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Articles by David Reutter

Tenth Circuit Says Parolee May Not be Forced to Participate in Religious Program Under Threat of Jail

by David M. Reutter

In a lawsuit alleging prison officials used coercion to force an atheist parolee into participating in Christian programming, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit came down on the parolee’s side on August 6, 2021, reversing a lower court’s grant of summary judgment to ...

$260,000 in Attorney Fees Awarded by California Federal Court after Finding Governing State Law Not Impacted by PLRA

by David M. Reutter

After finding the award of attorney’s fees under California’s Code of Civil Procedure is not impacted by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e, a federal district awarded $259,237.50 to attorneys for two prisoners who obtained civil verdicts against guards employed by state ...

Eleventh Circuit Says Georgia Prisoner Failed to Exhaust Remedies by Filing Late Grievance to Ask for Investigation that Was Already Underway

by David M. Reutter

Here’s a simple message to prisonersfrom the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit: Exhaust your remedies, no matter how redundant they may seem.

That was the key takeaway from the Court’s ruling on August 31, 2021, in which it held that the grievance process ...

Nevada Federal Court Denies Motion to Compel Arbitration by Rapid Financial Solutions in Debit Card Suit

by David M. Reutter

On August 30, 2021, a federal district court in Nevada denied a motion to compel arbitration in a lawsuit alleging that forcing prison release debit cards upon prisoners violates state and federal laws. Chief Judge Miranda M. Du ruled the plaintiff did not assent to the ...

$6,500 Paid by Nevada DOC After Ninth Circuit Affirms Denial of Qualified Immunity for Withholding Evidence From Prisoner Accused of Smuggling Meth in Mail

by David M. Reutter
AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED BY PLN, OFficials with the Nevada Department of Corrections (DOC) in 2020 lost a suit filed pro se in federal district court by a state prisoner they disciplined for smuggling methamphetamine through the prison mail, with the court agreeing his Fourteenth Amendment due-process ...

Tenth Circuit Says Disabled Colorado Prisoner Offered Diapers Rather Than Bathroom Pass May Deserve Damages Under ADA

by David M. Reutter

In an opinion issued on September 8, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled the federal district court in Colorado erred in dismissing a state prisoner’s claim filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ch. 126 §12101 et seq., ...

Preliminary Injunction Granted to Illinois Prisoner to Receive Non-Allergenic Kosher Meals

by David M. Reutter

An Illinois federal district court issued a preliminary injunction in favor of a state prisoner on October 12, 2021, requiring prison officials to provide him fresh or frozen kosher meal entrées because he suffers an allergic reaction to those provided, which are “shelf-stable.”

The prisoner, Mark ...

$1.65 Million Settlement Reached in Connecticut Prisoner’s Death from Untreated Lupus

by David M. Reutter

On July 7, 2021, the Connecticut Department of Corrections (DOC) paid $1.65 million to settle a lawsuit alleging medical personnel failed to diagnose and treat a 19-year-old state prisoner who died of lupus.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit brought by the estate of Karon Nealy, Jr. ...

Vermont Hep-C Settlement Agreement Provides Direct-Acting Antivirals to Infected Prisoners

by David M. Reutter

A settlement agreement setting out guidelines for care that the Vermont Department of Corrections (DOC) will provide to prisoners with Hepatitis-C was finalized on May 14, 2021, calling for enhanced screening of incoming prisoners and altering policies and procedures governing who can receive Direct-Acting Antiviral (DAA) ...

Third Circuit Says Mixed Dismissal of Civil Rights Action Not a Strike Under PLRA

by David M. Reutter

In a ruling on September 27, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that a “mixed dismissal” of a Pennsylvania prisoner’s civil rights action does not count as a strike under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 that would prevent him ...