Duh? You’re in Prison…

Serial child murderer Clifford Olson has threatened to file a lawsuit against the Canadian government if his old age pension cheques are revoked. Now 70 years old, Olson recently received a cheque for over $7000.00 to cover the payments he was entitled to, commencing on his 65th birthday.

The public can rest assured that if Olson makes good on his threat to sue, he will most certainly lose his case. In fact, when Olson’s suit is dismissed, I think it would be just to order Olson to pay court costs in the amount of at least $7000.00.

Frivolous inmate lawsuits abound, particularly in the U.S. of A. Here’s a top ten list of annoying prisoner lawsuits:

1. Mississippi prisoner sues for a missed parole hearing that was scheduled prior to his escape and conducted while he was AWOL. Young v. Murphy

2. New York murderer sues for a defective haircut which he alleges caused headaches and sleeplessness.

3. Missouri inmate claims that prisoners working in the prison law library should be paid the same wages as attorneys. Beverly v. Groost

4. California inmate objects that his outgoing mail has a prison stamp on it, as he does not wish to alert his correspondents that he is incarcerated.

5. Florida prisoner sues because he is required to eat off a paper plate. Procup v. Strickland

6. California prisoner claims that the Department of Corrections has implanted an electronic device in his brain.

7. Death row prisoner from Arizona sues for the return of his Gameboy. Beaty v. Bury

8. Washington inmate files suit when prison guards refuse to call him by his Islamic name. Demos v. Kincheloe

9. Florida inmate sues for deficient prison sneakers claiming that he should be issued hightops that are from Nike or Adidas.

10. Arkansas inmate claims his rights were violated when he missed the NFL playoff games.

There are many more thousands of these lawsuits throughout the US which has prompted legislators to enact laws that seek to prevent meritless court actions.

In Maryland, the law mandates that prisoners must pursue all administrative routes for a solution before filing a suit. To further dissuade inmates from filing frivolous suits, a percentage of the inmates’ “savings” is required for “filing fees”.

In Florida the law permits a judge to review an inmate court action before it is filed and to refuse to accept the suit if the action has no basis in law or fact.

In Illinois an inmate can lose “good time” credits if a frivolous lawsuit is brought. Inmates who behave receive these credits for a reduction in the time they must serve. Other jurisdictions eliminate other prison “perks” such as access to the inmate store.

It is clear that millions of dollars of taxpayer’s monies are expended by state and federal governments to respond to these outrageous court actions.

However, one must also remember that legitimate inmates’ rights violations have been exposed and corrected by prison advocates. Watch for my post on worthwhile prison lawsuits.

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang

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