Part one: complete case summaries in alphabetical order.

PositionCase overview
  1. ACCESS TO COURTS: PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act, Exhaustion

  2. CLASSIFICATION & SEPARATION: Lower Bunk, Cell Assignment, Special Needs

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

  4. MEDICAL CARE: Handicap, Hearing Impaired, Deliberate Indifference

    Akhtar v. Mesa, 698 F.3d 1202 (9th Cir. 2012). A state prisoner brought a [section] 1983 action against correctional officers, alleging deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs in connection with the officers' alleged failure to comply with the prisoner's medical orders, which required the prisoner to be housed in a ground floor cell. The district court dismissed the action and denied the prisoner's motion to alter or amend the judgment. The prisoner appealed. The appeals court affirmed and remanded. The court held that the district court abused its discretion by failing to consider arguments that directed the court to crucial facts showing he might have exhausted his administrative remedies, and in addition to being pro se, the prisoner was illiterate, disabled, and had limited English skills. The court found that the prisoner satisfied the administrative exhaustion requirement of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) prior to filing his [section] 1983 action against the correctional officers, where the prisoner filed grievances addressing the officers' alleged failure to comply with medical orders several months before filing the complaint.

    The court held that the prisoner stated a [section] 1983 Eighth Amendment claim against correctional officers for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs .The prisoner alleged that he suffered from numerous medical conditions and was hearing and mobility impaired, that his medical orders stated that the prisoner was mobility impaired and had housing restrictions requiring a lower bunk, no stairs, and no triple bunk, and that the correctional officers knew of those medical orders, but failed to comply with them. (Mule Creek State Prison, California)

  5. ACCESS TO COURTS: PLRA- Prison Litigation Reform Act, Exhaustion

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

    Albino v. Baca, 697 F.3d 1023 (9th Cir, 2012). A detainee in a county jail brought a [section] 1983 action against a sheriff, alleging failure to protect him against other inmates, deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, failure to adequately train and supervise deputies, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and gross negligence. The district court granted summary judgment for the sheriff. The detainee appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that: (1) the sheriff, in asserting the detainee's failure to exhaust administrative remedies, met his burden of showing that a grievance procedure existed and was not followed; (2) jail officials did not affirmatively interfere with the detainee's ability to exhaust administrative remedies, as would provide a basis for excusing failure to exhaust administrative remedies under the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA); and (3) the detainee failed to show that jail's grievance procedure was effectively unavailable to him, due to his lack of awareness of the grievance procedure. (Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department's, Main Jail, California)

  7. FACILITIES: Kitchen, Safety

  8. LIABILITY: Negligence, Sovereign Immunity, Deliberate Indifference

  9. MEDICAL CARE: Emergency Care, Negligence, Work Assignment, Deliberate Indifference

  10. WORK-PRISONER: Safety

    Allen v. Ford, 880 F.Supp.2d 407 (W.D.N.Y. 2012). A state inmate brought a [section] 1983 action against correction officers, alleging negligence in failing to provide adequate safety equipment while he was working in a cafeteria and in failing to provide treatment when he burned himself, as well as asserting deliberate indifference in instruction and supervision. The officers moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that: (1) the negligence claims were precluded by sovereign immunity; (2) one officer did not know of and disregard the severity of the prisoner's injuries; and (3) the officer advising the prisoner to sign up for sick call for the following morning, rather than providing emergency sick call at that time, was not deliberately indifferent. The court noted that the prisoner reported the incident to the officer, who asked if he was badly burned, the prisoner responded that he did not know, the prisoner's skin did not blister until after he returned to his cell at the end of his shift, and the prisoner visited the medical department the next morning and was transferred to a county medical center. (New York State Department of Corrections, Wende Correctional Facility)

  11. MAIL: Correspondence- Friends, Relatives, Prohibition- Publications, Security Practices

  12. RULES & REGULATIONS-PRISONER: Books, Correspondence, Publications

  13. SAFETY AND SECURITY: Publications, Security Practices

    Al-Owhali v. Holder, 687 F.3d 1236 (10th Cir. 2012). A federal inmate brought a suit against the Attorney General, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), a prison warden, and the FBI, alleging that several special administrative measures imposed upon him violated his First and Fifth Amendment rights. The inmate had been convicted of several terrorism-related offenses stemming from the 1998 bombing of the United States embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. The district court dismissed the complaint and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The appeals court held that: (1) the inmate failed to address whether the ban on his communications with his nieces and nephews was supported by a rational penal interest; (2) the measure preventing the inmate's subscription to two Arabic-language newspapers fell within the warden's broad discretion to limit incoming information, and was rationally related to a penal interest to prevent the inmate from acting upon contemporary information or receiving coded messages; and (3) the inmate offered only a vague allegation regarding the measure that purportedly barred him from obtaining a book authored by former President Jimmy Carter, where the inmate offered no factual context to show that the measure was unrelated to any legitimate penal interest, and instead merely implied the existence of a secret list of banned publications. (United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum, Florence, Colorado)


  15. PERSONNEL: Prosecution, Discipline

    Amobi v. District of Columbia Government, 882 F.Supp.2d 78 (D.D.C. 2012). A corrections officer brought an action against other officers, a prison director, and the District of Columbia, alleging false arrest and malicious prosecution. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion. The court held that the officer could not assert false arrest and malicious prosecution claims against other corrections officers for reporting his restraint of a transgender inmate, which resulted in criminal charges against the officer, even though the assault charges were eventually dropped against the officer upon the inmate's admission that he had provoked the officer. The court noted that the reporting officers described what they observed and provided probable cause for the arrest and prosecution. (District of Columbia Jail)

  16. ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION: Exercise, Liberty Interest, Medical Treatment, Due Process, Conditions

  17. CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT: Exercise, Medical Care

  18. EXERCISE AND RECREATION: Outdoor Exercise, Segregation

  19. MEDICAL CARE: ADA- Americans with Disabilities Act, Deliberate Indifference, Medication, Mental

    Health, RA- Rehabilitation Act

  20. MENTAL PROBLEMS (PRISONER): ADA- Americans with Disabilities Act, Deliberate Indifference, Due Process, Evaluation, Segregation

    Anderson v. Colorado, 887 F.Supp.2d 1133 (D.Colo. 2012). A mentally ill inmate sued a state, its Department of Corrections (DOC), the DOC's director, and a warden, asserting claims for alleged violations of due process, the Eighth Amendment bar against cruel and unusual punishment, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act. Following a bench trial, the district court held that: (1) denying the inmate in administrative segregation any opportunity to be outdoors and to engage in some form of outdoor exercise for period of 12 years was a serious deprivation of a human need; (2) the defendants were deliberately indifferent to the inmate's mental and physical health; (3) the inmate failed to establish that he was denied a necessary and appropriate medication in violation of ADA and the Rehabilitation Act; (4) the defendants had to assign a department psychiatrist to reevaluate the inmate's current mental health treatment needs and take steps concluded to be appropriate in the psychiatrist's medical judgment; (5) the inmate failed to establish a violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment, ADA, and the Rehabilitation Act due to the alleged denial of treatment provided by a multidisciplinary treatment team; (6) the inmate had a due process-protected liberty interest in progressing out of administrative segregation; and (7) the new stratified incentive system that was being implemented with respect to inmates in administrative segregation, if used fairly, was consistent with due process. (Colorado Department of Corrections, Colorado State Penitentiary)

  21. ADMINISTRATION: Policies/Procedures

  22. CIVIL RIGHTS: Civil Commitment, Sex Offender, Search, Medical Care


  24. FREE SPEECH, EXPRESSION, ASSOC.: Correspondence, Free Speech, Mail, Telephone

  25. SAFETY AND SECURITY: Contraband, Safety, Security Restrictions, Telephone Calls

  26. SEARCHES: Strip Searches

  27. SERVICES-PRISONER: Telephone

  28. TRANSFERS: Restraints, Transportation

  29. USE OF FORCE: Excessive Force

    Beaulieu v. Ludeman, 690 F.3d 1017 (8th Cir. 2012)...

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