Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Prisoner's Rigts; Evidence; Qualified Immunity. Supreme Court Grants Cert. in Hust v. Phillips, 507 F.3d 1171 (9th Cir. 2009); City & Co. of S.F v. Rodis, 558 F.3d 964 (9th Cir. 2009); McDaniel v. Brown, 525 F.3d 787 (9th Cir. 2009)

Prisoner's Rights: Hust v. Phillips, 507 F.3d 1171 (9th Cir. 2009) Prisons are not for comfort, or literary pursuits. Prisons exist to punish those who have committed heinous crimes. For another example of wasting judicial resources, in Phillips v. Hust, 507 F.3d 1171 (2007) a Ninth Circuit panel criticized the librarian at a state prison for not permitting Phillips to use a copying machine to file his petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court. Although the Ninth Circuit never identified a date of Phillips imprisonment, the District Court referenced the eighteen years of litigation. The librarian denied the allegation. Moreover, the Ninth Circuit denied the librarian qualified immunity and sent the case back to the district court for computation of damages; Phillips v. Hust, 477 F.3d. 1070 (9th Cir. 2007). Award: $1500.00; Phillips v. Hust, 338 F.Supp.2d 1148. The dissent in the Ninth Circuit deplores the majority reasoning and its refusal to allow the librarian qualified immunity. Here is the language of the dissenting judge: All I can add to [the dissent of another judge] is my utter astonishment that were leaving an opinion on the books that not only denies the prison librarian qualified immunity but actually holds her liable. Her transgression? Failing to help a prisoner bind a brief in a way thats not even permitted . . . by the Supreme Courts rules. Its perfectly clear that a timely petition, bound or unbound, would have been accepted by the Supreme Court . . . How the prison librarian violated any of his rights, let alone his clearly established rights, is a mystery that repeated readings of the majority opinion do not dispel . . . The dissent was signed by a total of ten judges. The case arose on summary judgment but the Attorney General filed a petition for review in the Supreme Court. Review granted; January, 2009; 129 S.Ct. 1036 (2009). Petition Granted 1/26/2009: 129 S.Ct. 1036 (2009)

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