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Articles by Christopher Zoukis

$125,000 Awarded to Pennsylvania Prisoner over Excessive Force by Guards

by Christopher Zoukis

Cornell L. Warren, a diabetic prisoner held in a Pennsylvania state prison, was awarded $125,000 in damages after a jury found that a guard used excessive force against him that resulted in a broken finger.

     The problem began on December 13, 2007, when Warren allegedly ...

$190,000 for Man Falsely Arrested and Maliciously Prosecuted by NYPD

by Christopher Zoukis

A man who was arrested by New York City police officers without probable cause or evidence, then maliciously prosecuted before the charges were dropped, was awarded $190,000 as a result of his federal civil rights lawsuit.

     On May 15, 2008, Joshua Marshall was leaving a ...

Pennsylvania Prisoner Receives Settlement from Guards over Excessive Force Suit

by Christopher Zoukis

 A prisoner who was maced, restrained and unnecessarily disciplined agreed to a settlement with Pennsylvania guards in exchange for dropping his federal civil rights lawsuit alleging excessive force.

     On February 8, 2008, Allen Jerome Supples was sprayed with mace twice by prison guards and placed in a restraining chair for four-and-a-half hours. The guards allegedly refused Supples’ requests to use the bathroom, causing him to urinate and defecate on himself. He was subsequently reassigned to a restrictive housing unit.

     Supples claimed that after this incident, Sergeant Larry McConahy filed unjustified disciplinary charges against him. He argued that he was not allowed to challenge the charges, and that a complaint he made in 2007 about a Captain Rhodes who used racial epithets and physically assaulted prisoners was never investigated. Supples is African-American.

     On August 25, 2009, Supples filed a complaint in federal court against Warden Charles Adamo, Assistant Warden R. Porada, Charles Luffy, Brian Luffy, and two other prison officials and employees. He argued that the defendants’ unjustified and excessive force violated his Eighth Amendment rights, and he made claims of physical injuries, pain and suffering, mental anguish and psychological trauma.

     Most of the ...

$99,000 Settlement Reached in Negligent Enforcement of Protection Order Case

 by Christopher Zoukis

The family of Jessica Ann Monroe-Mead agreed to a $99,000 settlement with the county of Newaygo, Michigan, and the sheriff to settle a civil rights claim alleging failure to properly respond to and enforce a domestic violence protection order and failing to protect Monroe-Mead from being ...

California Prisoner Moved to Formerly Condemned Facility with No Bed Settles Civil Rights Suit

by Christopher Zoukis

David C. Moore, a California prisoner who was temporarily sent to a different prison and assigned to a cell with no bed, the conditions of which caused him back pains, headaches and allergies, reached a settlement with prison officials.

     On August 8, 2009, a prison riot resulted in extensive damage to the California Institute for Men (CIM) in Chino. Moore, who was one of several prisoners at the CIM who was temporarily relocated to a different facility, was transferred to the Herman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility (YCF) on September 14. The YCF was previously condemned, and Moore was put in a cell that had no bed, where he suffered from back pains, headaches and allergies.

     On June 9, 2010, Moore filed a pro se civil rights complaint in federal court against CIM Warden Aref Pakhoury, CIM Associate Warden L. E. Moser, Correctional Captain T. Diaz, Correctional Lieutenant A. Lazarus and Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Matthew C. Cates.

     He alleged that the defendants failed to provide him with adequate housing and medical treatment, and that the living conditions inflicted unnecessary pain in violation of the Eighth Amendment. He also ...

Sikh Harassed for Refusing to Cut Beard Settles Civil Rights Suit with California Prison Officials

by Christopher Zoukis

A practicing Sikh in a California prison who refused to cut his beard for religious reasons when ordered by guards agreed to a settlement with the prison system and officials.

     On March 22, 2007, Kanwaljit Singh Hundal was told by guards at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe to cut his facial hair. Because not cutting his hair was a part of his faith, he refused. Hundal alleged that, as a result, he was harassed, received disciplinary citations for offenses he did not commit, and had his fan and typewriter taken away.

     In April 2008, Hundal filed a civil rights complaint in federal court against J. Salazar, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and several wardens and prison guards. Hundal alleged that he was persecuted and harassed for practicing his faith, violating his First Amendment right to religious freedom, and his equal protection rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. He requested that the defendants remove the disciplinary write-ups from his record, release him from his current prison status, and return all prison good time credits lost.

     Hundal reached a settlement with the defendants on May 21, 2012, and the ...

$78,214 Awarded to Massachusetts Prisoner Assaulted by Other Inmates

by Christopher Zoukis

A prisoner incarcerated in the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (MDOC) who warned guards of an impending attack, was assured by them of his safety, and then attacked, was awarded $78,214 by a Superior Court jury.

     Dennis Pritchard, 58, began receiving threats of assault by another ...

Kentucky Jail Guard Receives $60,000 Jury Award in Sexual Harassment Suit

 A female corporal at the Fayette County Jail in Kentucky who was sexually harassed by her male supervisors was awarded $60,000 after a jury agreed with her harassment claim but rejected her claim of assault and retaliation.

     Charlotte Trotter began working at the Fayette County Jail in 2000 ...

Visually Impaired Missouri Prisoner Receives Settlement Over Denial of Reasonable Accommodations

by Christopher Zoukis

Richard Ruffin, a prisoner at the Missouri Eastern Correctional Center (MECC), received an enforced settlement with the prison and prison officials, one aspect of which provides him with enlarged-text materials that he is able to read with his visual disability.

     Ruffin was suffering from end-stage glaucoma while he was imprisoned at MECC. He was unable to read standard-sized text, so he allegedly made several reasonable accommodation requests for material that would allow him to be able to equally participate in services, programs and activities. Daily call-out sheets that notify prisoners of appointments were printed in type too small for him to read, resulting in missed medical appointments for which he was disciplined. He also requested a guidance cane, magnifiers, telescopic glasses and a footlocker with a keypad lock. His requests were denied by Dr. John Williams. Upon review, Health Services Administrator Angela Henderson affirmed the denial. Finally, Ruffin’s requests were denied by Warden Jennifer Sachse.

     On April 6, 2010, Ruffin filed a pro se complaint in federal court against Williams, Henderson, Sachse, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator and Deputy Warden Mike Layden, MECC Medical Administrator Jane Doe, MECC and the Missouri Department of Corrections ...

Assaulted Detainee Settles with Louisiana Jail over Deliberate Indifference to His Safety

by Christopher Zoukis

A mentally ill jail Louisiana detainee who was beaten by fellow inmates after urinating on another detainee’s shoes agreed to a settlement with jail employees regarding his civil rights suit.

On April 16, 2004, Stephen Stewart was placed on probation over a felony drug charge and misdemeanor battery charge, and was in drug and mental health programs because of his history of mental instability. Two years later, when he failed to appear at a hearing, an arrest warrant was issued.

On August 15, 2006, Stewart was arrested and placed in the custody of Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman. Rather than take Stewart to court or a mental health facility, Gusman had G. Brisco place him in general jail population. Sixteen days later Stewart urinated on a fellow detainee’s shoes while delusional and was severely beaten by other jail detainees.

     Stewart was examined by Glenn Steeb, a jail doctor, who had Stewart sent to Chabert Medical Center, Houma. He was then transferred to the Medical Center of Louisiana in New Orleans. While under the care of John P. Hunt, Stewart was discharged by Keraf Sherafgan on September 5 and returned to the general jail population. On September ...


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