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$150 Jury Award in Prisoner’s Destroyed Property Claim

The California Department of Corrections paid $150.00 to settle a prisoner’s due process violation claim.

In his complaint, Prisoner Gregory L. Rhoades claimed staff at the Corcoran Correctional Institute destroyed personal property, which consisted of family photos, his mother’s wedding ring, and Native American religious artifacts including feathers, and sacred herbs (“sage, sweetgrass, tobacco, copol, and bitter root”). Also destroyed were a medicine bag, beaded wrist bands, and a beaded necklace.

Rhoades, an indigent Native American with no family to send the personal property to, asked that his property be stored under the prison’s “operation manual” section 54030.11 (temporary housing and returns), which provides, “property for inmates placed in temporary ad-seg and special housing units shall be stored in R&R or in ad-seg property rooms.”

After exhausting the grievance process, Rhoades filed a civil rights complaint on May 19, 2005. On November 24, 2009, a jury awarded Rhoades $150.00 on his complaint. See: Rhoades v. Alamieda, USDC, E.D. California, Case No. cv-f-02-5476.

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Related legal case

Rhoades v. Alamieda