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Multiple deaths at Lee Correctional Institution may result in liability

Reports are suggesting that as many as seven inmates were killed at the Lee Correctional institution in Bishopville, South Carolina. Story here. Multiple death incidents at a correctional facility generally indicate other systemic problems. Facilities that experience these high death totals are typically understaffed, lack adequate training, or have substantial gang problems. These deficiencies are… read more…

Suicide by cop scenario reported in Stillwater

The Tulsa World is reporting that Stillwater officers shot and killed a man who called in a welfare check on himself. Article here. According to the World, 31 year old William Dominguez called police to conduct a welfare check on himself. He also reported possession of a gun and knife. When officers arrived, they shot… read more…

Jail assault raises security questions

Reports from the Silverdale jail in Hamilton County, Tenessee indicate the facility experienced a disturbance resulting in multiple injuries on Saturday, March 24th. Article here. According to officials, several inmates were involved in an incident of inmate-on-inmate violence that resulted in at least two inmates sustaining injuries that required transport for outside medical care. Inmate-on-inmate… read more…

Court sets Clark case for oral arguments

On January 2, 2018, the Tenth Circuit set Clark v. Colbert for oral argument on February 15 in the ceremonial Bell courtroom at the University of Oklahoma law school. The case raises several important questions regarding the intersection of the Fourth Amendment and the ADA. The issues under consideration by the Tenth Circuit arise from… read more…

Court: Its not a seizure if the suspect flees

If police shoot at a fleeing suspect– and miss– does the conduct implicate the Fourth Amendment? Here’s how the Tenth Circuit recently framed the issue in Farrell v. Montoya: Oriana Lee Farrell and her five children claim that Defendant Elias Montoya, while on duty as a New Mexico state police officer, violated their Fourth Amendment… read more…

Inmate-on-inmate violence supports failure to protect claim

In a recent opinion issued by the Tenth Circuit on December 19, 2017, the court was tasked with determining whether an inmate could pursue a claim against two corrections officers and a case manger for failing to protect him from an attack by members of a rival prison gang. You can access the decision in… read more…

Savanna, OK Officer Accused of Sexual Assault

A McAlester news outlet is reporting former police officer Jerry “Jay” Lynn Gragg, Jr., 40, of Savanna, OK was arrested for sexually assaulting a motorist during a traffic stop in January 2017. A woman alleges Gragg said if she’d perform sex acts and/or allow him to perform acts, he wouldn’t write her a ticket. After her… read more…

What’s in a name? SCOTUS narrows definition of “Debt Collector”

When is a debt collector not collecting a debt? Apparently when the collector has purchased the debt for collection. This week a unanimous Supreme Court held that debt purchasers– companies that buy debt from credit card companies and others, and then try to collect that debt by calling/harassing consumers– do not fall within the definition of a… read more…

Tenth Circuit issues major decision on marijuana industry

On Wednesday the Tenth Circuit issued a mixed-bag opinion for the burgeoning marijuana industry. Beginning with bad news for the industry: the decision in Safe Streets Alliance v. Hickenlooper struck a blow in holding that a landowner adjacent to a state licensed marijuana grow operation had a plausible claim under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Practices Act (“RICO”). The… read more…