7. Civil rights.

U.S. District Court



Collins v. Graham, 377 F.Supp.2d 241 (D.Me. 2005). An inmate brought a civil rights action against corrections officers and their supervisors alleging that the officers subjected him to sexual harassment. The district court held that the inmate failed to state a claim for sexual harassment with allegations that the officers made statements to him referring to sexual acts and tried to grab him in a sexual manner. According to the court, an attempted touching, with no accompanying allegation of pain or injury, cannot support an inmate's claim of constitutional injury. The court found that the inmate failed to state a claim for supervisory liability. The court also found that the inmate's allegation that an officer exposed his testicles to him did not meet the "unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain" standard necessary to support a [section] 1983 claim. The court noted that sexual abuse or harassment of an inmate by a correctional officer can never serve a legitimate penological purpose and may well result in severe physical and psychological harm, and that in some circumstances such abuse can constitute the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain that is forbidden by the Eighth Amendment. (Maine Correctional Center)

U.S. Appeals Court


Westefer v. Snyder, 422 F.3d 570 (7th Cir. 2005). State prisoners brought a [section] 1983 action challenging their transfers to a higher-security prison. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and the prisoners appealed. The appeals court...

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