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Disciplinary Rule Description Rather than Title Controls

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has held that "it is the content of what is contained under a title that is critical in most instances, not the title" of a "disciplinary rule"(DR). That ruling comes in the appeal of a dismissed habeas corpus petition challenging a DR for rape received by West Virginia prisoner Jackie C. Snider.

Snider was taken to see a nurse at St. Mary's Correctional Institution. During the visit, he asked the nurse why he experienced bleeding in his scrotum. Snider told the nurse he believed it occurred as a result of "choking his tube" in the shower. He then asked the nurse to have sex with him and "ran his hand over [her] breast." Snider was charged with and convicted of a DR for rape.

He challenged that because no penetration occurred. The Court held the rule prohibits a prisoner from attempting to physically force another person to submit to any sexual act, and Snider's action was just that. The trial court's denial of habeas relief was affirmed. See: Snider v. Fox, 218 W.Va. 663, 627 S.E.2d 353 (W.Va. 2006).

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Related legal case

Snider v. Fox