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Articles by David Reutter

Miami’s Sex Offender Bridge Encampment Continues to Grow

by David M. Reutter

Population: 52. That’s how many sex offenders have been forced to live under the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami, Florida as of March 2009. In late 2007, the population was only 19. [See: PLN, June 2008, p.1].

With city and county laws creating restricted residency zones, ...

No Qualified Immunity for Pepper Spraying Alabama Prisoner; Case Settles After Remand

by David M. Reutter

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that pepper spraying a prisoner, keeping him in a small cell for longer than necessary to gain his compliance, and not allowing him to decontaminate properly or receive medical care after being sprayed can constitute excessive force and deliberate ...

Pro Se Muslim Prisoner Reaches Religious Rights Settlement Agreement with Virginia Prison Officials

Pro Se Muslim Prisoner Reaches Religious Rights Settlement Agreement with Virginia Prison Officials

by David M. Reutter

A pro se Virginia prisoner has entered into a settlement agreement with prison officials that provides him a $2,250 cash payment and a change in policies surrounding the provision to allow prisoners to ...

Lawsuits Challenge Prohibition on Prisoner Pen-Pal Services in Indiana, Florida

Lawsuits Challenge Prohibition on Prisoner Pen-Pal Services in Indiana, Florida

by David M. Reutter

To the extent that an Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) policy “denies prisoners the right to advertise for pen-pals and receive material so they can advertise for pen-pals, the [policy] violates the First Amendment to the ...

$1.4 Million Settlement in Three-Day Long Sexual Assaults of Alaska Prisoners

$1.4 Million Settlement in Three-Day Long Sexual Assaults of Alaska Prisoners

by David M. Reutter

Two male Alaska prisoners who were sexually assaulted by other prisoners have reached a $1.4 million settlement in a lawsuit filed against prison officials. The incident occurred at the Yukon Kuskokwin Correctional Center in September ...

Michigan Jail Officials Lied and Hid Documents in Lawsuit Over Prisoner’s Death

Michigan Jail Officials Lied and Hid Documents in Lawsuit Over Prisoner’s Death

by David M. Reutter

On the eve of trial, a Michigan U.S. District Court adjourned a civil rights suit to reopen fact finding in the case. That rare development resulted after it was revealed that officials at the ...

$875,001 Verdict in Beating of Massachusetts Prisoner

by David M. Reutter

Finding that a guard at Massachusetts’ Suffolk County House of Correction (SCHC) had violated a prisoner’s Eighth Amendment rights and committed assault and battery, a federal jury awarded the prisoner $875,001 in damages.

The 121-page complaint in this U.S. District Court action named 54 plaintiffs and ...

Florida U.S. District Court Rescinds Policy Restricting Access to Plea Agreements

Florida U.S. District Court Rescinds Policy Restricting Access to Plea Agreements

by David M. Reutter

The Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has entered an order that rescinds a previous policy of limiting access to plea agreements in criminal cases. The former interim ...

Ohio Supreme Court Restricts Public Access to Court Records

by David M. Reutter

The Ohio Supreme Court has approved new rules that allow state courts to restrict public access to court documents or entire case files if deemed necessary.

The new rules, which have an effective date of July 1, 2009, are codified in Rules 44 to 47 of ...

Florida Judge Criticizes State’s Efforts to Seize Prisoner’s Federal Civil Rights Judgment

Florida Judge Criticizes State’s Efforts to Seize Prisoner’s Federal Civil Rights Judgment

by David M. Reutter

In a concurring opinion that affirmed the imposition of a “civil restitution” lien of $50 per day for a prisoner’s cost of incarceration, a Florida appellate court judge said he was “troubled” by the ...