Skip navigation

Articles by David Reutter

Class Certification Maintained in New York Prisoners’ Suit for Damages Due to Illegally Imposed Post-Release Supervision

by David M. Reutter

On March 14, 2022, the federal court for the Southern District of New York denied a motion to decertify the class in a long-running suit filed by prisoners subjected to terms of post-release supervision (PRS) administratively imposed by the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ...

Sixth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity to Ohio Prison Doctor After Prisoner Blinded by Stroke

by David M. Reutter

On March 30, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed denial of qualified immunity (QI) to an Ohio prison doctor who interrupted a state prisoner’s prescribed medical treatment plan, after which he suffered a stroke that left him blind.

The Court’s opinion ...

Ninth Circuit Terminates Idaho Prison Conditions Lawsuit After 40 Years of Litigation

by David M. Reutter

On March 22, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed termination of all prospective relief in a long-running class action alleging unconstitutional conditions at the Idaho State Correctional Institution (ISCI).

The Court’s opinion ended a 1981 lawsuit filed by prisoner Walter Balla, ...

New Jersey Supreme Court Forces County to Cough up Settlement Documents With Prisoner Raped By Jail Guard Who Snitched on Fellow Guards

by David M. Reutter

On March 7, 2022, the Supreme Court of New Jersey held that a settlement agreement resolving a disciplinary action against a guard at the Cumberland County Jail (CCJ) qualified as a government record, not a personnel record, and was thus available for public review under the ...

$1,050,000 Settlement Reached in Disabled Illinois Prisoner’s ADA Lawsuit

by David M. Reutter

After a verdict was returned by a federal jury in favor of a disabled Illinois prisoner against the state Department of Corrections (DOC), the parties reached a settlement agreement for $1,050,000 — inclusive of attorney’s fees and costs — and attorneys for Plaintiff signed off on ...

Ninth Circuit Sends PLN’s Arizona Censorship Lawsuit Back to District Court

by David M. Reutter

On July 8, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the grant of summary judgment to Prison Legal News (PLN) in a lawsuit alleging a censorship policy of the Arizona Department of Corrections (DOC) ...

$2.5 Million in Confiscated COVID-19 Relief Funds Returned to Arkansas Prisoners After Court Issues Injunction

by David M. Reutter

As of June 6, 2022, the Arkansas Department of Corrections (DOC) had returned $2,551,198 in confiscated federal relief or stimulus funds to state prisoners, according to Communications Director Cindy Murphy.

A permanent injunction granted by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas on ...

$15,150 Paid by Illinois for Neglect and Harassment of Three State Prisoners

by David Reutter

Mistreatment of three prisoners held by the Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC) cost the state over $15,000 to settle their claims in separate agreements completed during 2021.

On August 12, 2021, a $5,000 payment was approved for prisoner Paul Lee, who accused guards at Pontiac Correctional Center ...

Sixth Circuit Says Detroit Jail Guard Suspended for Failing To Check on Detainee Not Liable for His Death From Drugs Hidden in His Rectum

by David M. Reutter

On March 8, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held a guard at the Detroit Detention Center (DDC) who was suspended for failing to check on a pretrial detainee cannot be liable for his overdose death because the drugs were hidden in ...

Tenth Circuit Refuses to Hold Colorado Guards Liable for Detainee’s Suicide Despite Her Previous Attempts at Same Jail

by David M. Reutter

Under the doctrine of qualified immunity (QI), prison and jail guards may be sued only when they disregard a known risk to a detainee under their watch. But in a recent case from Colorado, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit said that even ...