Gilmore v. County of Douglas, State of Neb.U.S. Appeals Court
Gilmore v. County of Douglas, State of Neb., 406 F.3d 935 (8th Cir. 2005). The relative of a former jail inmate brought a [section] 1983 action alleging that a 45% commission, paid to the county by the jail's telecommunications providers on surcharged collect telephone calls from inmates, constituted a tax on inmates' relatives that violated the Equal Protection Clause The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. . The district court granted the county's motion to dismiss and the relative appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the relative was similarly situated similarly situated adj. with the same problems and circumstances, referring to the people represented by a plaintiff in a "class action," brought for the benefit of the party filing the suit as well as all those "similarly situated. to recipients of collect calls from non-inmates. The court held that the contract which called for the commission was aimed at generating revenues to defray de·fray
tr.v. de·frayed, de·fray·ing, de·frays
To undertake the payment of (costs or expenses); pay.
[French défrayer, from Old French desfrayer : des-, the costs of providing inmates with telephone service, not at treating the recipients of inmates' calls differently from others, and therefore had a rational basis. The court noted that a 15-minute inmate-initiated call from the jail cost $2.30. (Douglas County Douglas County is the name of twelve counties in the United States:
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