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Articles by David Reutter

California Appeals Court Reverses Dismissal of Charges Against Prisoners Charged in Pelican Bay Riot

by David M. Reutter

On June 9, 2021, the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal to a decision handed down by the state’s First District Court of Appeal on March 29, 2021, reinstating most charges that a trial court had dismissed against four prisoners involved in a riot ...

$150,000 Paid to Family of California Pretrial Detainee Who Died from Valley Fever

by David M. Reutter

A California federal court approved a $150,000 settlement on October 13, 2021, for the estate of a prisoner who died of valley fever at the Merced County Jail.

The prisoner, 29-year-old Luis Patino, was booked into the county’s main jail on June 24, 2017, dutifully reporting ...

$650,000 Jury Verdict Upheld in NY Prisoner’s Excessive-Force Claim; Motion for Fees Denied Due to Contingency Agreement

by David M Reutter

On October 20, 2020, a federal judge in New York refused to overturn a $650,000 award made by a jury earlier that year to a state prisoner on his excessive-use-of-force claim.

The action took place in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ...

HRDC Advances in Suit Against Centurion to Obtain New Mexico Prisoner Medical Litigation Records

by David M. Reutter

On December 11, 2021, New Mexico’s First Judicial District Court, County of Santa Fe, denied a motion to dismiss a suit filed by the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), publisher of Prison Legal News (PLN) and Criminal Legal News (CLN), against Centurion Correctional Healthcare of New ...

$281,000 Awarded to Colorado Prisoner Retaliated Against for Grievances

by David M. Reutter

On August 14, 2020, a federal judge in Colorado refused to set aside a judgment for a state prisoner who won $180,002 the year before when a jury agreed that guards retaliated against him for exercising “his right to grieve/complain.” Then the court added another award ...

Second Circuit Reverses Dismissal of NY Prisoner’s Due Process Claim on Grounds It Was Abandoned on Appeal

by David M. Reutter

In a ruling issued on January 19, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that a lower court erred in dismissing a prisoner’s due process claim on grounds he abandoned it on appeal. The district court also erred in proceeding as if ...

$175,000 Awarded to New York Prisoner’s 686 Days Unconstitutional Post Release Supervision

by David M. Reutter

On Dec. 4, 2020, a federal district court in New York awarded $175,000 to a former state prisoner who was imprisoned for 686 days as a result of an unconstitutionally imposed term of post-release supervision (PRS).
The prisoner, Shawn Michael Vincent, entered into a plea agreement ...

$53 Million Settlement in Los Angeles Jail Strip Search Lawsuit Approved

by David M. Reutter

A California federal district court approved a $53 million settlement in a class action lawsuit alleging women held by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) were subjected to “highly invasive body cavity searches” from March 5, 2008 to January 1, 2015. [See: PLN, Dec ...

Ninth Circuit: Pretrial Detainees Have Right to Direct-View Safety Checks

by David M. Reutter

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a grant of summary judgment to a jail nurse, holding that it was clearly established at the time of the events relevant to the lawsuit under review that an arrestee being booked into jail had a constitutional right to ...

Eleventh Circuit: Preliminary Injunctions Have 90-Day Limit Under PLRA; Permanent Injunction Required to Extend Relief

by David M. Reutter

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that “the entry of a permanent injunction is necessary to prevent a preliminary injunction from expiring by operation of law after 90 days under the PLRA’s (Prison Litigation Reform Act) ‘unless’ clause.” That holding resulted in the Court vacating ...