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Part 1: complete case summaries in alphabetical order.

Part 1 presents complete summaries for each case, alphabetically by year published. The major topic section and subtopics are identified before each case summary. This format makes it easier for the reader to review every case. Part 2 presents the summaries under each of the 50 major topic areas.

2. ADMINISTRATION: Harassment, Working Conditions

31. PERSONNEL: Hostile Work Environment, Sexual Harassment, Title VII

Akines v. Shelby County Government, 512 F.Supp.2d 1138 (W.D. Term. 2007). Female correctional officers brought Title VII, [section] 1983 and a Tennessee Whistleblower Act suit alleging hostile work environment arising from a county's indifference to sexual harassment of the officers by county jail inmates. The district court granted summary judgment to the county on the claims of certain officers. The county renewed its motion with respect to the remaining officers and the court granted it. The court held that the county's taking of appropriate disciplinary steps in response to reports of inmate harassment precluded a finding that it had fostered a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII. According to the court, the county was not deliberately indifferent to the rights of the female officers or a moving force behind the harassment, as required for a violation of [section] 1983. The court noted that the presence of one incident in which the institution apparently did not respond to a female correctional officer's filing of a disciplinary complaint against one inmate for alleged sexual harassment was insufficient to establish a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII, where the institution responded by disciplining inmates in connection with other reported incidents. (Shelby County Correctional Center, Tennessee)

21. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, PRISONER: Remedies

27. LIABILITY: State Remedies

Alba v. Montford, 517 F.3d 1249 (11th Cir. 2008). A federal prisoner incarcerated in a privately operated correctional facility brought a pro se [section] 1983 action against prison employees for allegedly acting with deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court interpreted the complaint as asserting a claim under Bivens and dismissed it for failure to state a claim because the prisoner had adequate state remedies available. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that even assuming that the private prison was a government actor for the purposes of Bivens liability, alternative remedies existed by which the prisoner could recover from its employees. (McRae Correctional Facility, Corrections Corporation of America, Georgia)

36. RELEASE: Conditional Release, Parole-Conditions, Pre-Release, Release Date

Alexander v. U.S. Parole Com'n., 514 F.3d 1083 (10th Cir. 2008). A federal prison inmate sentenced under the Federal Youth Corrections Act (YCA) petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus after the Parole Commission denied parole. The district court ordered the Commission to proceed with development of an appropriate pre-release program and the Commission appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part. The court held that the district court's order was the functional equivalent of a conditional release order and thus was final and reviewable. The court found that the Commission could not determine jeopardy to public welfare from the inmate's release without considering potential conditions of release, but that the district court lacked the authority to order the Commission to set a pre-release date and begin the process toward parole. (FCI Sheridan, Colorado)

37. RELIGION: Opportunity to Practice, RLUIPA- Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, Sweat Lodge

Alvarez v. Hill, 518 F.3d 1152 (9th Cir. 2008). A prisoner brought an action against prison officials alleging that they substantially burdened his religious exercise by denying him various accommodations. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the officials and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court held that the complaint established a plausible entitlement to relief under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUTPA), thereby satisfying the short and plain statement pleading standard, even though the complaint did not cite RLUIPA. The court noted that the prisoner did reference RLUIPA in a subsequent motion and in his opposition to summary judgment. The inmate alleged that officials burdened his religion by denying him the "right to participate and practice the Sweat Lodge Ceremony and Sacred Pipe Ceremony" and by making it "difficult if not impossible to communicate with any of his tribe[']s religious representatives." He also alleged that they forbade him from wearing a headband, consuming tobacco for ceremonial purposes and participating in group worship. (Snake River Correctional Institution, Oregon)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Legal Mail

19. FREE SPEECH, EXPRESSION, ASSOCIATION: Free Speech, Inspection of Mail

28. MAIL: Legal Mail, Opening Mail

Al-Amin v. Smith, 511 F.3d 1317 (11th Cir. 2008). A state prison inmate brought a [section] 1983 action against state corrections officials, alleging that the officials repeatedly opened his privileged attorney mail outside of his presence in violation of his rights to access to the courts and free speech. The district court denied the officials' motion for summary judgment and the officials appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The appeals court held that the prisoner's constitutional right of access to the courts requires that incoming legal mail may be opened only in the inmate's presence and only to inspect for contraband. According to the curt, the inmate's right to have properly marked incoming attorney mail opened only in his presence was clearly established. The court found that the lack of showing of actual injury precluded recovery on the right-of-access claim. The court held that the inmate had a free speech right to communicate with his attorneys separate from his right of access to the courts and that the pattern and practice of opening the prisoner's attorney mail outside his presence impinges on his freedom of speech. The court noted that actual injury is not required for the prisoner to state a free speech claim arising from the opening of attorney mail and that the First Amendment prohibition against opening the inmate's attorney mail outside his presence was clearly established. (Georgia State Prison)

3. ADMTNISTRATIVE SEGREGATON: Evidence, Placement

24. IMMUNITY: Qualified Immunity

Amrine v. Brooks, 522 F.3d 823 (8th Cir. 2008). A prisoner sued a prison investigator and deputy sheriff under [section] 1983 alleging that they violated his constitutional rights during an investigation of a prison stabbing, for which prisoner was convicted and sentenced to death, but later exonerated during a habeas proceeding. Following the death of the investigator, his estate was substituted as a party. The district court denied the prisoner's motion to alter or amend judgment and the prisoner appealed. The court held that the investigator and deputy were qualifiedly immune from the prisoner's claim of unreasonable seizure, assuming that the prisoner's placement in a detention cell by the investigator and deputy pursuant to the investigation of a prison stabbing was an arrest that was supported by arguable probable cause, The court noted that inculpatory evidence against the prisoner included evidence of a motive to kill the victim and exculpatory evidence included the officer's identification of a third inmate as the inmate whom the victim was chasing, such that more than a minimal investigation was required. (Missouri Department of Corrections)

2. ADMINISTRATION: APA- Administrative Procedures Act

34. PROGRAMS- PRISONER: Release, Treatment Program

36. RELEASE: Early Release

Arrington v. Daniels, 516 F.3d 1106 (9th Cir. 2008). Prisoners filed numerous petitions for a writ of habeas corpus, asserting that a regulation implemented by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by categorically excluding prisoners convicted of offenses involving possession, carrying, or use of firearms from early release for the successful completion of a residential substance abuse program. The district court denied the petitions and the prisoners appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the regulation was invalid under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), since the BOP failed to articulate a rationale for the regulation so as to provide a means for reviewing the reasonableness of the agency's categorical exclusion of a class of nonviolent offenders from eligibility for early release. The court noted that the BOP's general desire for uniformity in the application of the regulation did not explain why the exclusion rule was promulgated, as the uniformity could have been accomplished in any number of ways. (Sheridan Correctional Institution, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Oregon)

8. CLASSIFICATION & SEPARATION: Gangs, Solitary Confinement

14. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Prisoner on Prisoner Assault

25. INTAKE AND ADMISSIONS: Classification, Screening

27. LIABILITY: FTCA- Federal Tort Claims Act, Negligence

Ashford v. U.S., 511 F.3d 501 (5th Cir. 2007). An inmate sued the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) alleging that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was negligent in placing him in a prison population with a gang member who had attacked him in the past. The district court entered summary judgment for the BOP and the inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the discretionary-function exception to FTCA did not apply if the inmate raised a concern at a prison intake interview that he would be endangered if he were placed in the prison population with the gang member. The court noted that a prison policy required that the inmate be put into solitary confinement pending an investigation if he raised such a concern, leaving prison officials with no discretion. According to the court, genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether the inmate raised a concern at the prison intake interview, precluding summary judgment. (Federal Bureau of Prisons)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Law Library, Legal Mail, Transfer

2. ADMINISTRATION: Policies/Procedures

9. CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT: Crowding, Sanitation, Temperature

15. FACILITIES: Furnishings, Odor, Beds, Temperature

21. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, PRISONER: Retaliation, PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act, Exhaustion

23. HYGIENE- PRISONER PERSONAL: Bedding

24. IMMUNITY: Qualified Immunity

27. LIABILITY: Contract Services, Individual Capacity, Respondeat Superior

28. MAIL: Legal Mail, Opening Mail

29. MEDICAL CARE: Contract Services, Dental Care, Deliberate Indifference, Special Diet, Failure to Provide Care

34. PROGRAMS-PRISONER: Rehabilitation

36. RELEASE: Due Process, Liberty Interest, Timely Release

40. SANITATION: Showers, Bedding, Rodents/Pests

46. TRAINING: Failure to Train

47. TRANSFERS: Medical Care, Liberty Interest

Banks v. York, 515 F.Supp.2d 89 (D.D.C. 2007). A detainee in a jail operated by the District of Columbia Department of Corrections (DOC), and in a correctional treatment facility operated by the District's private contractor, brought a [section] 1983 action against District employees and contractor's employees alleging negligent supervision under District of Columbia law, over-detention, deliberate indifference to serious medical needs, harsh living conditions in jail, and extradition to Virginia without a hearing. The district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss in part and denied in part.

The court held that the detainee's allegations that his teeth became chipped and his gums became infected, leading to damage to his gums, disfigurement of his face, infection, pain, anxiety, and extraction of four teeth, were sufficient allegations of a serious medical need. Officials bad confiscated his dental crown. The court found that the detainee stated a claim under [section] 1983 for cruel and unusual punishment through deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. The court held that the detainee stated a claim with his allegation that the prison's dental unit should have replaced his dental crown or permitted him to have his private dentist do so. The prison's dental unit had treated him with antibiotics and offered to extract the seven affected teeth. The court held that this involved a mere disagreement over proper treatment and did not support a [section] 1983 claim of violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment through deliberate indifference to prisoner's serious medical needs.

According to the court, the private corporation which operated a prison as contractor for the District of Columbia, was performing functions normally performed by a municipality, and thus, the corporation could be liable to the prisoner under [section] 1983 if the prisoner alleged and ultimately proved that his injuries were the result of an unconstitutional custom or policy of corporation.

The court held that the detainee sufficiently alleged that the Director of District of Columbia Department of Corrections (DOC) was directly involved in violations of the detainee's constitutional rights, as required to state a claim under [section] 1983 against a government official in his individual capacity. The detainee alleged that the Director refused to transfer the detainee from the jail to a correctional treatment facility and failed to train DOC employees under his supervision in such a way as to prevent the detainee's over-detention (detention beyond proper release date). The court found that the Director of District of Columbia Department of Corrections (DOC) could not be liable in his individual capacity, under the theory of respondeat superior, to the jail detainee for allegedly unconstitutional actions or omissions of his subordinates.

The appeals court found that the detainee's allegation that policies or practices of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections (DOC) pertaining to training, supervision and discipline of employees responsible for the detainees' release from DOC custody resulted in his untimely release from jail, in violation of his constitutional rights, stated a claim for municipal liability under [section] 1983.

The court held that dismissal of the detainee's [section] 1983 claims of cruel and unusual punishment at the District of Columbia jail based on lack of reading material, lack of recreational equipment, failure of the commissary to stock items such as lotions, skin oils, hair oils, peanut butter, the detainee's exposure to the stench created by regular sewage backups, and the jail's use of bunk beds without ladders was required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) because the detainee did not allege that he suffered any physical injury. Instead, the detainee alleged mental and emotional injuries.

The court held that the provision of Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) requiring exhaustion of administrative remedies before bringing a civil action against prison officials regarding prison conditions applied to the detainee who brought a [section] 1983 action before he was released from jail, even though the detainee had been released from jail by the time that the defendants brought their motion to dismiss.

The court found that the detainee's allegations that the District of Columbia jail provided only one desk and chair in each two-person cell, failed to provide him with nail clippers, skin lotions, a microwave oven and failed to provide rehabilitative courses, did not allege deprivations sufficiently serious to rise to the level of cruel and unusual punishment in violation of Eighth Amendment.

According to the court, the alleged conditions from overcrowding at a District of Columbia jail--showers infested with bacteria, standing water, various diseases and hundreds of unsanitary and defective mattresses, some of which contained roaches and other insects, did not constitute the deprivation of basic human needs, as required for jail overcrowding to constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

The court found that merely alleging that the lack of appropriate security at the District of Columbia jail created a risk of personal injury to detainees, without any allegation that the detainee reasonably feared an attack on his personal safety, failed to set forth sufficient facts to state a claim under [section] 1983 for cruel and unusual punishment.

The court found that the detainee's allegations that he has special dietary needs as a diabetic, that officials at the District of Columbia jail were deliberately indifferent to his needs and that such indifference occurred pursuant to a custom, policy and systemic practices of the District, were sufficient to state a claim under [section] 1983 for cruel and unusual punishment through deliberate indifference to serious medical need.

The court found that the detainee's allegations that due to lack of heating and ventilation at the jail he suffered from temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees during the Winter, that he was not provided with sufficient blankets for cold jail cells, and that such actions were taken with deliberate indifference to his needs and pursuant to policy of Department of Corrections (DOC) were sufficient to state a claim under [section] 1983 for cruel and unusual punishment through deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. The court noted that warmth is a basic human need, the deprivation of which can amount to a violation of Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

The court held that the detainee did not state a claim under [section] 1983 that inadequacies in the jail's law library violated his First Amendment right of access to the courts, even if he alleged that such inadequacies caused the filing of his appeals to be untimely, in the absence of an allegation that such untimeliness had an actual adverse impact on the appeals.

The court held that the detainee's allegations that his legal mail was opened by officials at the jail outside of his presence on numerous occasions during a four-month period, and that such actions were intentional and pursuant to a policy or systemic practice, stated a claim under [section] 1983 for violation of First Amendment free speech rights.

The court held that the alleged refusal of officials of Department of Corrections (DOC) to transfer the detainee to a correctional treatment facility at which conditions were far less restrictive did not implicate a due process liberty interest. The court noted that an inmate has no due process liberty interest in a particular place of confinement or a particular level of security.

The court found that the detainee's allegations that a DOC captain placed him in solitary confinement in retaliation for his oral complaint to the captain that his newly-assigned cellmate was HTV positive, stated a claim under [section] 1983 for retaliation for exercising First Amendment free speech rights. The court found that whether the detainee had a protected right under the First Amendment, to complain to the captain was not clearly established at the time, and thus, the captain had qualified immunity from the detainee's[section] 1983 claim.

The court found that the detainee's allegations that the Director of the Department of Corrections (DOC), despite his actual and constructive knowledge that DOC employees were engaged in conduct that posed a pervasive and unreasonable risk of constitutional injury through over-detention, failed to train, monitor, and discipline DOC employees with regard to timely release of inmates from DOC custody, that the Director's deliberate failure to do so caused detainee's over-detention, were sufficient when construed liberally to state a claim under [section] 1983 for violation of due process and violation of protection against cruel and unusual punishment. The court noted that the detainee had a clearly established constitutional protection against over-detention and thus, the Director was not entitled to qualified immunity.

The court held that the detainee at the correctional treatment facility operated by the District's private contractor was not excused from the requirement, under Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), of exhausting his administrative remedies before bringing a [section] 1983 action against the contractor's employee relating to denial of detainee's requests for dental care, even if the detainee believed it would be futile to pursue the facility's grievance procedures. (Central Detention Facility. D.C. and Correctional Treatment Facility operated by the Corrections Corporation of America)

31. PERSONNEL: Retaliation, Sexual Harassment, Title VII

Barker v. Missouri Dept. of Corrections, 513 F.3d 831 (8th Cir. 2008). An employee sued the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) under Title VII alleging that it retaliated against him for aiding a co-worker to report sexual harassment. The district court entered summary judgment for the MDOC and the employee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that an alleged remark by the manager of a prison's special needs unit could not support an objectively reasonable belief that the remark constituted sexual harassment, and thus, the employee failed to establish a prima facie case of retaliation. The alleged remark to the male co-worker implied that women were better suited for work in the unit because they were more nurturing. (Potosi Correctional Center, Missouri)

7. CIVIL RIGHTS: Military Facility, Aliens

22. HABEAS CORPUS: Alien, Jurisdiction, Transfer

Belbacha v. Bush, 520 F.3d 452 (D.C. Cir. 2008). An alien, who was an Algerian national, petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus to challenge his detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and moved for interim relief barring his transfer to Algeria based on the likelihood of torture by the Algerian government and a terrorist organization. The district court denied the motion and the alien filed a notice of appeal and simultaneously requested bar of his transfer. A motions panel temporarily enjoined his transfer to preserve appellate jurisdiction. The appeals court remanded the case to decide whether a preliminary injunction was necessary and appropriate. The court also found that federal courts can preserve jurisdiction pending Supreme Court review of the same jurisdictional issue in a different case. According to the court, the Military Commissions Act (MCA) did not displace the federal courts' remedial powers. (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba)

3. ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATON: Length, Liberty Interest, Due Process

11. DISCIPLINE: Due Process, Good Time

20. GOOD TIME: Due Process, Good Time Credit

Bonet v. Khahaifa, 512 F.Supp.2d 141 (W.D.N.Y. 2007). A state inmate brought a [section] 1983 action against prison officials alleging denial of due process in connection with a disciplinary hearing that resulted in confinement in a special housing unit (SHU) and loss of good-time credits. The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. The court held that the inmate's 180-day confinement in the special housing unit (SHU) did not violate the inmate's procedural due process rights because it did not impose an atypical and significant hardship on the inmate, as required to establish interference with a due process liberty interest. (Attica Correctional Facility and Southport Correctional Facility, New York)

31. PERSONNEL: Retaliation, Sexual Harassment, Title VII

Brannum v. Missouri Dept. of Corrections, 518 F.3d 542 (8th Cir. 2008). A female Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) correctional officer filed a Title VII retaliation claim against the MDOC. The district court granted summary judgment for the MDOC and the employee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the female officer did not engage in a "protected activity," as required to establish a prima facie case of retaliation, when she assisted a new male officer in reporting a functional unit manager's allegedly sexually harassing comment. According to the court, even if the female officer was actually attempting to object to what she perceived as disparate treatment of an officer on account of his gender, she could not have reasonably believed she was opposing the disparate treatment as he was not subject to any "adverse employment action." The female employee alleged that the manger commented that "women are better by and large as they do a better job than men anyway and are more patient and nurturing." (Potosi Correctional Center, Missouri)

27. LIABILITY: Supervisory Liability, Contract Services

29. MEDICAL CARE: Deliberate Indifference, Contract Services, Delay in Treatment

Brown v. District of Columbia, 514 F.3d 1279 (D.C. Cir. 2008). A District of Columbia prisoner brought Eighth Amendment civil rights claims against the District, mayor, operator of a private prison and various correctional officials and employees, among others. The district court dismissed certain claims for failure to effect service and others for failure to state a claim. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. The court held that the prisoner stated a claim for violation of his Eighth Amendment rights through deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. The court also found that the allegations were sufficient to state a claim for Monell liability against the District for Eighth Amendment violations by alleging that prison officers failed to transfer him for treatment for 60 days following a physician's notification that prisoner was in need of immediate hospitalization for gallstones. The court found that the allegations were insufficient to state a supervisory liability claim against a correctional official who supervised the care of prisoners "housed in contract facilities" for alleged wrongdoing at a correctional facility that did not qualify as a "contract facility". (District of Columbia, Corrections Corporation of America, Occoquan Correctional Faculty in Lorton, Virginia)

14. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Transportation

24. IMMUNITY: Qualified Immunity

39. SAFETY AND SECURITY: Safety, Transportation

47. TRANSFERS: Failure to Protect, Transportation

Brown v. Former, 518 F.3d 552 (8th Cir. 2008). A former inmate brought a [section] 1983 action against correction officers alleging deliberate indifference by failing to provide safe transportation. The district court denied the officers' claims of qualified immunity and denied their motions for summary judgment. The officers appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court held that evidence that a correction officer transporting inmates as part of a convoy refused to fasten the inmate's seatbelt knowing that he could not do so himself because of his shackles, and drove recklessly while ignoring requests to slow down, was sufficient for a reasonable jury to conclude that the officer manifested deliberate indifference for the inmate's safety in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court found that another correction officer who was driving a vehicle as part of the convoy who drove too fast and followed the lead vehicle too closely did not act with deliberate indifference for the safety of inmate passenger in the lead vehicle, even though the officer's driving proximately caused a multiple vehicle rear-end accident which resulted in the inmate's injuries, absent evidence that the officer was asked to slow down and refused, or that the officer knew that inmate had been denied a seatbelt. (Missouri Department of Corrections)

2. ADMINISTRATION: Overtime, Policies/Procedures

31. PERSONNEL: Overtime, Work Rules

Carlsen v. U.S, 521 F.3d 1371 (Fed Cir. 2008). Federal employees of the Bureau of Prisons brought an action against United States under the Federal Employees Pay Act (FEPA) alleging that they were entitled to be paid for overtime that they had worked. The United States Court of Federal Claims granted judgment for the United States and the employees appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the occasional or irregular overtime work allegedly performed by the Bureau of Prisons employees who worked in a secure environment was not subject to compensation under FEPA unless the overtime was directed or approved in writing by a person authorized to approve such overtime. The court noted that the employees worked in a setting in which they they were required to follow all orders, written or oral. The court found that documents such as agency manuals, standards of conduct and training documents which emphasized that employees were required to follow orders of their superiors, when considered together with verbal directives that had the effect of requiring employees to work outside their scheduled shifts, did not constitute express written directives or orders to the employees to work overtime. According to the court, documents such as emails of employees' performance standards and emails from a warden's secretary and announcements of times and places of meetings that the employees were expected to attend did not constitute sufficient written orders to the employees to work overtime. The court ruled that the time that employee spent waiting in a key line did not constitute overtime work. However, the court found that "post orders" that defined employees' duties for each shift by inherently requiring the presence of two employees, one of whom was off-duty, in order to exchange information and equipment at change of shifts, did constitute written orders to work overtime, but the tasks for which an employee was entitled to overtime credit, which amounted to less than ten minutes per day, were de minimis. (Federal Bureau of Prisons)

17. FEMALE PRISONERS: Children

22. HABEAS CORPUS: Jurisdiction, Hague Convention

32. PRETRIAL DETENTION: Habeas Corpus

Carrascosa v. McGuire, 520 F.3d 249 (3rd Cir. 2008). A detainee sought a writ of habeas corpus seeking to end her detention in jail for violating a state court civil contempt order that directed her to return her child to the father's custody in the United States pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The district court denied her motion for reconsideration and the detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the detainee's incarceration was not in violation of laws or treaties of the United States, as required for a grant of habeas petition. The court noted that a Spanish court awarded custody of the child to the detainee, who had removed the child from her habitual place of residence in New Jersey without the American father's permission, in direct contravention of both the letter and spirit of the Hague Convention. The court noted that this also violated the principles of international comity by applying Spanish law, rather than New Jersey law, and therefore warranted refusal to afford comity to the decisions of Spanish courts. (Bergen County Jail, New Jersey)

21. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, PRISONER: PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act, Exhaustion

Clarke v. Thornton, 515 F.Supp.2d 435 (S.D.N.Y. 2007). An inmate appearing pro se brought a [section] 1983 action against a superintendent of a correctional facility and officers, alleging violations of her constitutional and statutory rights while she was incarcerated. The district court dismissed the action, finding that the inmate failed to exhaust her administrative remedies prior to bringing her action in federal court. The court noted that although inmate satisfied the first two tiers of the administrative review process under New York law by filing a formal grievance and appealing to the relevant prison superintendent, the inmate did not complete the final step by appealing to the Central Office Review Committee (CORC). The court found that this resulted in failure to exhaust all administrative remedies pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). (Taconic Correctional Facility, New York)

29. MEDICAL CARE: Deliberate Indifference, Medication, Treatment

Coleman-Bey v. U.S., 512 F.Supp.2d 44 (D.D.C. 2007). A prisoner who suffered from Chronic Hepatitis C brought a petition for a writ of mandamus in Superior Court of the District of Columbia, seeking to order the United States to provide him with necessary Hepatitis C medication. The action was removed to federal court and the defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted summary judgment, finding that failure to prescribe antiviral medication for the prisoner or to arrange for a liver biopsy did not amount to deliberate indifference to the prisoner's serious medical needs. The court noted that the prisoner was not a candidate for a liver biopsy due to his history of mental illness, and he was not a candidate for antiviral therapy because he did not have abnormal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. The court noted that the prisoner had visited an infectious disease clinic at least twice within the past year and the BOP had taken other steps to monitor the prisoner's condition. (United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana)

2. ADMINISTRATION: Records

33. PRIVACY: Privacy Act, Records

Conklin v. U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 514 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C. 2007). A federal inmate brought a pro se action against the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) under the Privacy Act alleging that the copy of his presentence investigation report (PSI) in the BOP's files contained incorrect statements about him, resulting in his classification as a "high custody" inmate. The district court granted the BOP's motion to dismiss. The court held that fact issues as to the date on which the prisoner knew or had reason to know of allegedly incorrect statements in the copy of his PSI in BOP files precluded dismissal as untimely. The court held that amendment of the copy of the inmate's PSI in BOP files was not an available remedy and damages were not an available remedy. (Beckley Federal Correctional Institution in Beaver, West Virginia)

31. PERSONNEL: Discipline, Retaliation, Sexual Harassment, Title VII

Culton v. Missouri Dept. of Corrections, 515 F.3d 828 (8th Cir. 2008). A state employee filed a Title VII action alleging that an agency retaliated against him for confronting a supervisor about the supervisor's unwanted sexual advances toward a subordinate employee. The district court entered summary judgment in the agency's favor and employee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the employee failed to establish the causation branch of his claim that his transfer to a lower status position was in retaliation for his confrontation with the supervisor. According to the court, the decision maker decided on the transfer before learning of the employee's sexual harassment allegation, and the employee did not dispute the factual accuracy of anything reported by supervisor. The court held that the agency's decision to dock the employee's pay for taking unauthorized sick leave was not a pretext for retaliation against employee, despite the employee's contention that the agency failed to follow its policy when docking his pay. The court noted that the employee did not offer any evidence showing that the agency treated him differently than similarly situated employees. (Missouri Department of Corrections)

11. DISCIPLINE: Good Time, Witness

20. GOOD TIME: Due Process, Removal

21. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, PRISONER: Due Process, Exhaustion

22. HABEAS CORPUS: AEDPA- Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act

Davis v. Silva, 511 F.3d 1005 (9th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a habeas petition challenging a prison disciplinary proceeding in which he was assessed a 150-day forfeiture of good-time credit. The district court dismissed the petition for failure to exhaust and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed, finding that the prisoner provided the state court with sufficient facts to exhaust his state court remedies. The court noted that exhaustion under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) requires that a habeas petitioner fairly present his federal claims to the highest state court available and the petitioner describes in the state proceedings both the operative facts and the federal legal theory on which his claim is based so that the state courts have a fair opportunity to apply controlling legal principles to the facts bearing upon his constitutional claim. The court noted that exhaustion of state remedies under AEDPA does not require that a habeas petitioner present to the state courts every piece of evidence supporting his federal claims. According to the court the state prisoner's state habeas petition provided the state court with sufficient facts to address his claim that his due process right to call witnesses in a disciplinary proceeding was violated. The petition explicitly stated the prisoner was denied his due process rights to a witness and made clear based on statute citations that the prisoner was charged with committing a battery upon someone who was not an inmate. The prisoner cited a statute governing denial and revocation of good-time credits, referred to a case holding that due process demands that an inmate be allowed to call witnesses in his defense in a disciplinary proceeding involving possible loss of good-time credits, and cited a regulation controlling disciplinary proceedings. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

31. PERSONNEL: Discrimination, Title VII, Working Conditions, Work Rules

Diaz-Romero v. Mukasey, 514 F.3d 115 (1st Cir. 2008). A former Public Health Service (PHS) officer brought an action against various government defendants claiming damages arising from alleged employment discrimination while working for the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The officer sought both compensatory and punitive damages for the alleged Title VII, constitutional, and tort violations. The government moved to dismiss and the district court granted the motion. The officer appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the officer's injuries arising from alleged employment discrimination were incident to his service, and thus his claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) were barred by the Feres doctrine. The court noted that the incidents that allegedly caused the officer's injuries, i.e., his supervisors' application of BOP regulations to him, occurred while he was actively serving in his PHS assigned post with the BOP, and his supervisors were acting in cooperation with the PHS in that the PHS placed officer with the BOP. (Metropolitan Detention Center, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico)

24. IMMUNITY: Qualified Immunity

38. RULES AND REGULATIONS- PRISONER: Books, Mail

Farid v. Ellen, 514 F.Supp.2d 482 (S.D.N.Y. 2007). A state inmate brought a suit against correctional officials under [section] 1983, alleging that he was deprived of rights protected by the First Amendment when he was disciplined by prison officials for possessing and distributing a booklet of which he was the principal author. The parties filed motions for summary judgment which the district court granted in part and denied in part. The court held that the prison's catch-all contraband rule was unconstitutionally vague as applied to the inmate's possession of the booklet. According to the court, the prison rule prohibiting "smuggling" in or out of a prison facility was unconstitutionally vague as it applied to the inmate's mailing or attempted mailing of the booklet because it did not contain explicit standards and gave prison officers unfettered discretion in interpreting what conduct was prohibited. According to the court, such unfettered discretion impermissibly permitted the viewpoint expressed by the inmate to enter into an evaluation of whether the conduct was violative of the rules. The court found that prison officials were entitled to qualified immunity from money damages because the right of the inmate not to be punished for possession or distribution of written expression of ideas, pursuant to prison rules that did not give notice of the basis on which such written expression would be determined to be improper, was not clearly established. (Woodborne Correctional Facility, New York)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act, Exhaustion

21. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, PRISONER: PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act, Exhaustion, Procedures

Fields v. Oklahoma State Penitentiary, 511 F.3d 1109 (10th Cir. 2007). A state prisoner brought a pro se civil rights action under [section] 1983 against the Oklahoma State Penitentiary (OSP) and nine OSP employees, alleging claims for violations of various constitutional rights and other federal-law and state-law claims. The district court dismissed all the federal-law claims for failure to exhaust administrative remedies and then exercised its discretion to dismiss the state-law claims. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that the prisoner failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) before bringing suit and that the district court was within its discretion in denying the prisoner's motions to amend his complaint. The court noted that although the prisoner filed grievances with the Oklahoma Department of Correction (ODOC) he failed to comply with the required grievance procedures. (Oklahoma State Penitentiary)

29. MEDICAL CARE: Deliberate Indifference, Failure to Provide Care, Work Assignment

50. WORK-PRISONER: Injury

Gabriel v. Hamlin, 514 F.3d 734 (7th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner who was seriously burned while working in a prison kitchen filed a [section] 1983 action against prison officials alleging that they were recklessly indifferent to his serious medical needs. The district court dismissed the action for want of prosecution, and subsequently denied a motion for reconsideration. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that dismissal of the prisoner's claim was not warranted as a sanction. According to the court, the prisoner's failure to secure a trial deposition of his expert as a contingency did not justify the harsh sanction of dismissal for want of prosecution. (Big Muddy River Correctional Center, Illinois)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Records, FOIA- Freedom of Information Act

19. FREE SPEECH, EXPRESSION, ASSOCIATION: FOIA- Freedom of Information Act

44. STANDARDS: State Statutes

Giarratano v. Johnson, 521 F.3d 298 (4th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a [section] 1983 action against the director of a state Department of Corrections challenging the constitutionality of the statutory exclusion of prisoners from making requests for public records under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA). The district court dismissed the action and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the allegations were insufficient to state a claim for facial violation of the equal protection clause and were insufficient to state a claim for an "as-applied" violation of the equal protection clause. According to the court, denial of the prisoner's request for records did not violate his right to access the courts. (Red Onion State Prison, Virginia)

29. MEDICAL CARE: Inadequate Care

Green v. McGinnis, 515 F.Supp.2d 379 (W.D.N.Y. 2007). A state prisoner brought an action against prison employees alleging that he was denied adequate medical treatment in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The prison employees moved for summary judgment, which was granted by the district court. The court held that the notice of motion and scheduling order provided adequate notice to the prisoner of an action and the consequences of failure to respond. The court found that the prisoner received adequate medical treatment. The court noted that the prisoner had x-rays and other tests on his back, including an MRI, and received physical therapy. (Southport Correctional Facility, New York)

13. EX-OFFENDER: Claims

37. RELIGION: Opportunity to Worship, RLUIPA- Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

38. RULES AND REGULATIONS- PRISONER: Access to Religion, Religion

39. SAFETY AND SECURITY: Religious Services

Greene v. Solano County Jail, 513 F.3d 982 (9th Cir. 2008). A former prisoner sued a county jail official asserting statutory and constitutional challenges to the county jail's policy of prohibiting maximum security prisoners from participating in group worship. The district court entered summary judgment for the official and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The court held that the religious exercise at issue in the prisoner's suit under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) was engaging in group worship, not practicing his religion as a whole. Therefore, even if the ban on group worship did not place a substantial burden on the prisoner's practice of Christianity, such fact would not ensure that ban was in compliance with RLUIPA. According to the court, the jail's policy of prohibiting the maximum security prisoner from attending group religious worship services substantially burdened the prisoner's ability to exercise his religion as required for the ban to violate RLUIPA. The court found that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to whether the jail's policy was the least restrictive means of maintaining security. (Solano County Jail, Claybank Facility, California)

10. CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT: Lethal Injection

27. LIABILITY: Injunctive Relief

Harbison v. Little, 511 F.Supp.2d 872 (M.D-Tenn. 2007). A state death row inmate brought a [section] 1983 action alleging that his execution pursuant to Tennessee's lethal injection protocol would violate his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. A bench trial was held. The court entered judgment for the inmate and ordered injunctive relief. The court held that the three-drug protocol used by the state presented an inherent and unnecessary risk of serious pain. The court found that the Commissioner of Corrections knowingly disregarded such risk by rejecting a proposed one-drug protocol recommended by a protocol committee. The court enjoined the state from executing the inmate under the current execution procedures for lethal injection. (Tennessee Department of Corrections)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Law Library, Legal Assistance, Retaliation

11. DISCIPLINE: Retaliation, Evidence

Hartsfield v. Nichols, 511 F.3d 826 (8th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a [section] 1983 action against prison officials alleging denial of access to courts and retaliatory discipline. The district court dismissed his access to courts claim and granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the retaliation claim. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that some evidence supported the disciplinary actions taken against the prisoner and thus he failed to establish a [section] 1983 retaliatory discipline claim. The court noted that a corrections officer filed reports of disciplinary violations against the prisoner for disruptive conduct, verbal abuse, and making threats and an independent hearing officer found the prisoner guilty of the violations.

The court found that the prisoner failed to establish an actual injury necessary for an access to courts claim. The prisoner alleged that officials intentionally denied him access to law books in the prison library and adequate legal assistance from a prison attorney. The court noted that the prisoner only roughly and generally alleged that he was prevented from filing. The prisoner alleged that he did not know what arguments to make not that he was actually prevented from filing a complaint or that a filed complaint was dismissed for lack of legal adequacy. The court found the prisoner's claim that any complaint he would have filed would have been insufficient was speculative. (Iowa State Penitentiary)

3. ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATON: Due Process, Medical Treatment

10. CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT: Failure to Provide Case, Medical Care, Segregation

29. MEDICAL CARE: Deliberate Indifference, Treatment

Hernandez v. Velasquez, 522 F.3d 556 (5th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a [section] 1983 action alleging violations of his Eighth Amendment and due process rights. The district court granted summary judgment to all defendants and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the prisoner failed to show that he was placed at a substantial risk of serious harm when he was placed on lockdown status for 13 months, and therefore he could not show deliberate indifference on the part of prison personnel to his health or safety, as required for prison personnel to be liable under [section] 1983 for imposing conditions of confinement that constituted cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. The court noted that even if the prisoner suffered from muscle atrophy, stiffness, loss of range of motion and depression, there was no indication that those conditions posed a substantial risk of serious harm.

The court held that the prisoner failed to show that prison personnel failed reasonably to address his medical needs, as required for prison personnel to be liable under [section] 1983 for deliberate indifference to the prisoner's serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court noted that sick call requests that the prisoner submitted while he was in lockdown, complaining of muscle soreness, stiffness and loss of range of motion, bore notations from medical staff showing that they responded to the prisoner in timely manner, treating his back pain with heat packs, conducting an x-ray, advising him to take medication for soreness and recommending exercises for soreness and stiffness.

The court held that the prisoner failed to show that his confinement on lockdown status for 13 months posed an atypical or significant hardship on him in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life, and he was therefore not deprived of a cognizable due process liberty interest. According to the court, even if the prisoner was confined to a shared cell with permission to leave only for showers, medical appointments and family visits, his assignment to lockdown was well within the range of confinement to be normally expected for a prisoner serving a life sentence for capital murder. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Polunsky Unit)

27. LIABILITY: PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act

41. SEARCHES: Body Cavity Searches, Strip Searches

Hutchins v. McDaniels, 512 F.3d 193 (5th Cir. 2007). A prison inmate who was subjected to strip and cavity searches by a prison officer brought suit under [section] 1983 to recover for alleged violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. The district court entered an order dismissing the complaint and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the inmate's allegations regarding strip and cavity searches to which he was subjected by a prison officer who never accused him of possessing contraband during the search, and who was allegedly wearing a "lewd smile" during the procedure, were sufficient to state a claim for violation of the inmate's Fourth Amendment rights. The court noted that the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) prohibits a prisoner from recovering compensatory damages in any federal civil action absent a showing of physical injury. According to the court, the inmate's failure to allege that he had sustained any physical injury as a result of a strip and cavity search, prevented him from asserting a claim for recovery of compensatory damages for emotional or mental injuries that he allegedly suffered. The court noted that the inmate did not have to allege any physical injury in order to state a claim for recovery of nominal or punitive damages for the officer's alleged violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. (California Men's Colony East)

9. CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT: Harassment, Safety, Threats

10. CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT: Failure to Protect, Harassment, Safety, Threats

14. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Intimidation, Prisoner on Prisoner Assault, Threats

Irving v. Dormire, 519 F.3d 441 (8th Cir. 2008). An inmate in the Missouri penal system filed suit under [section] 1983 against several employees of a state correctional facility, alleging multiple violations of his constitutional rights of due process, access to the courts and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment on the due process and access to courts claims, but denied the defendants' request for qualified immunity on the Eighth Amendment claim. The parties appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court held that corrections officers' alleged conduct in opening cell doors so as to allow an inmate to attack the plaintiff inmate was sufficiently serious to support a failure to protect claim. According to the court, the inmate's allegations that a corrections officer made several threats to kill the inmate, have him killed or have him beaten were sufficiently serious to form the basis of an injury, as required to support the inmate's Eighth Amendment claim. The court noted that the inmate's right to be free from threats by corrections officers was clearly established at the time the corrections officer allegedly made death threats against inmate. According to the court, an officer's alleged conduct in threatening the inmate with a can of pepper spray and another officer's conduct in stating that she wanted the inmate dead did not rise to the level of being objectively credible. The court also held that an officer was on clear notice that his alleged conduct in labeling the inmate a "snitch" or a "rat" unreasonably subjected the inmate to the threat of a substantial risk of serious harm at the hands of his fellow inmates. The officer allegedly made three unsuccessful offers of payment to other inmates to assault the inmate, labeled the inmate a snitch in an effort to induce inmates to attack him and even armed another inmate with a razor blade for use in such an attempt. (Jefferson City Correctional Center, Missouri)

11. DISCIPLINE: Disciplinary Procedures, Evidence, Witness

Johnson v. Evinger, 517 F.3d 921 (7th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner filed a [section] 1983 action against several correctional officials claiming that they retaliated against him because he tried to obtain evidence to defend himself against a disciplinary charge. The district court dismissed the action and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the prisoner forfeited his [section] 1983 due process claim because he failed to comply with the procedure for a prisoner to gather such evidence, as mandated by state prison regulations, which required the prisoner to submit questions to the disciplinary committee rather than confront witnesses directly. (Illinois Department of Corrections)

14. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Medical Care

17. FEMALE PRISONERS: Medical Care

29. MEDICAL CARE: Deliberate Indifference, Failure to Provide Care

Jones v. Minnesota Dept. of Corrections, 512 F.3d 478 (8th Cir. 2008). The trustee for the heirs of an inmate brought an action against a state Department of Corrections, corrections officers and prison nurse alleging deliberate indifference to the inmate's serious medical need in violation of Eighth Amendment. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and trustee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the inmate did not have a medical need so obvious that a layperson would easily recognize the need for a doctor's immediate attention, as required to establish an objectively serious medical need without a physician's diagnosis. The court found that corrections officers and a prison nurse did not violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment by deliberate indifference to inmate's serious medical need. The court noted that although the inmate appeared to be unable to stand or walk under her own power, did not respond to officers' directions, rolled on the ground grunting and groaning and had dried blood and cuts on her lips, prison personnel had no background knowledge that made it obvious that those symptoms required medical attention and the inmate never expressed a need for medical attention. (Blue Earth County Jail and Minnesota Correctional Facility- Shakopee)

16. FALSE IMPRISONMENT: Arrest and Detention, Due Process

43. SENTENCE: Liberty Interest, Original Sentence

44. STANDARDS: State Regulations

Jenkins v. Currier, 514 F.3d 1030 (10th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a pro se [section] 1983 action against state officials alleging that the officials violated his constitutional rights and state law when they took him into custody without a warrant or a probable cause hearing, and transferred him to a correctional facility in order for him to serve his previously imposed sentence. The district court dismissed the prisoner's claims with prejudice. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court noted that under Oklahoma law, a convicted defendant who is at liberty without having served his sentence may be arrested as on escape and ordered into custody on the unexecuted judgment. According to the court, state officials did not violate the Fourth Amendment when they seized the state prisoner without a warrant, after having been released from federal custody erroneously, so that he could serve the remainder of his unfinished state sentence. The court noted that the officials had reason to believe that the prisoner had not completed serving his state sentences and there were no special circumstances that would have made his otherwise permissible arrest unreasonable. The court also found that the prisoner had no due process right to a hearing when he was taken back into custody. (Oklahoma)

2. ADMINISTRATION: APA- Administrative Procedures Act

36. RELEASE: Early Release, Liberty Interest

Kotz v. Lappin, 515 F.Supp.2d 143 (D.D.C. 2007). A federal prisoner moved for injunctive relief ordering the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and BOP director to reverse its refusal for the second time to allow the prisoner to participate in a Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) and receive a sentence reduction. The district court denied the motion. The court held that the RDAP statute did not the grant prisoner a liberty interest in the possibility of early release. The court found that the BOP program statement restricting early release for participation in RDAP to one time was an interpretive rule not subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). (Federal Correctional Institute, Cumberland, Maryland)

21. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, PRISONER: Exhaustion

47. TRANSFERS: Transportation, Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Malik v. District of Columbia, 512 F.Supp.2d 28 (D.D.C. 2007). An inmate sued the District of Columbia, a correctional services company retained by the District, and a transportation company claiming violations of the Eighth Amendment during a 40-hour bus ride transferring the inmate between two facilities. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The court held that the inmate failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as to the claims against the District and the correctional services company. The court ruled that genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether he exhausted any administrative remedies available to him under the transportation company's informal grievance policy, precluding summary judgment. (District of Columbia, Corrections Corporation of America, TransCor, CCA's Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, Youngstown, Ohio, and CCA Central Arizona Detention Center)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Due Process, Statute of Limitations

10. CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT: Lethal Injection

McNair v. Allen, 515 F.3d 1168 (11th Cir. 2008). A death row inmate moved for a stay of his execution, on the theory that the method of execution to which he was subject, death by lethal injection, violated his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The district court granted the motion to allow the inmate to litigate his [section] 1983 claims and the defendants appealed. The appeals court vacated. The court held that the two-year statute of limitations on [section] 1983 claim brought by the inmate began to run when the inmate, after his death sentence had already become final, became subject to the new execution protocol when the inmate became subject to the new execution protocol, not at the time of the inmate's execution or on the date that a federal habeas review was completed. (Holman Correctional Facility, Alabama)

2. ADMINISTRATION: Employee Qualifications

31. PERSONNEL: Promotion, Religion

Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs Ass'n v. Clarke, 513 F.Supp.2d 1014 (E.D.Wisc. 2007). A union and county sheriff s deputies brought a [section] 1983 action against a county sheriff, sheriffs captain and county alleging that the defendants violated the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the Constitution. The plaintiffs were seeking an injunction barring the defendants from permitting any further presentations given by a religious group. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that inviting the religious organization to speak within the sheriffs department was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. The court found that an organization of law enforcement officers, which assisted officers in dealing with stress through Bible study, encouragement and support, was a religious organization for the purposes of the sheriff's deputies' Establishment Clause action. The court noted that even though the organization did not bar non-Christians from joining, members of an evangelical church created the organization at meetings held at a church. The organization's literature contained numerous references to Christ and the name of the organization was "Fellowship of Christian Centurions." Speakers had instructed deputies that civil government was "God's idea" and that they were "ministers of God". A presenter had quoted books of the Bible and the organization made available copies of a book about Christian faith. The sheriff had invited the organization to make a presentation at a department leadership conference which previously had included only secular speakers. The department subsequently asked the organization to make similar presentations at department roll calls. The department required attendance of deputies and did not advise them that they could skip the organization's presentations. Before the leadership conference the sheriff had spoken of promotion criteria and distributed written material recommending that deputies surround themselves with people of faith. The court found that a sheriffs captain could be held liable under [section] 1983 for the department's Establishment Clause violation in endorsing the message of a religious organization composed of law enforcement officers because the captain took an affirmative role in setting up the organization's presentations and failed to take any action to alleviate the appearance of government endorsement of religious. However, the court held that evidence was insufficient to establish that the county sheriff had made Christianity a prerequisite for promotion in violation of Free Exercise Clause. The sheriff had distributed religious material prior to the leadership conference when he was speaking about promotion criteria. (Milwaukee County Sheriffs Department, Wisconsin)

21. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, PRISONER: Exhaustion, PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act

Moore v. Bennette, 517 F.3d 717 (4th Cir. 2008). A prisoner filed a [section] 1983 action against prison officials alleging deliberate indifference to his medical needs and retaliation. The district court dismissed and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded. On remand, the district court dismissed and the prisoner appealed again. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed and remanded. The court held that the prisoner was not required to name particular defendants in prison grievances in order to satisfy the Prison Litigation Reform Act's (PLRA) exhaustion requirements. According to the court, nothing in prison grievance procedures required the prisoner to identify specific individuals in his grievances. (Southern Correctional Institute, North Carolina Department of Correction)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act

21. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, PRISONER: Exhaustion, PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act

Murray v. Prison Health Services, 513 F.Supp.2d 9 (S.D.N.Y. 2007). A pro se prisoner brought a [section] 1983 action against prison health services, among others, alleging that a superintendent, nurse administrator and two nurses at the prison were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs and denied him daily medication for his HIV infection. The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint and the district court granted the motion. The court held that the prisoner's alleged actions, sending letters to the nurse administrator and superintendent, were not sufficient to satisfy the exhaustion requirement of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). (Green Haven Correctional Faculty, New York)

21. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, PRISONER: Due Process, Exhaustion, PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act

30. MENTAL PROBLEMS (PRISONER): Forced Medication, Psychotropic Medication

47. TRANSFERS: Due Process, Law Library, Mental Health

Obriecht v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489 (7th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner filed a pro se [section] 1983 action against prison officials alleging that he was denied procedural due process when transferred to a state facility and when he was forced to take psychotropic medications. The district court granted summary judgment to the officials and denied motions for reconsideration. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the prisoner failed to exhaust challenges to the transfers and forced medication. The court also found that the prisoner forfeited the argument that exhaustion should be excused because of an inadequate law library because that issue had not been raised in the district court. The court noted that a prisoner's exhaustion of administrative remedies before filing a [section] 1983 claim is required even if the prisoner believes his efforts in securing relief will be futile or if the administrative authority has no power to grant the requested relief. (Wisconsin Resource Center and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections)

18. FOOD: Religious Diet

37. RELIGION: Diet, Establishment Clause, Free Exercise, RFRA- Religious Freedom Restoration Act, RLUIPA- Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

Patel v. U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 515 F.3d 807 (8th Cir. 2008). A federal prisoner sued the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and prison officials alleging that they violated his right to practice his Muslim religion in violation of the Equal Protection Clause, the Establishment Clause, the Free Exercise Clause, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The prisoner alleged that prison officials failed to provide him with appropriate meals. The district court entered summary judgment for the BOP and the officials. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court held that the prisoner's ability to practice his religion was not substantially burdened in violation of the Free Exercise Clause, RFRA or RLUIPA. The court found that the officials did not violate the prisoner's equal protection rights. According to the court, limitations in dietary accommodations did not substantially burden the Muslim prisoner's ability to practice his religion, where the prisoner had an option of purchasing halal vegetarian entrees on days that allegedly inadequate kosher meat entrees were served. The court noted that the prisoner received money from work and family members and had not pursued alternatives such as requesting to be first in line at the food bar to avoid cross-contamination. (Federal Correctional Institution in Forrest City, Arkansas)

29. MEDICAL CARE: Inadequate Care

Pettus v. Wright, 514 F.Supp.2d 436 (W.D.N.Y 2007). A state prisoner brought a civil rights action under [section] 1983 against physicians who examined or treated him, alleging that he was denied adequate medical treatment for a number of conditions affecting his health, in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The physicians moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion. The court held that the treatment the prisoner received was adequate. The court noted that although the prisoner disagreed with the course of treatment that he received, he was examined by a number of physicians, including specialists, various tests were performed on him, and he was administered various medications for his complaints, consistent with the test results. (Elmira Correctional Facility, New York)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Sleep, Law Books, Jail House Lawyers

3. ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATON: Religious Services, Exercise

7. CIVIL RIGHTS: ADA- Americans with Disabilities Act

9. CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT: ADA- Americans with Disabilities Act, Mattresses, Out of Cell Time

12. EXERCISE AND RECREATION: Segregation

23. HYGIENE-PRISONER PERSONAL: Bedding

27. LIABILITY: Injunctive Relief

32. PRETRIAL DETENTION: ADA- Americans with Disabilities Act, Conditions, Due Process, Exercise, Religion

Pierce v. County of Orange, 519 F.3d 985 (9th Cir. 2008). Pretrial detainees in a county's jail facilities brought a [section] 1983 class action suit against the county and its sheriff seeking relief for violations of their constitutional and statutory rights. After consolidating the case with a prior case challenging jail conditions, the district court rejected the detainees' claims and the detainees appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court held that the injunctive orders relating to the jail's reading materials, mattresses and beds, law books, population caps, sleep, blankets, dayroom access (not less than two hours each day), telephone access and communication with jailhouse lawyers were not necessary to correct current ongoing violations of the pretrial detainees' constitutional rights. Inmates had alleged that they were denied the opportunity for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep on the night before and the night after each court appearance. The court found that an injunction relating to restrictions of the detainees' religious rights based on security concerns was narrowly drawn and extended no further than necessary to correct the violation of the federal right of pretrial detainees in administrative segregation. According to the court, providing pretrial detainees housed in administrative segregation only ninety minutes of exercise per week, less than thirteen minutes per day, constituted punishment in violation of due process standards. The court also found that the county failed to reasonably accommodate mobility-impaired and dexterity-impaired pretrial detainees in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The court affirmed termination of 12 of the injunctive orders, but found that the district court erred in its finding that two orders were unnecessary. (Orange County, California)

2. ADMINISTRATION: Employee Discipline

31. PERSONNEL: Association, Discipline, Free Speech, Retaliation

Piscottano v. Murphy, 511 F.3d 247 (2nd Cir. 2007). Correctional employees brought a [section] 1983 action against state officials alleging that discipline imposed on them for associating with a motorcycle club violated their First Amendment and due process rights to freedom of expressive association and freedom of intimate association. The employees asserted a "void-for-vagueness" challenge to the regulation under which they were disciplined. The district court entered summary judgment for the state officials and the employees appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the conduct of three employees constituted expressive activity on a matter of public concern but the discipline of the three employees did not violate their freedom of expressive association. The court found that the regulation prohibiting correctional officers from engaging in behavior that could reflect negatively on the corrections department was not void for vagueness as applied to the three employees. The court noted that the motorcycle club was not an organization that spoke out on matters of public concern. According to the court, the state correctional employees' approval or endorsement of the club necessarily would constitute expressive conduct on a matter of public concern where the employee testified that what the club was "all about" riding motorcycles, having parties and having fun. According to the court, in a public employee's action alleging retaliation for exercising speech rights, evidence that harms or disruptions have in fact occurred are not necessary for the employer to justify an adverse employment action. The court found that the employer need only make a reasonable determination that the employee's speech creates the potential for such harms. (Connecticut Department of Correction)

14. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Medical Care

17. FEMALE PRISONERS: Medical Care

29. MEDICAL CARE: Deliberate Indifference, Inadequate Care, Records

Popoalii v. Correctional Medical Services, 512 F.3d 488 (8th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a [section] 1983 action against multiple staff members of the state department of corrections (DOC) alleging deliberate indifference to her serious medical conditions. The district court struck the prisoner's expert affidavit and granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that DOC staff members were not deliberately indifferent to the prisoner's serious medical condition of cryptococcal meningitis, which resulted in her eventual blindness, as required to prevail in a [section] 1983 Eighth Amendment claim. According to the court, the prisoner had none of the normal signs or risk factors of cryptococcal meningitis. The court noted that although the staff probably should have been more vigilant in obtaining the prisoner's medical records, which would have disclosed her condition, there was no showing that they knew of the prisoner's condition. (Women's Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center, Missouri)

14. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Prisoner Suicide, Wrongful Death

25. INTAKE AND ADMISSIONS: Screening, Suicide

26. JUVENILES: Suicide

27. LIABILITY: Contract Services, [section] 1983

30. MENTAL PROBLEMS (PRISONER): Evaluation, Suicide

Probst v. Central Ohio Youth Center, 511 F.Supp.2d 862 (S.D. Ohio 2007). A plaintiff, on behalf of the estate of her son who committed suicide while incarcerated at juvenile detention facility, brought a wrongful-death action against the facility, its superintendent, a non-profit provider that performed suicide evaluations at the facility and a social worker employed by the provider. The plaintiff asserted claims under [section] 1983 and state law. The facility and non-profit moved for summary judgment. The district court denied the motion. The court held that under the state compulsion test, the private provider that performed suicide evaluations at the juvenile detention facility was not "state actor" for [section] 1983 purposes. The court noted that the facility did not exert any control over suicide evaluations and the provider performed evaluations on an as-needed basis using its own standards and procedures. According to the court, the facility had discretion to implement the provider's recommendations resulting from the evaluations. But the court held that the private provider was a state actor for [section] 1983 purposes because it was performing a "public function." (Central Ohio Youth Center)

7. CIVIL RIGHTS: Aliens, Torture

9. CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT: Aliens

10. CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT: Torture

27. LIABILITY: Bivens Claim, Alien

37. RELIGION: RFRA- Religious Freedom and Restoration Act

Rasul v. Myers, 512 F.3d 644 (D.C. Cir. 2008). Former detainees at a military facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba sued the Secretary of Defense and commanding officers alleging they were tortured. The detainees asserted claims under the Alien Torture Statute, under the Geneva Conventions, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and also asserted Fifth and Eighth Amendment claims on a Bivens cause of action. The defendants moved to dismiss and the district court granted the motion in part and denied the motion as to the RFRA claim. Both sides appealed. The district court affirmed in part and reversed as to the RFRA claim. The court held that the acts of torture allegedly committed against aliens detained at the military base in Cuba were "within the scope of employment" of military personnel who were allegedly committing such acts, for the purpose of deciding whether the United states should be substituted as defendant. The court found that the aliens were without property or presence in the United States and lacked any constitutional rights and could not assert a Bivens claims against military personnel for alleged due process violations and cruel and unusual punishment inflicted upon them. The court held that the term "persons" as used in the RFRA to generally prohibit the government from substantially burdening a "person's exercise of religion" did not extend to non-resident aliens. (United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba)

14. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Use of Force

24. IMMUNITY: Official Capacity

48. USE OF FORCE: Excessive Force

Richman v. Sheahan, 512 F.3d 876 (7th Cir. 2008). The administrator of the estate of contemnor filed a [section] 1983 suit individually and in her official capacity against deputy sheriffs in their individual capacities for violating the Fourth and Eighth Amendments. The administrator alleged that the deputies used excessive force, leading to her son's death, while restraining him for resisting arrest in a state courtroom after a judge held him in contempt. The district court granted in part, and denied in part, the deputies' motion for summary judgment on the ground of official immunity and the deputies appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by fact issues as to whether the deputy sheriffs applied excessive force with the intent to punish the contemnor, not merely with the intent to arrest.

The court found that the deputies were protected by official immunity for seizing the mother. According to the court, the deputy sheriffs did not subject the mother to excessive force by seizing her in the courtroom. Other deputies restrained her son for resisting arrest allegedly sat on his back. The court noted that the deputies moved the mother by wheelchair to another courtroom in a modest use of force. The court found that the use of force was well suited to the situation in which it was essential to remove her after she had tried to force her way back to the courtroom, as her screaming would have likely distracted the deputies or incited the son to further struggles. The court noted that she did not suffer the slightest injury from the short trip in the wheelchair. (Cook County, Illinois)

2. ADMINISTRATION: Policies/Procedures

17. FEMALE PRISONERS: Abortion

29. MEDICAL CARE: Abortion

Roe v. Crawford, 514 F.3d 789 (8th Cir. 2008). An inmate brought a class action against corrections officials challenging the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDC) policy prohibiting transportation of pregnant inmates off-site for elective, non-therapeutic abortions. The district court determined that the MDC policy was unconstitutional and entered judgment for the inmate. Corrections officials appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the MDC policy could not withstand scrutiny under Turner. The court noted that even if the MDC policy rationally advanced the prison's legitimate security interests, the policy acted as a complete bar to elective abortions. The prison policy allowed transportation "outcounts" to outside facilities only for medically necessary therapeutic abortions due to a threat to the mother's life or health. According to the court, obtaining an abortion prior to incarceration was not a valid alternative means of exercising the right. According to the court, the MDC policy did not reduce the overall number of outcounts and so did not reduce any strain on financial or staff resources, and ready alternatives to the MDC policy existed including reverting to the previous policy of allowing outcounts for elective abortions. (Missouri Department of Corrections, Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center)

8. CLASSIFICATION & SEPARATION: Separation, Sex Offenders

9. CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT: Sanitation, Ventilation, Temperature, Odors

15. FACILITIES: Sanitation, Temperature Ventilation

34. PROGRAMS- PRISONER: Sex Offenders, Treatment Programs

40. SANITATION: Rodents/Pests, Sanitation

Sain v. Wood, 512 F.3d 886 (7th Cir. 2008). A civilly-committed sex offender brought a [section] 1983 action alleging that his conditions of confinement violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process rights. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of some defendants and denied a motion for summary judgment based on qualified immunity for the clinical director of a detention facility. The clinical director appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the district court did not commit plain error in assuming implicitly that the clinical director was entitled to assert qualified immunity as a state actor. The court found that the offender's alleged conditions of confinement did not amount to inhumane treatment in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The conditions purportedly included unpleasant odors, lack of air conditioning, peeling paint and the presence of cockroaches which, according to the court, did not amount to inhumane treatment. The court noted that although the alleged conditions were unpleasant, they were not so objectively serious that they could establish a constitutional violation.

The court held that the failure of the clinical director to transfer the offender to the newer, more comfortable and sanitary unit of the facility did not amount to deliberate indifference, even assuming that the director knew of the allegedly poor conditions of confinement that included cockroach infestations. The court noted that the director decided that a transfer would contravene the offender's treatment objectives because the rooms in the new unit were double occupancy. The court noted that the offender had refused to participate in sex offender treatment programs and he had a history of sexual aggression with other inmates. (Joliet Treatment and Detention Facility, Illinois Department of Human Services)

18. FOOD: Religious Diet

37. RELIGION: Diet, Free Exercise, Equal Protection, RLUIPA- Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

Shakur v. Schriro, 514 F.3d 878 (9th Cir. 2008). A Muslim inmate brought a pro se civil rights action against state prison officials alleging violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the Free Exercise Clause and the Equal Protection Clause after he was denied a requested religious dietary accommodation. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The inmate appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that factual issues precluded summary judgment on the inmate's free exercise, RLUIPA and Equal Protection claims. The fact issues included the impact of accommodating the inmate's request for kosher meat diet and the availability of ready alternatives, the extent of the burden imposed on the inmate's religious activities by the prison's refusal to serve him the requested kosher meat diet, the extent of the burden that would be created by accommodating the inmate's request, and the existence of less restrictive alternatives. The court also found that material issues of fact existed as to whether the costs of providing a kosher meat diet to Muslim inmates in the prison justified different treatment of the Muslim inmate whose request for kosher diet was denied, and that of Jewish inmates who received kosher or orthodox kosher meals. The court held that the prison's refusal to provide the inmate with a kosher meat diet implicated the Free Exercise Clause, given the inmate's sincere belief that he was personally required to consume kosher meat to maintain his spirituality. (Arizona Department of Corrections, Florence)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Access to Attorney, Telephone

32. PRETRIAL DETENTION: Privacy, Telephone, Access to Court

33. PRIVACY: Attorney-Client Communications, Telephone Calls

Sherbrooke v. City of Pelican Rapids, 513 F.3d 809 (8th Cir. 2008). An arrestee sued a city and police officers alleging that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when officers recorded one side of his conversation with his attorney. The district court entered summary judgment for the arrestee and the defendants appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that recording of the conversation with the attorney did not constitute a search. The court found that the police officers' recording of one side of the suspect's conversation with his attorney, pursuant to a standard operating procedure of recording detainees who were awaiting a blood alcohol content breath test, did not constitute a search inasmuch as the suspect could not reasonably expect that the conversation was private. The court noted that officers were present when the call was made in an open room at the police station and the suspect acknowledged that the recording was "fine" with him. (City of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota)

36. RELEASE: Ex Post Facto, Liberty Interest, Commutation, Liberty Interest

43. SENTENCE: Commutation, Ex Post Facto, Liberty Interest

44. STANDARDS: State Statutes

Snodgrass v. Robinson, 512 F.3d 999 (8th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a suit against the Iowa Board of Parole, the Board's members and the governor of Iowa alleging that her constitutional rights were violated by applying laws and regulations governing commutation requests, even though the laws were passed after her conviction. The district court granted a motion to dismiss and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the retroactive application of an amendment to the Iowa commutation provisions did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause and that the state prisoner had no liberty interest in commutations. The court noted that the retroactive application of the amendment to Iowa Code did not raise a significant risk that the state prisoner would be denied a commutation she otherwise would have received from the governor given the unpredictability of the wholly discretionary grant of a governor's commutation. The court noted that the new provisions limited a Class A felon serving a life sentence to commutation applications no more frequently than once every ten years rather than previous standards which provided for regular review. (Iowa Board of Parole)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Pro Se Litigation, Video Communication

14. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Prisoner on Prisoner Assault

Solis v. County of Los Angeles, 514 F.3d 946 (9th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought civil rights claims against a prison guard and others alleging that the guard was deliberately indifferent to his rights in failing to prevent an attack by other inmates. The district court entered summary judgment on some claims for the defendants and judgment for the prison guard following a bench trial on the remaining claims. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The court held that the pro se prisoner was not given fair notice of the requirements of responding to, or consequences of losing on, a summary judgment motion and thus the entry of summary judgment against him was a reversible error. According to the court, the prisoner did not, by participating in the district court's bench trial by videotape depositions, which was conducted without the parties' presence, consent to the erroneous withdrawal of his prior jury demand. The court found that the erroneous denial of the prisoner's right to a jury trial was not harmless, where a reasonable jury could have found the prisoner's version of events more credible than the guard's and determined that the guard acted with deliberate indifference in failing to protect the prisoner from an attack by other inmates. (Los Angeles County, California)

2. ADMINISTRATION: APA- Administrative Procedures Act, Prisoner Accounts

4. ASSESSMENT OF COSTS: APA- Administrative Procedures Act, Restitution

Stern v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 515 F.Supp.2d 153 (D.D.C. 2007). A federal inmate brought an action against the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) challenging its statutory authority to promulgate a regulation through which it had established restitution payment schedules. The BOP requested that the court transfer the suit to the federal district wherein the inmate was incarcerated. The district court denied the transfer, holding that the convenience of the parties and the interest of justice did not weigh in favor of the transfer of venue. According to the court, the federal inmate's Administrative Procedure Act (APA) action against the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) would not be construed as a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, so as to justify a transfer of venue from the District of Columbia to the district within which the inmate was incarcerated. The court noted that the success of the inmate's claim would not have affected the fact or length of the inmate's confinement, but would only invalidate the BOP's restitution schedule. (Federal Bureau of Prisons, Jesup, Georgia)

11. DISCIPLINE: Due Process, Witness, Records

21. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, PRISONER: Exhaustion

Sweet v. Wende Correctional Facility, 514 F.Supp.2d 411 (W.D.N.Y. 2007). A state inmate filed a civil rights suit against a prison, disciplinary hearing officer and others. The district court granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment in part and denied in part. The court held that the inmate did not exhaust his administrative remedies on his due process claim concerning an alleged refusal to call witnesses. The court found that any right the inmate had to have witnesses testify at a hearing was not violated when the witnesses refused to give testimony. According to the court, the lack of a transcript of a prison disciplinary hearing did not violate due process. (Wende Correctional Facility, New York)

14. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Sexual Assault

17. FEMALE PRISONERS: Sexual Assault

Tafoya v. Salazar, 516 F.3d 912 (10th Cir. 2008). A female inmate who was sexually assaulted by a detention officer brought an action against an officer and a sheriff under [section] 1983 and state law. The district court granted summary judgment to the sheriff and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by an issue of material fact as to whether the sheriff was deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk of serious harm to inmates that continued to exist at the jail, notwithstanding the measures he had implemented to remedy the circumstances in the jail that had directly led to sexual assaults of inmates by detention officers. Prior to this case, two independent incidents of sexual assault occurred in the jail, both perpetrated by male detention officers against female inmates. The appeals court had previously found evidence that these assaults were the product of unconstitutional jail conditions maintained through the deliberate indifference of the sheriff. The court noted many ways in which his administration of the jail fell below an acceptable standard. Three years after these assaults the plaintiff in this case was sexually assaulted by a detention officer, who was later arrested for and convicted of the assaults. (Huerfano County Jail, Colorado)

31. PERSONNEL: Promotion, Property Interest, Due Process, Equal Protection

Teigen v. Renfrow, 511 F.3d 1072 (10th Cir. 2007). Employees of the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) brought a [section] 1983 action against DOC officials alleging that the officials engaged in a policy of blacklisting employees who maintained administrative appeals of state personnel actions, in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. The district court dismissed the action and the employees appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that although the employees had a protected property interest under Colorado law in their continued employment, they were not deprived of a protected property interest by the DOC officials' alleged policy of blacklisting. The court found that the right to be fairly considered for promotions was not a due process property right and that the policy of denying promotions to employees because they maintained administrative appeals did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. (Territorial Correctional Facility, Colorado Department of Corrections)

9. CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT: Floor-Sleeping

24. IMMUNITY: Qualified Immunity

32. PRETRIAL DETENTION: Conditions

Thomas v. Baca, 514 F.Supp.2d 1201 (CD. California 2007). Pre-trial detainees and post-conviction prisoners who alleged they were required to sleep on the floor of county jail facilities brought a civil rights class action suit against a sheriff in his individual and official capacities. The prisoners moved for summary adjudication of certain issues and the sheriff moved for summary judgment, or in the alternative, for summary adjudication. The district court granted the motions in part and denied in part. The court held that undisputed evidence established the custom of forcing inmates to sleep on the floor and that this custom violated the Eighth Amendment, even if the majority of inmates had bunks and floor-sleeping inmates were provided with mattresses. The plaintiffs had presented undisputed evidence that over 24,000 instances of floor sleeping occurred in the jail system in a four month period. The court found that the sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity from liability for the jail's custom of forcing some inmates to sleep on the floor, where it was not clearly established during the 2002 to 2005 period covered by the suit, that providing inmate with a mattress would not avoid a violation or that floor sleeping violated the Eighth Amendment rights of convicted inmates as well as due process rights of pretrial detainees. (Los Angeles Sheriff Department, California)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Expert Witness

29. MEDICAL CARE: Inadequate Care

32. PRETRIAL DETENTION: Medical Care

46. TRAINING: Medical Care

Thomas v. Sheahan, 514 F.Supp.2d 1083 (N.D.Ill. 2007). A special administrator filed a [section] 1983 suit against a county, sheriff, county board, correctional officers, supervisors and correctional medical technician on behalf of a pretrial detainee who died at a county jail from meningitis and pneumonia, alleging violations of constitutional rights and state law claims for wrongful death, survival action, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court held that the administrator's failure to produce documentary evidence of lost wages or child support payments did not preclude her from introducing evidence at trial. The court found that the physician was not qualified to testify as to the manifestations of meningitis absent evidence that the physician was an expert on meningitis or infectious diseases. According to the court, a jail operations expert's proposed testimony that the county did not meet minimum standards of the conduct for training of correctional staff was inadmissible. The court also found that evidence of jail conditions was relevant and thus admissible, where the administrator of the detainee's estate argued that county officials should have known the detainee was sick because he was throwing up in his cell and in a day room. (Cook County, Illinois)

36. RELEASE: Credit, Parole- Revocation

43. SENTENCE: Credit, Original Sentence, Probation-Revocation

Thompson v. District of Columbia Dept. of Corrections, 511 F.Supp.2d 111 (D.D.C. 2007). A federal prisoner filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus alleging that his custody, based on a parole violator warrant issued by the United States Parole Commission, unlawfully extended his sentence beyond the expiration date. The district court denied the petition. The court held that the prisoner's custody did not unlawfully extend his sentence beyond the expiration date. According to the court, the Commission did not usurp a judicial function in violation of the separation of powers when it rescinded the prisoner's street-time credit upon each of his parole revocations. The court noted that the number of days he spent on parole was properly rescinded for each of his revocations, and therefore the days no longer counted towards the service of his prison term. (District of Columbia Department of Corrections)

3. ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATON: Due Process, Liberty Interest

9. CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT: Mattress, Sanitation

10. CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT: Conditions, Sanitation

23. HYGIENE-PRISONER PERSONAL: Bedding

Townsend v. Fuchs, 522 F.3d 765 (7th Cir. 2008). A state inmate filed a civil rights suit against a prison official and a correctional officer alleging violation of his due process rights in placing him in administrative segregation for 59 days, and violation of his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment due to unsanitary conditions in segregation. The district court granted the official's motion for partial summary judgment. The court later denied the inmate's motion to amend to add a warden as a defendant and entered summary judgment for the prison official and correctional officer. The inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. The court held that the discretionary placement of the inmate in non-punitive administrative segregation for 59 days while officials investigated his possible role in a prison riot did not give rise to a liberty interest entitled to protection under procedural due process. The court noted that the federal Constitution does not create a liberty interest in avoiding transfer within a correctional facility. However, the court found that the inmate's sleeping on a moldy and wet mattress involved a sufficiently serious prison condition to deny a civilized measure of life's necessities, as required for an Eighth Amendment claim. The court held that summary judgment on the issue of deliberate indifference was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether a correctional officer knew about the condition of the inmate's wet and moldy mattress. (New Lisbon Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)

36. RELEASE: Parole- Conditions, Supervised Release

43. SENTENCE: Supervised Release- Conditions

U.S. v. Betts, 511 F.3d 872 (9th Cir. 2007). A defendant appealed the sentence imposed by the district court for conspiracy, challenging various conditions of supervised release. The appeals court vacated the sentence and remanded the case. The court held that the conditions of supervised release improperly delegated to a probation officer the decision as to how much of any windfall received by defendant would be applied to his restitution obligation. The court also found that the condition of supervised release prohibiting the defendant from drinking alcohol was improper, where there was nothing in the record to suggest that the judge thought there was any past abuse of alcohol or any relationship between alcohol and the defendant's crime. (United States District Court for the Central District of California)

14. FAILURE TO PROTECT: Officer on Prisoner Assault

29. MEDICAL CARE: Deliberate Indifference, Failure to Provide Care

U.S. v. Conatser, 514 F.3d 508 (6th Cir. 2008). Jail officers were convicted in district court on charges arising from their participation as corrections officers in a conspiracy to violate the rights of detainees and prisoners in a county jail. The officers appealed and the appeals court affirmed. The court held that evidence was sufficient to support the determination one officer joined a conspiracy. Three conspirators testified that the officer was among those second-shift officers who would accompany a second-shift supervisor into a cell or stand outside the cell while the supervisor committed unjustified assaults on loud, obnoxious or uncooperative inmates. According to the court, evidence indicated that the officer, on a specific occasion involving the death of an inmate, followed the supervisor and a coconspirator as they took the inmate to a detox cell, and the officer stood outside while the inmate was assaulted. The court found that a sentence of life imposed upon a supervising corrections officer was reasonable, even though another officer had inflicted the injuries that ultimately killed an inmate, given that the supervising officer's actions in denying the inmate necessary and appropriate medical care resulted in his death. (Wilson County Jail, Tennessee)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Legal Material

35. PROPERTY- PRISONER PERSONAL Confiscation, Legal Material

U.S. v. Gabaldon, 522 F.3d 1121(10th Cir. 2008). After a federal prisoner's conviction for second-degree murder and kidnapping resulting in death were affirmed, he moved for post conviction relief. The district court dismissed the motion and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded. The court held that confiscation of the prisoner's legal materials constituted extraordinary circumstances, where the prisoner exercised requisite due diligence by requesting the materials after they were seized. According to the court, confiscation of the prisoner's legal materials upon his entry into disciplinary segregation, just six weeks before the expiration of the limitations period on his post conviction relief claim, and holding of such materials until two weeks after the limitations period expired, constituted extraordinary circumstances for the purposes of equitable tolling of the one-year limitations period on the prisoner's post conviction relief petition. (New Mexico)

9. CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT: Clothing

32. PRETRIAL DETENTION: Clothing

U.S. v. Reed, 522 F.3d 354 (D.C. Cir. 2008). A defendant was convicted in district court of armed bank robbery, armed carjacking and destruction of property and he appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that requiring the defendant to wear a jumpsuit without underwear did not rise to the level of a coercive police activity that would render the defendant's confession not voluntary within the meaning of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (District of Columbia)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Telephone

25. INTAKE AND ADMISSIONS: Orientation

33. PRIVACY: Confidential Information, Telephone Calls

U.S. v. Verdin-Garcia, 516 F.3d 884 (10th Cir. 2008). A defendant was convicted in district court of multiple crimes related to drug trafficking conspiracy and he appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the defendant's consent to recording of his prison phone calls could be implied from his decision to use the prison telephone and therefore the voice exemplars used from prison recordings were admissible in trial. The court noted that a prison employee testified that prominent signs next to the telephones proclaimed "all calls may be recorded/monitored," in both English and Spanish. The defendant underwent orientation at the prison and received a handbook in his choice of English or Spanish which stated that all calls may be monitored. When the defendant made phone calls, a recorded message prompted him to select English or Spanish and then informed him in the language of his choice that all calls were subject to being monitored and recorded. (Correctional Corp. of America (CCA), Leavenworth, Kansas)

4. ASSESSMENT OF COSTS: Disposition of Funds

35. PROPERTY - PRISONER PERSONAL Disposition of Funds

50. WORK - PRISONER: Deduction from Wages, Property Interest

Ward v. Stewart, 511 F.Supp.2d 981 (D.Ariz. 2007). A state inmate brought a pro se [section] 1983 action alleging violations of his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights based on corrections officials' withholding of a portion of his wages for "gate-money." After dismissal of the inmate's claim was reversed by an appeals court, a partial summary judgment for the corrections officials was granted. A supplemental briefing was ordered as to inmate's request for injunctive relief. The district court denied the request for injunctive relief. The court found that the inmate had a constitutionally protected property interest in his wages, based on an Arizona statute creating a cognizable property interest in inmate wages for purposes of his action alleging that corrections officials violated his rights under the Takings Clause. The court concluded that corrections officials did not violate the inmate's rights under the Takings Clause by withholding a portion of his wages for "gate-money." The court found that even though the money was the inmate's private property, prison inmates forfeit all right to possess, control or dispose of private property. The court also held that state correction officials did not act arbitrarily in withholding a portion of inmate's wages for "gate-money" even though he was serving a life sentence, and therefore he was not deprived of due process. The court noted that the withholding was intended to promote public welfare and the common good, and that it was not arbitrary since the inmate might be able to obtain release prior to the end of his life and if not, the money would be used to pay costs associated with his cremation or other expenses. (Arizona Department of Corrections)

1. ACCESS TO COURT: Due Process, Video Communications

36. RELEASE: Due Process, Parole- Revocation

Wilkins v. Timmerman-Cooper, 512 F.3d 768 (6th Cir. 2008). An offender convicted in state court of rape filed a habeas petition challenging his parole revocation. The district court dismissed the petition and the offender appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the state court's determination that the use of videoconferencing technology for witness testimony at the parole revocation hearing did not violate the offender's right to confront witnesses and did not violate due process. The court found that the determination--that the use of videoconferencing was sufficiently similar to live testimony to permit the parolee to observe and confront witnesses--was not an unreasonable determination of the facts. The court noted that relevant Supreme Court decisions recognized that parolees had fewer rights in parole revocation hearings than in criminal trials and provided that conventional substitutes for live testimony were permitted at revocation hearings. The court noted that videoconferencing provided the parolee with the ability to observe and respond to the testimony of an accuser. The court commented that a videotape of the parole revocation hearing demonstrated that the parolee and counsel observed, heard and questioned in real time the witnesses who testified via videoconferencing. (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Southern Ohio Correctional Facility)

33. PRIVACY: DNA

41. SEARCHES: DNA, Privacy

44. STANDARDS: State Statute

Wilson v. Collins, 517 F.3d 421 (6th Cir. 2008). A state prisoner brought a [section] 1983 action against state officials challenging the constitutionality of Ohio's DNA Act that required the collection of DNA specimens from convicted felons. The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that collection of a DNA specimen pursuant to the statute was not an unreasonable search and seizure and that the prisoner did not have a fundamental privacy interest in the information contained in a DNA specimen. (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction)

7. CIVIL RIGHTS: Classification, Discipline, Equal Protection, Racial Discrimination, Work

21. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES, PRISONER: Exhaustion, PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act

50. WORK- PRISONER: Work Assignments, Equal Protection, Discrimination

Wilson v. Taylor, 515 F.Supp.2d 469 (D.Del. 2007). Black inmates brought a suit against prison officials asserting an equal protection claim that they were consistently treated differently from similarly situated white inmates in job assignments, disciplinary actions and security classifications. One inmate also asserted a retaliation claim against a deputy warden. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and denied summary judgment for the plaintiffs. The court held that an inmate failed to establish an equal protection claim against a prison commissioner and warden, absent evidence of the involvement of the commissioner or warden in the alleged incidents of racial discrimination. The court found that an inmate did not establish an equal protection claim based on the allegation that he was not permitted to return to a particular prison building following an investigation while a similarly situated white inmate was permitted to return. According to the court, the exhaustion provision of the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) barred an inmate's claim that his transfer to another facility constituted retaliation for filing grievances and civil rights lawsuits. The inmate had written a letter to the warden's office contesting his transfer, but filed no grievances raising a retaliation claim or even his housing transfer generally. (Sussex Correctional Institution, Delaware)
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Publication:Detentions and Corrections Caselaw Quarterly
Article Type:Case overview
Date:Mar 1, 2009
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