Inmate Safety Concerns Put Constitutional Rights to Bed

On January 11, 2019, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the case of Olivier v. Baca, finding that former Sheriff Lee Baca did not violate an inmate’s civil rights when he was detained for three days without a bed due to exigent circumstances. Factual Background Maurice P. Olivier was arrested in July 2006 for burglary. Following his…

How One Prisoner’s Persistence Paid Off: The Tale of Inmate Barry Jameson

Despite the best efforts of the Legislature to limit frivolous prisoner lawsuits by enacting the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), which requires exhaustion of administrative remedies, proof of a physical injury that is more than de minimis in order to recover emotional distress damages, and limits attorney fee recovery to 150% of the verdict, the…

The Ninth Circuit Reaffirms a Key Principle of §1983 Litigation – A Plaintiff Must Present Evidence That a Defendant Actually Participated in the Violation of the Plaintiff’s Rights

By Mitch Wrosch From November 2005 to August 2013, Plaintiff William King was incarcerated at Twin Towers Correctional Facility, a Los Angeles County jail, where he was held as a civil detainee while awaiting the adjudication of an involuntary commitment petition under California’s Sexually Violent Predator Act (“SVPA”).  For more than six of those years…

Federal Judge Continues to Put the Freeze on ICE Detainers

In the consolidated class action cases of Roy v. County of Los Angeles and Gonzalez v. ICE, a Los Angeles federal judge ruled that federal immigration authorities and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department violated the Constitution by detaining certain immigrants based on immigration detainers beyond the time of any criminal detention. Background Regarding ICE…

Double Trouble? Making Plaintiffs Pay for Duplicative Lawsuits

Sometimes a plaintiff will initiate a lawsuit in one court, voluntarily dismiss the case, and refile the same case in another court against the same defendants.  This may occur because a plaintiff is ‘forum shopping’ and trying to find a judge or court that is more favorable.  This also occurs because some plaintiffs do not…