surgery was required to fix the errors in the first, and "left plaintiff with permanent physical and mental trauma," he claims in the lawsuit.

He claims that this trauma "manifested as a substantial limit on his quality of life as it relates to his ability to urinate. This is exacerbated when he is required to urinate in public, and especially in front of others."

He says when he's asked to pee under pressure, he suffers from severe anxiety and is unable to urinate, "even for many hours."

The issue first arose when plaintiff was on probation in 1990 when he was required to provide urine samples in front of his probation officer. The Nassau County Court approved his request that he provide blood tests instead.

He was then incarcerated for another crime and released on parole in Nassau County. Given his condition, authorities agreed that he could be searched and allowed to give a sample in the bathroom by himself.

But even then, "it would take him between half an hour and an hour," Daskalakis says.

He says the problem has increased due to stress and prostate problems.

Daskalakis's parole supervision was transferred to New York from Arizona this June, where he served a prison term of nearly 6 of the 7-year sentence he was given for burglary.

His parole is now supervised by defendant New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, but it remains in Arizona, he says.

The NY DOC did not answer a call seeking comment late Friday afternoon.

Daskalakis says he worries that if he's unable to provide urine samples, he could lose parole and be returned to Arizona for violating court orders.

Arizona prison authorities recommended that New York allow him to provide a blood or saliva test; he says he's willing to pay whatever additional fees required to defray the costs.

He saw a urologist in New York to substantiate his problem.

But his new parole officer would not accept any of his information or his explanation and referred him to her supervisor, who told him he had no choice because of his record, he says.

Daskalakis says his new parole officer screamed at him and wrongly accused him of refusing to submit to a urine test, then threatened to send him back to Arizona before ultimately allowing him to take a saliva test on a one-time-only basis.

He fears he will be taken into custody on Oct. 21 based on his disability, which will cause him to lose his job, leave his elderly parents' home and spend days or weeks in custody awaiting Arizona authorities to come to New York to pick him up.

He wants the New York DOC to stop failing to provide reasonable modifications for his disabilities.

He is represented by Peter Brill with Brill Legal Group.

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