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Articles by David Reutter

Montana Supreme Court Grants State Prisoner 604 Days in Sentence Credit

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Montana, in an opinion issued on October 18, 2022, held that the District Court for the state’s Seventh Judicial Circuit issued an illegal sentence when it failed to award credit for time served on two concurrent sentences. In its ruling, the Court ...

Seventh Circuit Revives Claim of Wheelchair-Bound Wisconsin Prisoner Denied Access to Handicapped Toilet

by David M. Reutter

On October 25, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed the dismissal of a civil rights complaint filed by a former Wisconsin prisoner, who alleged that in 2018 he defecated on himself after being unable to access the handicapped toilet at Racine ...

Seventh Circuit Overturns Class Decertification in Cook County Jail Disability Lawsuit

by David M. Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on November 14, 2022, reversed the decertification of a class in a lawsuit alleging that Division 10 of the Cook County Jail does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. ch.126 § 12101 et ...

Former Georgia Sheriff Gets 18 Months for Punishing Detainees in Restraint Chair

by David M. Reutter

On March 14, 2023, a federal judge in Georgia sentenced former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill to an 18-month federal prison term for violating the civil rights of pretrial detainees in the county jail.

A jury in the federal court for the Northern District of Georgia ...

$1.2 Million Paid by St. Louis County for Jail Detainee’s Death from Untreated Ulcer

by David M. Reutter

On September 8, 2022, the federal court for the Eastern District of Missouri approved a settlement under which St. Louis County agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve claims that a state prisoner detained in the county jail died due to denied medical care.

From his ...

$350,000 Settlement Reached in Florida Prisoner’s Murder

by David M. Reutter

The Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) agreed on March 25, 2022, to pay $350,000 to resolve a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estate of murdered prisoner Anthony Vidal.

The lawsuit was filed after Vidal was killed by his cellmate, Torrin Blue, on March 11, 2016, ...

Alabama Prisoner’s Deliberate Indifference Claim Dies for Lack of Proper Affidavits

by David M. Reutter
On November 11, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of an Alabama prisoner’s civil rights action that alleged overlong delays in treatment for hernias and post-surgery complications. The case provides a lesson in the proper preparation of affidavits to support ...

Fourth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of “Overbroad” Claim from Federal Prisoner in Virginia, Says Not Allowed Under Bivens

by David M. Reutter
In an opinion issued on December 2, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a federal prisoner’s claim for money damages based on “degenerate” conditions of confinement. The Court found the cause of action was a new ...

Tenth Circuit Affirms Denial of Qualified Immunity to Utah Jailers After Detainee’s Withdrawal Death

by David M. Reutter

On September 7, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed denial of qualified immunity (QI) to officials at Utah’s Unitah County Jail in a lawsuit accusing them of deliberate indifference in a detainee’s death from complications related to alcohol withdrawal.

Coby Lee ...

Riot and Escape at Nevada Prison Lead to Charges Against Four Guards, Firings or Resignations of Top Officials

by David M. Reutter

Some recreation was suspended at Nevada’s Southern Desert Correctional Center [SDCC] after 20 prisoners got into a brawl on October 10, 2022. The violence carried echoes of a riot involving at least 40 prisoners on December 8, 2021.

Eight of those 40 were indicted on a ...