Access to court.

PositionAlkire v. Irving - Bear v. Kautzky - Cox v. Malone
  1. Access to Court U.S. Appeals Court Alkire v. Irving, 305 F.3d 456 (6th Cir. 2002). An arrestee brought a [section] 1983 action INITIAL against a sheriff, county, and county judge, APPEARANCE alleging violation of his Fourth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The district court denied the arrestee's motion for class certification and granted summary judgment for the defendants on the remaining issues. The appeals court affirmed in part, and reversed and remanded in part. The appeals court held that the Sheriff's policy of detaining persons in the county jail until their initial appearance was the type of "policy or custom" under which the county could be held liable under [section] 1983. As the result of the policy, persons arrested without warrants from late Friday afternoon through Sunday morning would not likely appear in court before Tuesday morning, in violation of a requirement that a probable cause hearing be held within 48 hours of a warrantless arrest. The appeals court held that the county, sheriff and county clerk's office had quasi-judicial immunity and qualified immunity from [section] 1983 liability for failing to allow credit toward fines and costs for time served. (Holmes County Jail, Ohio) U.S. Appeals Court Bear v. Kautzky, 305 F.3d 802 (8th Cir. 2002). State prisoners brought a [section] 1983 action JAILHOUSE LAWYERS against prison officials, challenging a prison policy that prohibits prisoners from LEGAL ASSISTANCE communicating with other prisoners who serve as jailhouse lawyers. The district court entered a LAW LIBRARY preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the policy. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the prisoners demonstrated that they had suffered actual injury for the purpose of a right-of- access to court claim. The prisoners had testified that they had pending post-conviction proceedings and they did not have the knowledge or skill to pursue those claims without legal assistance, and that they were receiving or had sought such assistance from jailhouse lawyers. According to the court, a prison system may experiment with prison libraries, jailhouse lawyers, private lawyers on contract with the prison, or some combination of these and other devices, as long as there is no actual harm to the constitutional access rights of particular inmates to the courts. (Iowa State Penitentiary) U.S. District Court Cox v. Malone, 199 F.Supp.2d 135 (S.D.N.Y. 2002). A state prisoner filed a [section] 1983...

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