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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Seventh Circuit Says No Evidence Illinois Prisoner Lied About Endangerment to Circumvent PLRA’s Three-Strikes Rule

by Matt Clarke

On February 1, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a district court committed clear error when it found that a severely mentally ill Illinois prisoner lied about being endangered in an attempt to “sneak around” rules that would prevent him from ...

Tenth Circuit Reinstates Federal Prisoner’s Claim Against BOP Over Denial of Muslim Group Prayer Five Times a Day

by Matt Clarke

On February 9, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reinstated the claim of a Muslim federal prisoner allegedly frustrated in his attempts to observe his religion in prison, including denial of the opportunity to participate in group prayer five times a day.

Ahmed ...

Reinstating Suit by Louisiana Detainee’s Mother Over His Jail Suicide, Fifth Circuit Schools Lower Court in Meaning of “Standing”

by Matt Clarke

On February 14, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reinstated the claim of a woman whose son fatally hanged himself in Louisiana’s Bossier Parish jail in March 2019. In doing so, the Court said that a district court erred in dismissing the case ...

Vermont Supreme Court Keeps State Prisoner’s Challenge Alive to DOC’s Use of Expunged Convictions in Classification Decision

by Matt Clarke

On January 21, 2022, the Vermont Supreme Court remanded a case to the state Department of Corrections (DOC) so that it could respond on the record to a prisoner’s allegations it improperly used his expunged convictions to make classification decisions that would ultimately affect his release, in ...

$825,000 Paid to Estate of New Mexico Jail Detainee Who Died from Heroin Withdrawal

by Matt Clarke

In a settlement reached on March 1, 2022, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, agreed to pay $825,000 to resolve claims filed over the heroin withdrawal death of a detainee at the county’s Adult Detention Facility (ADF) six years earlier.

When Ricardo Jose Ortiz was booked into ADF ...

A First Glance in Rear-View Mirror at Pandemic

by Kevin W. Bliss, Matt Clarke, Ashleigh N. Dye and Keith Sanders

As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes from the headlines, its full effect on prisoners and detainees is coming into clearer view. One of the first glimpses was provided in a December 2021 report by the federal Department of Justice ...

Arizona Supreme Court Clarifies Rules for Asserting Attorney-Client Privilege for Communications from Jail, Including Texts Using Tablets

by Matt Clarke

On February 9, 2022, the Supreme Court of Arizona ruled that a defendant who asserts attorney-client privilege for communications made from jail to his attorney, including text messages, video visits and phone calls, may not rely on a blanket exception but must make a prima facie showing ...

Final Settlement Agreement Approved in COVID-19 Class Action at California Immigration Detention Center

by Matt Clarke

On June 10, 2022, a final settlement agreement was approved in a federal class-action lawsuit challenging the safety from COVID-19 of detainees held for federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in California’s Yuba County Jail (YCJ) and Mesa Verde Detention Center (MVDC). The settlement will protect around ...

Ohio Supreme Court Partially Reinstates Prisoner’s Pro Se Public Records Request, Sets Damages for Denial at $1,000

by Matt Clarke

On December 23, 2021, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that a state court of appeals erred when it denied a state prisoner’s motion for statutory damages against the Cleveland Police Forensic Laboratory (CPFL) for improperly withholding public records he requested. The Court then set the damage ...

Eighth Circuit Reinstates Arkansas Prisoner’s Claim Over DOC’s Failure to Maintain Hearing Aids

by Matt Clarke

On January 10, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that an Arkansas prisoner had not failed to state an actionable claim against prison medical officials when he accused them of not maintaining his bilateral hearing aids. The decision reversed a ruling by ...