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Articles by David M. Reutter

Florida Prisoner Left a Quadriplegic After Brutal Beating by Guards

by David M. Reutter

On August 21, 2019, prison guards at the Lowell Correctional Institution (LCI) near Ocala, Florida allegedly beat Cheryl Weimar “to within an inch of her life” because the 51-year-old prisoner – who was left a quadriplegic following the attack – refused to clean a toilet, according ...

Fourth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Virginia Prisoner’s Hep C Lawsuit

by David M. Reutter

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held on September 4, 2019 that prison officials responsible for a policy that prevented a Virginia prisoner from receiving treatment for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) could be found deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs.

That ruling came in ...

Companies Compete to Build New Alabama Prisons

by David M. Reutter

In the face of a looming federal lawsuit over conditions inside its prison system, Alabama is moving forward with a $900 million plan to build three new men’s facilities. Five companies have submitted a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) to be considered for the project.

As PLN ...

Qualified Immunity Denied when Pretrial Detainees Deprived of Water at Illinois Jail

by David M. Reutter

On August 12, 2019, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied qualified immunity to officials at Illinois’ Lake County Adult Correctional Institution (LCACI) who deprived pretrial detainees of sufficient water and sanitation for three days.

The matter was before the appellate court after the defendants, Sheriff ...

California Appellate Court Discusses Appointment of Counsel for Incarcerated Litigants

by David M. Reutter

California’s Fifth Appellate District held on August 6, 2019 that trial courts are responsible for recognizing their discretionary duty to appoint counsel and experts to ensure indigent civil prisoner litigants are afforded meaningful access to the courts.

Before the Appellate District was an appeal brought by ...

Florida Victims’ Rights Law Creates Confusion, Limits Time for Appeals

by David M. Reutter

A constitutional amendment passed by Florida voters in November 2018 requires that victims’ privacy must be protected, in order to prevent retaliation after the criminal (or alleged criminal) is released from prison or jail, whether after completion of a sentence or on bond. However, details regarding ...

Class Action Certified in Pennsylvania Jail Gender Discrimination Suit

by David M. Reutter and Matt Clarke

A civil rights case alleging Berks County, Pennsylvania denied equal protection to female prisoners classified as trustees has been certified as a class action. After issuing a preliminary injunction to two different prisoners, the federal district court found that piecemeal injunctions for short-term ...

$8,500 Settlement in Allegheny County Jail Sexual Harassment Suit

by David M. Reutter

Officials in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania paid $8,500 to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by a former female guard.

Tanisha Ramsey started working at the Allegheny County Jail on June 30, 2015. While being trained, she “began to be subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment from Major ...

$860,000 Settlement in Suit Over Michigan Female Prisoner’s Suicide

by David M. Reutter

The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) agreed to pay $860,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the estate of a female prisoner who hanged herself after a guard placed a bet on whether she would become suicidal.

Janika Edmond, 25, had a documented history of “multiple ...

West Virginia Regional Jails Entitled to Sovereign Immunity

by David M. Reutter

In May 2019, a circuit court held the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority was entitled to sovereign immunity in a lawsuit seeking payment for prisoner medical bills.

The suit was brought by Cabell Huntington Hospital to recover $168,985.65 for medical care provided to ...