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U.S. Appeals Court


Jeffers v. Gomez. 267 F.3d 895 (9th Cir. 2001). An inmate brought a [section] 1983 action against prison officials after being shot during a prison riot The district court denied the officials' motion for summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds and they appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that the officials were qualifiedly immune from civil rights liability and were not deliberately indifferent. The court noted that prison officials had investigated rumors of impending inmate violence before the riot and there was no evidence that they should have done anything differently once the threat materialized. According to the court, a prison warden complied with a statewide housing practice and he had no affirmative duty to change the policy. The inmate had been shot in the neck during the disturbance. (California State Prison, Sacramento)

U.S. Appeals Court


Marsh v. Butler County. Ala. 268 F.3d 1014 (11th Cir. 2001). Former county jail inmates brought a [section] 1983 action against a county and sheriff to recover for injuries they sustained when they were beaten by other prisoners. The district court dismissed the action and the inmates appealed. The appeals court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded the case. The appeals court held that allegations that the county failed to maintain the jail constituted deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm to the inmates, sufficient to survive the defendants' motion to dismiss. The court found that the sheriff did not have a qualified immunity defense available to her because preexisting case law established at the time that the conditions of confinement alleged by the plaintiffs did pose a risk of harm to the inmates. The court held that allegations that the county received many reports of the jail's deteriorated conditions but took no remedial measures were sufficient to allege deliberate indifference to the substantial risk of serious harm faced by inmates in the jail. According to the court, allegations that jail conditions such as a lack of locks on cell doors resulted in the plaintiffs being assaulted by their fellow prisoners, stated a claim for an Eighth Amendment violation. The court found that the inmates also stated Eighth Amendment violations by alleging that there was no segregation of nonviolent inmates from violent inmates, pretrial detainees from convicted criminals...

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