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Articles by David M. Reutter

Lawsuits Challenge Florida Law that Undermines Voting Rights Ballot Initiative

by David M. Reutter

Organizations that supported Amendment 4 – a 2018 ballot initiative to amend the Florida Constitution to restore voting rights to most people with felony convictions – have sued to block a new law that not only undermines the intent of the initiative but also “creates wealth-based ...

Third Circuit Affirms Refusal to Appoint Successive Counsel in Prisoner’s Civil Rights Case

by David M. Reutter

In a precedential ruling, on June 19, 2019, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a district court did not abuse its discretion when it declined to appoint successive counsel in a prisoner’s civil rights action after initialcounsel withdrew from the case.

In 2010, Pennsylvania ...

Connecticut Prison Writing Program Leads to Lawsuits

by David M. Reutter

Wally Lamb was an English teacher when he published his first novel, She’s Come Undone, in 1992. It became a huge hit after Oprah Winfrey selected it for her book club. In 1999, Lamb began a writing workshop at a Connecticut women’s prison, the York Correctional ...

Third Circuit: Showers Part of Prison Operations for ADA and RA Purposes

by David M. Reutter

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held on August 8, 2019 that the provision of showers “is a part of the programs, activities, or services” referred to by the Rehabilitation Act (RA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The appellate court concluded that prison officials ...

Fourth Circuit: Three Tasings in 70 Seconds May Constitute Excessive Force

by David M. Reutter

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a grant of summary judgment to guards who tased a prisoner three times during a 70-second period. In its May 10, 2019 ruling, the appellate court also found error in the district court’s dismissal of a defendant for failure ...

Michigan Prisoner Prevails in First Amendment Retaliation Case; $30,000 in Damages and Attorney Fees

by David M. Reutter

A Michigan federal district court has awarded $18,325.28 in attorney fees and costs in a prisoner’s civil rights action, which followed a jury verdict on First Amendment retaliation and conspiracy claims that totaled $11,500.

Prisoner Arthur L. Campbell was housed at the Mound Road Correctional Facility ...

Hepatitis C Treatment Ordered in North Carolina Prisons

by David M. Reutter

A federal district court in North Carolina has ordered expanded hepatitis C (HCV) treatment in a class-action suit brought by three state prisoners. The court’s entry of a preliminary injunction on March 20, 2019 enjoined the NC Department of Public Safety (DPS) from enforcing its existing ...

$157,000 Settlement in Michigan DOC Employee Discrimination Case

by David M. Reutter

The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) agreed to pay $157,500 to settle a lawsuit alleging it had discriminated against a female prison guard.

Merrianne Weberg, 58, began working for the MDOC in 1992 and was promoted to sergeant in 1995 while at the Western Wayne Correctional ...

Arkansas: Private Prison Contractors Cited for Ethics Violations

by David M. Reutter

The Arkansas Ethics Commission (AEC) issued letters of caution to four companies that provide corrections-related services, for failing to report contributions to the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association.

The companies, Tech Friends, Inc., City Tele Coin Co., Justice Solutions and Correct Solutions, LLC, agreed with the AEC’s August ...

Three Louisiana Prisoners Cleared in 1994 Rape of Another Prisoner

by David M. Reutter

After 25 years of proclaiming their innocence in a rape case, three Louisiana prisoners accepted plea bargains that cleared their way for release. The plea offer came after the victim recanted his testimony in April 2018.

While serving a year-long sentence for burglary, Byron Morgan, who ...