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Michigan DOC Employees Immune From State Court Damages for Raping Women Prisoners

The Michigan Court of Appeals has held that claims for monetary damages from violations of The Michigan Constitution do not exist against individual government employees. Such claims, however, may ensue for violations of Michigan's Civil Rights Act.

The ruling came in a class action lawsuit by women incarcerated in The Michigan Department of Corrections. The nexus of their claims are sexual harassment and abuse by male guards.

The Court held its prior precedents hold that a remedy of monetary damages for violations of The Michigan Constitution in actions against a municipality or an individual government employee is not allowed. Claims under Michigan's Civil Rights Act, however, are allowed against individuals because it prohibits an individual person from engaging in conduct proscribed by The Act.

The Civil Rights Act, however, does not apply to prisoner actions after March 10, 2000. On that date, The Michigan legislature amended The Act to specifically state it does not include actions or decisions regarding a person under a sentence of imprisonment in "a state or county correctional facility"

See: Neal v. Department of Corrections, 2005 WL 326883 (Mich. App. 2005)

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Related legal case

Neal v. Department of Corrections