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Articles by David Reutter

Seventh Circuit Vacates $8 Million Award to Illinois Prisoner Whose Cancer Metastasized Awaiting Wexford Doctors’ “Collegial Review”

by David M. Reutter

On February 8, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit denied a petition for the full court to rehear en banc a decision by a three-judge panel three months earlier vacating a lower court’s $8 million award to an Illinois prisoner against private ...

Book Review: The PLRA Handbook

by David M. Reutter

Understanding how the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) impacts prisoner civil rights litigation can be a time intensive undertaking. John Boston’s new book, The PLRA Handbook, makes that undertaking a simple task and answers virtually any question one may have on the topic.

When I first ...

Eleventh Circuit Says Florida Prisoner Alleging Sexual Assault by Guard Need Not Also Prove Excessive Force and Malicious Intent

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has decided that when a prisoner alleges sexual assault by a prison official, the only fact he needs to prove is whether the sexual assault occurred and not that it was also carried out with excessive force ...

Ninth Circuit Holds California Prison Officials Entitled to Legislative Immunity When Promulgating Rules

by David M. Reutter

On August 20, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed an order finding officials with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) are immune to civil rights claims for damages resulting from regulations they adopted while exercising authority delegated them by ...

$275,000 Settlement Reached After Detainee’s Attempted Suicide at Illinois Jail

by David M. Reutter

In April 2021, Illinois’ DuPage County Jail (DCJ) and its Psychiatric Services Medical Director agreed to pay $275,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by detainee Dean Fuerstenberg, who attempted suicide at the jail in November 2013, sustaining permanent injuries.

In his amended civil rights complaint, Fuerstenberg ...

Georgia Sheriff Victor Hill Facing Criminal Trial for Using Restraint Chair to Punish Jail Detainees

by David M. Reutter

Victor Hill, Sheriff of Georgia’s Clayton County, will face a jury trial on September 26, 2022, on seven federal charges of violating the civil rights of jail detainees held in a restraint chair as punishment.

In April 2021, Hill was indicted for the alleged abuse of ...

Eighth Circuit Holds Pornography Policy Unconstitutional as Applied to South Dakota Prisoner, but Denies Relief

by David M. Reutter

Holding that the pornography policy at South Dakota State Penitentiary (SDSP) was unconstitutional as applied to a prisoner, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit nonetheless decided it lacked jurisdiction to provide him meaningful relief while also reversing a district court’s finding that the ...

Federal Suit Challenging Iowa DOC Ban on Nude Images Moves Forward, Defendants Denied Summary Judgement on Due Process Claim

by David M. Reutter

Finding a material dispute of fact exists in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a ban in Iowa prisons on sexually explicit materials and materials featuring nudity, a federal district court in the state denied summary judgment to defendant state and prison officials on September 30, ...

$6,500 Settlement After Eleventh Circuit Affirms Denial of Qualified Immunity to Florida Jail Officials Who Repeatedly Opened Detainee’s Legal Mail

by David M. Reutter

On November 12, 2021, a settlement was reached under which four officials at the Duval County Jail (DCJ) in Jacksonville agreed to pay $6,500 to a detainee who alleged they repeatedly opened his legal mail outside his presence. That followed a decision by the U.S. Court ...

California Federal Court Approves Consent Decree Upgrading Mental Health Care at Alameda County Jail

by David M. Reutter

On February 7, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California approved a Consent Decree in a class-action lawsuit filed against the Alameda County Jail in Santa Rita that accused officials there of subjecting “individuals with mental health diagnoses and/or other psychiatric disabilities” ...