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Articles by John E Dannenberg

California’s “Realignment” Law Sends 38,000 State Prisoners to County Control

California’s response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding of a federal court mandate to reduce state prison overcrowding (See: PLN July 2011, p. 1)) was to “realign” 38,000 lower level offenders from state prison custody to county jail custody, and to transfer most parolees from state parole to ...

Pennsylvania Prisoner Gets $12,500 in Retaliation Suit After Remittitur

by John E. Dannenberg

A pro se Pennsylvania state prisoner won a jury verdict of $5,000 in compensatory damages plus $100,000 in punitive damages against a prison official who openly and repeatedly retaliated against him after he filed grievances and a lawsuit concerning mistreatment by guards. The verdict ...

Nebraska Muslim Prisoner Wins Religious Concessions

A high-security Muslim prisoner at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI) sued prison officials for violating basic tenets of his religion by allegedly restricting religious practices “dictated” by his beliefs. He claimed he needed daily showers, a kosher diet, and a prayer schedule. The court agreed to provide partial relief ...

Illegal Strip Searches During Minor Charges Net Sacramento Jail Detainees $1,000 Each

Illegal Strip Searches During Minor Charges Net
Sacramento Jail Detainees $1,000 Each

by John E. Dannenberg


The Sacramento County Superior Court ruled that the Sacramento County Jail's policy of strip-searching all detainees - regardless of their charges - violated California Constitution Art. 1 § 1 [privacy is an inalienable right], violated ...

California: Knowing Waiver of Conduct Credits at Plea Agreement Controls Upon Later Probation Violations

The California Supreme Court held in two companion decisions that when a prisoner enters into a no-prison-time probation deal at sentencing involving a waiver of either pre-sentence or future conduct credits, if he later violates probation and goes to prison he is stuck with the original waiver.

Shelly Jeffrey pled ...

Arizona Internet Ban Permanently Enjoined

by John E. Dannenberg


On May 19, 2003, the U.S. District Court (D. Ariz.) granted summary judgment, permanently enjoining enforcement of Arizona House Bill 2376 (HB 2376), a 2002 state statute that had made it a misdemeanor for Arizona Department of Corrections (ADOC) prisoners to communicate with Internet service ...

California: "Mailbox Rule" Extended to Civil Complaints Against Public Entity

California: "Mailbox Rule" Extended to Civil Complaints Against Public Entity

By John E. Dannenberg

The Third District California Court of Appeal held that the "mailbox rule"
[prisoner legal mail delivered to prison authorities for mailing to courts
deemed filed at that time], which had long been followed for criminal
court ...

California Attorney Richard Dangler Sanctioned for "Shameful, Frivolous" Prisoner Appeals; Resigns

California Attorney Richard Dangler Sanctioned for "Shameful, Frivolous"
Prisoner Appeals; Resigns

by John E. Dannenberg


Sacramento, California attorney Richard Hale Dangler, Jr. was assessed
$46,750 by the California Court of Appeal and forced to resign from the bar
for his "shameful" record of filing frivolous and contemptuous actions on ...

PLN Wins FOIA Suit to Gain Copies of BOP Verdicts and Settlements without Charge

by John E. Dannenberg

The United States District Court (D.D.C.) granted PLNs motion for summary judgment and ordered the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to provide investigative material requested by PLN under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) without payment of search or duplication fees. PLN, exercising ...

Supreme Court: Banning Publications to Punish Recalcitrant Prisoners Trumps Their First Amendment Rights

Supreme Court: Banning Publications to Punish Recalcitrant Prisoners Trumps Their First
Amendment Rights

by John E. Dannenberg

The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC) policy of
banning its most disruptive prisoners receipt of all non-legal and non religious magazines,
newspapers and photographs as a ...