Fourth Circuit Allows Abu Ghraib Torture Suit to Move Forward

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has reversed a district court’s ruling that a war crimes lawsuit brought by Iraqi nationals allegedly tortured by military contractors in 2003 and 2004 cannot go forward. The claim alleged sundry acts of heinous abuse visited upon detainees at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison by

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Fifth Circuit Allows Intervention by Sierra Club in Reverse FOIA Suit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has allowed Sierra Club to intervene in a reverse Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records request lawsuit. The dispute stemmed from FOIA requests made to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which Sierra Club requested documents relating to power plants operated by Entergy Gulf States

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Solitary Confinement Lawsuit Dismissed

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has dealt a blow to the constitutional rights of imprisoned writers. On December 11, 2012, after serving a lengthy sentence for arson-related crimes in connection with environmental activism, Daniel McGowan was released to the Brooklyn House Residential Reentry Center (RRC) to serve the remainder of his sentence.

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Fifth Circuit: Sleep Deprivation May Violate Eighth Amendment

By Matt Clarke In an unpublished ruling, the Fifth Circuit held on April 1, 2014 that a Texas prisoner’s sleep deprivation-based challenge to the security schedule used by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) may state a valid claim for violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Michael Garrett, incarcerated

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$750,000 Settlement for Washington State Prisoner’s Wrongful Death

By Carrie Wilkinson Although Prison Legal News and its parent organization, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), are best known for litigation involving censorship by prison and jail officials, HRDC also co-counsels select other cases, mainly involving wrongful deaths on behalf of prisoners’ surviving family members. As detailed in this issue’s cover story, one of

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Update on PLN Suit Against Nevada DOC

By Prison Legal News Prison Legal News continues its efforts to defend its First Amendment right to communicate with prisoners in the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC). In 1999 the NDOC banned all copies of PLN, claiming the publication constituted “inmate correspondence.” PLN filed suit and was granted a preliminary injunction requiring delivery of PLN

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WESD Finalizes $150,000 Settlement for Whistleblower Claim

Written by Queenie Wong Statesman Journal

Nov. 1, 2013 |

A laid off Willamette Education Service District teacher and her lawyer will get $150,000 as part of a settlement to a whistleblower lawsuit filed against the district three years ago.

Former teacher Terri Moore claimed she lost her job because she repeatedly reported safety violations at the high school at Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility and filed a formal complaint about harassment and bullying by Bill Conlon, the school’s principal.

She filed a lawsuit in Marion County Circuit Court in 2010 asking for as much as $500,000, plus attorney fees and reinstatement as a full-time teacher.

Under the settlement, Moore will get $86,355.75 and the law firm representing her — Lafky and Lafky —will receive $63,644.25.  She won’t be entitled to return as a full-time employee at WESD, but still could work as a substitute teacher, according to the agreement.

WESD’s liability carrier, the Special Districts Association of Oregon, decided to settle the lawsuit because of the costs of going to trial last month. The district’s board chairman Ken Hector said in a statement Friday he understood the carrier’s decision to settle the case. “Choosing to move forward to defend the case at trial would burden WESD with all attorney fees and costs, impacting our general fund,” Hector said. “The ultimate outcome of resolution for this case is best for WESD and the districts we serve.”

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Sexual Assault Claim Against Suffolk County, New York Jail Moves Forward

District Judge Ann M. Donnelly recently granted the Plaintiffs’ motion to amend their 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint against the Suffolk County, New York jail, as well as the county sheriff and several officers. The complaint, initially brought by a class of female prisoners housed at the jail, alleges a pattern of sexual assault and

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