DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH’S RESCISSION OF REGULATION RENDERED APPEAL “MOOT”
After a Onondaga County Supreme Court judge found in favor of some medical professionals, invalidating a COVID-related regulation which had been issued by the New York State Department of Health, the state secured a stay pending appeal.
By the time the matter was reached by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, the state indicated at oral argument that it was no longer going to enforce the regulation and that it would be repealed. Given that rescission, the AD4 was of the view the controversy was no longer "live," and that the court was precluded from issuing a determination on the merits of the underlying controversy.
It was also of the opinion that none of the governing exceptions to the “mootness doctrine” applied here. While the legality of the COVID-related regulation was “substantial and novel,” since the government's “extraordinary response" wasn’t likely to recur -- “given the once-in-a-century nature of the pandemic" -- the AD4 concluded there was no need to address the merits, and dismissed the appeal.
Any point we make here would clearly be moot.
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Matter of Medical Professionals for Informed Consent, Individually & On Behalf of Its Members, Kristen Robillard, M.D., Zarina Hernandez-Schipplick, M.D., Margaret Florini, A.S.C.P., Olyesya Girich, Rt (r), & Elizabeth Storelli, R.N., Individually & On Behalf of Others Similarly Situated v Bassett