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Articles by John E Dannenberg

Private Employer Must Pay $841,000 Back Wages to 167 California Prisoners

( A San Diego California Superior Court judge ordered CMT Blues, a garment manufacturer, to pay 167 prisoners it had employed at the R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility state prison to pay $841,000 in back wages for the workers' underpaid overtime, late wages and for their unpaid 30 day training periods. ...

California's "Son of Sam" Law Held Unconstitutional

by John E. Dannenberg

The California Supreme Court overturned the state law confiscating a convicted felon's profits derived from any form of expressive material that recounted the exploits connected with his/her conviction. Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Simon & Schuster, Inc. v. Members of N.Y. State Crime Victims ...

PLRA Attorney Fee Cap and Local Cost Recovery Rules Upheld in New York Hepatitis C Case

by John E. Dannenberg

The U.S. District Court (S.D. N.Y.) upheld the Constitutionality of the Prison Litigation Reform Act's (PLRA) attorney fee cap limitations and applied local rules to cost recovery, limiting fee recovery to $22,500 and costs to $3,001 in a prisoner 42 USC § 1983 lawsuit that settled ...

Settlement Agreement Reached in Wisconsin Supermax Suit

by John E. Dannenberg

Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) officials settled the 42 USC § 1983 class action civil rights suit brought by seriously mentally ill prisoners housed in the Boscobel, WI Supermax state prison by agreeing not to house the mentally ill there, by substantially reducing "barbaric" conditions and ...

PLRA Attorney Fee Cap Applies to Fees on Fees

by John E. Dannenberg

In a case of first impression, the Fifth Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled that the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) fee cap limiting recovery of a prevailing prisoner plaintiff's attorney fees to 150% of a $2 nominal damages award also applied to attorney fees generated ...

$1 Damages and $1.50 Attorney Fees in Guard Brutality Suit

by John E. Dannenberg

The Eighth Circuit US Court of Appeals affirmed the award of $1 nominal damages for guard brutality in violation of the Eighth Amendment and limited the prevailing prisoner plaintiff's attorney fees to $1.50

Robert Foulk, a state prisoner at the Moberly, MO Correctional Center, sued guard ...

Supreme Court: "Reasonable Attempt" Suffices Absent Actual Notice of Forfeiture

by John E. Dannenberg

The US Supreme Court held that due process of law was satisfied when a reasonable attempt was made to serve a federal prisoner with a statutory notice of administrative forfeiture of his property, even though he never received that notice.

Larry Dusenberry was arrested in April ...

Remand Defeats Georgia DOC's Attempted 11th Amendment Immunity Bar

by John E. Dannenberg

The US District Court (M.D. Ga.) remanded a state prisoner 42 USC §1983 medical indifference civil rights suit back to state court because under state law, defendant Georgia Dept. of Corrections (DOC) could not hide behind an Eleventh Amendment immunity bar there.

Prisoner Danny Iler died ...

$54,750 Damages Awarded Asthmatic Prisoner in Michigan ETS Suit

by John E. Dannenberg

The U.S. District Court (E.D..) awarded an asthmatic Michigan state prisoner $36,500 in compensatory damages and $18,250 in punitive damages after a bench trial determination that Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) wardens had violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment ...

States Capitulate on Reading Legal Mail

by John E. Dannenberg

The disturbing trend of several states to inspect legal mail outside the presence of the prisoner [see PLN Mar. 2002 "State Prisons Abrogate Attorney Client Privilege"] has begun to crumble under court challenges. Begun under the pretext of postSeptember 11, 2001 security concerns, Massachusetts, Virginia, New ...