"Incarcerated men and women too often suffer horrific abuses that call out for recompense and deterrence... The lower court in this case imposed a rule that every damage award in a case 'brought by a prisoner' under 42 U.S.C. Section 1997e(d) must be reduced automatically by 25%. That blanket rule not only conflicts with the text and intent of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 1997e(d), as the petitioner's brief shows, but it also undermines arbitrarily the deterrent and compensatory purposes of Section 1983."
Civil Rights Litigation, Generally: News and Publications
Andrew Holland died at the San Luis Obispo County Jail on January 22nd, 2017. Incarcerated since 2015 for public disturbance and resisting arrest, a judge ultimately ordered psychiatric treatment for his schizophrenia, though his transfer to a psychiatric facility was not effected even though space was reportedly available at the county facility. Instead, prior to his death, Holland was placed in an isolation cell for ten days and then chair restraint for forty-six hours.
On August 30th, 2017, a McKinleyville federal jury returned a $2.5 million verdict against Humboldt County for the death of Daren Borges, whose right to adequate medical care was held to be violated by three correctional officers who failed to have him medically evaluated despite the apparent and well-documented extremity of his methamphetamine intoxication, self-harming behavior and known history of schizophrenia.
On May 22nd, 2017, the City Council of Arlington, Texas approved a settlement in the amount of $850,000 to the family of Christian Taylor, who was 19 in 2015 when he was shot and killed by a police officer investigating a vehicular burglary. A lawsuit was not filed, and Taylor's family worked with the city to negotiate a settlement for the shooting.
Shuay'b Greenaway, then 32, was painting his Hempstead residence's bathroom in 2010 when local officers came to his door following 911 calls from his family asking for help in convincing Greenaway to seek psychological help for his bipolar disorder. No violence or menacing behavior was alleged in the calls.
In May 2017, the family of a Huntley, Montana man killed by two Yellowstone County Sheriff's deputies agreed to a settlement of $1.25 million. The victim, Loren Simpson, was 28 in 2015 when former deputies Jason Robinson and Christopher Rudolph responded to a reported burglary. The deputies fired at least 24 shots at Simpson, although, according to a U.S. District Court judge, there was no proof Simpson had committed any crime.
In April 2017, the California Department of Corrections agreed to stop an ongoing trial and provide $950,000 in settlement to an ex-prisoner who in 2012 was pepper sprayed during a cell extraction and then strapped naked to a gurney for 72 hours.
In March 2017, a San Diego federal court approved a settlement of $1 million for the family of a Tijuana teenager who died in federal custody at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in 2013 after being instructed by two U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to drink liquid methamphetamine.
In February 2017, the city of Hartford, Connecticut agreed to pay the family of Glen Harris $885,000 in settlement for the 2006 city police shooting of their 3-year-old Saint Bernard dog. Hartford Sergeants Anthony Pia and Johnmichael O'Hare entered Harris's property without a warrant in search of illegal weapons. Despite finding no contraband, as they walked away from the property they shot and killed the dog in full view of Harris's 12-year-old daughter.
In February, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor of Phillip Turner in Turner v. Driver. Turner was handcuffed and placed in a patrol car after refusing to identify himself when approached by police officers. The officers had approached him because he was video recording a Fort Worth police station from a public sidewalk.