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Articles by Derek Gilna

Illinois: Conditions Lawsuit Filed by Civilly Confined Sex Offenders Dismissed

Civilly committed sex offenders confined pursuant to Illinois' Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, 725 ILCS 207/1-99, filed suit in federal court in 2007 under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging the conditions of their confinement at the Rushville Treatment and Detention Center (Rushville).

After the district court dismissed ...

South Dakota Non-profits Lose Cheap Prison Labor

Many states have gotten the message that there are viable alternatives to incarceration that cost less and are equally effective in terms of reducing crime rates, but some non-profits like the Salvation Army are suffering because declining prison populations mean fewer low-or-no-cost prisoner workers.

Most state DOCs have work release ...

Department of Justice Expands Definition of Rape to "Ensure Justice"

Department of Justice Expands Definition of Rape to "Ensure Justice"

by Derek Gilna

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has broadened the definition of rape, first established in 1927, to include "penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral ...

Wisconsin Appeals Court Orders Appointment of Examiner in Commitment Case

Prisoner Dennis Thiel had appealed the denial of his petition for supervised release under Wisconsin Statute Chapter 980 (2003-04) (the Act), wherein the court had previously ordered that an examiner be appointed to take another look at petitioner’s commitment suitability. State v. Thiel, 277 Wis.2d 698, 691 N ...

9th Circuit Reverses District Court Dismissal of FISA and ECPA Complaints

In a case by private citizens seeking judicial redress for injuries stemming from the government's interception of domestic telephone and internet communications, the 9th Circuit has reversed a district court dismissal of lead plaintiff Carolyn Jewel's complaint for lack of standing. Jewel and other plaintiffs had alleged violations ...

Additional Attorney's Fees Allowed in Ohio Voter-Registration Suit

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) instituted a 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 case challenging the 2006 Voter ID law, which resulted in consent orders in 2006 and 2008. A similar action by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was consolidated into the NEOCH case, and attorneys ...

Ohio Appellant Wins Mandamus Order Disclosing Attorney Fees Statements

Appellant Jean A. Anderson won an appeal of a judgment denying her copies of certain itemized billing statements for attorneys service rendered to Vermillion, Ohio, overturning a lower-court decision that had sided with the city’s argument that the statements could not be disclosed because they were covered by the ...

ADX Prisoner Wins Settlement for Injuries Incurred in Unlit Cell

Bob Allen Custard, currently an ADX Florence prisoner, has won a $7500 settlement from three Georgia federal correctional personnel for their breach of their duty to maintain a safe environment in Custard’s cell in the Atlanta Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in 1996. Fluorescent bulbs in Custard’s cell fell ...

Ohio Court Stays Prisoner Suit Pending Supreme Court Action

Ohio state prisoners filed a Section 1983 civil rights class-action case in federal court against the state parole board, alleging reverse discrimination in the granting of parole. The Parole Board moved for and was granted a stay since a case covering an identical issue was currently before the U.S ...

Seventh Circuit Permits Insurance Company to Deny Coverage of Civil Rights Claims

The city of Waukegan, Illinois had been issued two comprehensive general liability Insurance policies, effective November 1, 1991 to November 1, 1995. Both policies contained a “law enforcement liability provision,” providing that the insurer “would be obligated to pay by reason of errors, omissions or negligent acts arising out of ...