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Arsberry v. Illinois, 244 F.3d 558 (7th Cir. 2001). Prison and jail inmates, inmates' families, and a public-interest law firm brought an action against a state, state agencies and officials, and telephone companies, challenging the practice by which prisons and jails each granted one telephone company the exclusive right to provide inmate telephone service in exchange for a portion of the revenues generated. The suit was brought under [section] 1983, the Sherman Act, and state law. The federal district court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. The appeals court modified and affirmed the district court decision. According to the appeals court, the exorbitant telephone rates resulting from the challenged practice did not violate the First Amendment and the practice did not result in unconstitutional takings. The court also found that the practice did not violate anti-trust laws, and that the state officials responsible for the practice were entitled to qualified immunity from damages asserted under [s ection] 1983, given the "novelty" of the action. (Illinois)

U.S. Appeals Court PLRA-Prison Litigation Reform Act

ACCESS TO ATTORNEY

RESTRAINTS

Benjamin v. Fraser, 264 F.3d 175 (2nd Cir. 2001). A city corrections department moved for immediate termination of consent decrees requiring judicial supervision over restrictive housing, inmate correspondence, and law libraries at city jails, pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The district court vacated the decrees and pretrial detainees appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. On remand the district court granted the motion in part and denied it in part and the city appealed. The appeals affirmed. The appeals court held that the detainees were not required to show actual injury when they challenged regulations which allegedly adversely affected their Sixth Amendment right to counsel by impeding attorney visitation.

The appeals court concluded that there was a continuing need for prospective relief with respect to the detainees' right to counsel, and the relief granted by the district court satisfied the requirements of PLRA. The court found that detainees were experiencing unjustified delays during attorney visitation. The district court required procedures to be established to ensure that attorney visits commenced within a specified time period following arrival at the jail, and the city was instructed to ensure the availability of an adequate number of visiting rooms that provide the requisite degree of privacy.

The appeals court held that the restraints used when moving certain detainees within, or outside, the jail, had a "severe and deleterious effect" on the detainees given that such restraints were often painful and could result in injury. The appeals court agreed with the district court that detainees were entitled to reasonable after-the-fact procedural protections to ensure that such restrictions were terminated reasonably soon if they were not justified. These procedures include a hearing, written decision, timely review of appeal from placement in special restraint status, and the opportunity to seek further review based on good cause. (New York City Department of Correction)

U.S. District CourT

FRIVOLOUS SUITS

Dekoven v. Bell, 140 F.Supp.2d 748 (E.D.Mich. 2001). A prisoner sued individuals, a state, the United States and foreign counties, alleging they failed to recognize him as the "God-Messiah" of the Holy Bible. The district court dismissed the case, finding it was "patently frivolous, implausible, and devoid of merit." According to the court, the prisoner had no constitutional right to be recognized and treated as the "Messiah-God" or any other holy, extra-worldly, or supernatural being or power. The court found the prisoner's request of payment from the federal government of certain precious and semi-precious metals to be the equivalent of a Bivens type of claim for money damages, which is barred by sovereign immunity absent a waiver. (Standish Maximum Correctional Facility, Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court PLRA-Prison Litigation Reform

EXHAUSTION

ATTORNEY FEE

Foulk v. Charrier, 262 F.3d 687 (8th Cir. 2001). A prisoner brought a [section] 1983 action against a corrections officer alleging the use of excessive force in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The district court entered judgment on a jury verdict, awarded nominal damages of $1 plus interest and costs, and awarded attorney fees. The appeals court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and reversed in part. The appeals court held that the award of nominal damages for an Eighth Amendment violation was permissible, and that the finding of use of excessive force was supported by evidence. The appeals court found that the award of attorney fees was subject to the cap established by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), and that the PLRA cap on attorney fees did not violate the equal protection clause. The court noted that under the provisions of PLRA, if non-monetary relief of some kind bad been ordered, whether or not there was also a monetary award, the attorney fees cap would not apply (Moberly Correcti onal Center. Missouri)

U.S. District Court FRIVOLOUS SUITS 42 U.S.C.A. Sec. 1983

Goodell v. Anthony, 157 F.Supp.2d 796 (E.D.Mich. 2001). A state prison inmate brought an in forma pauperis [section] 1983 action against his cellmate, alleging that his cellmate caused his typing paper to be confiscated by prison officials. The district court dismissed the case as frivolous, noting that the cellmate was not acting under the color of state law. (Pine River Correctional Facility, St. Louis, Michigan)

U.S. Appeals Court PLRA-Prison Litigation Reform Act

Harvey v. Schoen, 245 F.3d 718 (8th Cir. 2001). State officials moved to terminate a 1973 prison conditions consent decree, pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The district court granted the motion and inmates appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the mandatory termination provision of PLRA did not violate separation of powers principles. The district court had found that there were no current and ongoing federal rights violations, and the appeals court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the request for additional discovery in order to permit prisoners to supplement the record to show ongoing violations. (Minnesota Correctional Facilities at Stillwater and St. Cloud)

U.S. Appeals Court PLRA-Prison Litigation Reform Act FILING FEES

Hubbard v. Haley 262 F.3d 1194 (11th Cir. 2001). A group of 18 state prison inmates who were dialysis patients brought a pro se [section] 1983 action against corrections officials and others, alleging inadequate medical care and diet in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The district court dismissed the action under the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) that required the inmates to file separate complaints and pay separate filing fees. The inmates appealed and the appeals court affirmed, finding that PLRA did not permit joinder of claims so as to share the mandatory filing fee. (St. Clair Correctional Facility, Alabama)

U.S. Appeals Court PLRA-Prison Litigation Reform Act EXHAUSTION

Marvin v. Goord, 255 F.3d 40 (2nd Cir. 2001). A prisoner brought a civil rights suit alleging prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs because they refused to permit, even at his own expense, a dentist to perform a root canal to treat an oral infection. The district court dismissed the claims and the prisoner appealed. The appeals court vacated and remanded in part, and affirmed in part. The appeals court held that the prisoner was not required to exhaust administrative remedies under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) since the challenged conduct was conduct which was either clearly mandated by a prison policy or undertaken pursuant to a systemic practice. (Collins Correctional Facility, New York)

U.S. District Court PLRA-Prison Litigation Reform Act EXHAUSTION

Torres v. Alvarado, 143 F.Supp.2d 172 (D.Puerto Rico 2001). A prison inmate who had been attacked and sodomized by other inmates sued prison officials, alleging they failed to protect him from harm. The prisoner sought monetary damages. The district court dismissed the case because the inmate failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). The court noted that inmate must exhaust his administrative remedies, even though they could not provide the monetary relief sought. (Regional Metropolitan Detention Center, Puerto Rico)
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Title Annotation:prisoner litigation
Publication:Corrections Caselaw Quarterly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2001
Words:1362
Previous Article:U.S. district court medical restrictions. (Work-Prisoner).
Next Article:Administration.
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