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Articles by John Dannenberg

Los Angeles Settles County Jail Murder Suit For $1 Million

by John E. Dannenberg

On August 14, 2007, Los Angeles County settled a lawsuit brought by the family of a mentally ill prisoner who was stomped to death in a holding cell by two prisoners, while guards failed to respond. The $1 million settlement is another increment in the County ...

Privately Run Seal Beach, California Jail Closed Following Checkered Past

by John E. Dannenberg

With salacious tales of murderous and thieving former guards splashed across local headlines, Seal Beach, California officials shut down their privately-run jail on June 15, 2007.

The city claimed that the jail?s for-profit contractor, Texas-based Correctional Systems, Inc. (CSI), not only failed to make money but ...

Missouri Ordered to Pay Prisoner's $250,000 Judgment Plus Fees and Costs for Sexual Assaults by Work Supervisor

by John E. Dannenberg

On June 29, 2007, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that the state must pay a $250,000 judgment awarded in federal district court to a prisoner who had been sexually assaulted by his prison work supervisor.

In granting the writ of mandamus, the state appellate court ...

Second Circuit Rejects New York’s Interlocutory Appeal of Prisoner's $7.65 Million Failure-to-Protect Jury Verdict

by John E. Dannenberg

The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a belated attempt by the New York Department of Corrections (NYDOC) to invoke a claim of qualified immunity to thwart a prisoner's substantial jury verdict for NYDOC?s having failed to protect him.

Don Juan Britt, while imprisoned at ...

Ninth Circuit Holds Washington DOC Immune From Suit for Denial of Community Custody Early Release

by John E. Dannenberg

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that the Secretary of the Washington State Department of Corrections (WDOC) was qualifiedly immune from suit by prisoners who claimed that they were improperly denied participation in WDOC?s Community Custody Early Release (CCER) program.
The court held that ...

Ninth Circuit: Federal Complaint Cannot be Submitted Before PLRA Exhaustion is Completed

by John E. Dannenberg

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that a prisoner must have completed his available administrative exhaustion procedures before he can submit a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint to the federal courts. Where a state prisoner had filed a complaint with exhaustion pending, but finished ...

Los Angeles Jail Canteen Audit: Contractor Rakes In $640,213 Excess Profits

by John E. Dannenberg

Compass Group USA, Inc. doing business at the Los Angeles County Jail as Canteen Services (Canteen), was booked by the county auditor for extracting $640,213 in excess profits from its gross prisoner canteen revenues of $78 million between 2000 and 2005 and spending this sum on ...

California Jail Settles Gender-Identity-Disorder Discrimination Suit

by John F. Dannenberg

Orange County and its Sheriff, Michael Carona, settled a discrimination suit brought by a prisoner whom they denied treatment for Gender Identity Disorder (GID). They now provide such individuals specialized medical treatment for their disorders, educate Sheriff's staff on, and extend outreach to, the Lesbian, Gay, ...

Michigan Anti-Civil Rights Amendment Declared Unconstitutional

by John E. Dannenberg

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan declared unconstitutional a March 2000 amendment to Michigan?s Elliot-Larson Civil Rights Act (ELCRA), which had stripped prisoners from protection against discrimination. This important ruling, which is being appealed by the state, found Michigan?s zeal to declare ...

West Virginia Supreme Court Rules on Litigious Prisoners

by John E. Dannenberg

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals reacted to what the Randolph County court perceived to be overly aggressive pro per habeas litigation by two state prisoners. At issue ultimately was the tension between the constitutional right of access to the courts and the abuse of ...