Inmates Sue For the Darndest Things!
Prison inmates have a lot of time on their hands, so many of them spend that time filing lawsuits. Some of those lawsuits have merit and have helped reform the prison system. Unfortunately, a humongous amount of taxpayer money is spent every year answering and defending against frivolous and ridiculous lawsuits brought by people with nothing better to do. During my law school days, I was personally involved in helping answer just such a prisoner lawsuit. The prisoner in question had been “lucky” enough to have his crime caught on tape by the cameras of “Cops.” Unfortunately, on the day the episode was to air the jail was on lock down and no one was able to watch television. The prisoner sued claiming his rights were violated because he was not able to view his television star turn. Obviously this was not a case destined to reform our legal system for the better, and there is nothing in the law that guarantees you the right to watch yourself on television. The case was quickly dismissed, but not without wasting the states time and money. I did, however, get a great anecdote out of the whole thing.
Here are some other crazy inmate lawsuits for your consideration.
1. Convicted rapist, robber and kidnapper Melvin Leroy Tyler, serving time in Missouri, filed a lawsuit for $129 million to have prisoners supplied with a salad bar and brunches on weekends and holidays.
2. A New York City inmate sued for $8.5 million in damages because he smuggled a gun into the prison and accidentally shot himself.
3. Richard Loritz filed a $2000 lawsuit against the South Bay Detention Center in San Diego, California, for refusing to allow him to use dental floss.
4.Roy Clendimen, a prisoner at the Mohawk Correctional Facility near Syracuse, New York, sued for $1 million because a guard wouldn’t put his ice cream in the freezer and it melted.
5. A Utah prisoner filed a $1 million lawsuit against the state for suspending a program which provided hair transplants for prisoners. He claimed “emotional suffering.”
6. A lawsuit filed by Missouri inmates claimed that a limit on Kool-Aid refills constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment.
7. An inmate in New York sued for his “constitutional right” to use pink towels instead of the prison white ones.
8. A New York inmate who claimed he was locked in his cell for taking an extra piece of cake in the mess hall was awarded $200 in damages.
9. Douglas Jackson, a Florida inmate, has filed dozens of lawsuits, including one because the prison served him cold food, and another because he was forced to watch “junk TV” since he didn’t have access to public television.
10. A Virginia inmate tried to sue himself for $5 million on the grounds that he had gotten drunk and caused himself to violate his religious beliefs by committing a crime. Because he had no money, he wanted the state to pay the $5 million.
11. A convicted New York rapist sued the state, claiming he lost sleep and suffered headaches and chest pains after being given a “defective haircut” by an unqualified barber
12. A Nevada inmate sued when he ordered two jars of chunky peanut butter at the Nevada State Prison canteen and received one chunky and one creamy.
13. A San Quentin death row inmate sued California, claiming his civil rights were violated because his packages were sent via UPS rather than the U.S. Postal Service.
14. An Oklahoma inmate alleged his religious freedoms were violated but could not say just how, because the main tenet of his faith was that all its practices were secret.
15. An Arizona inmate sued when he was not invited to a pizza party that prison employees held for a guard leaving his job.
16. An Indiana prisoner sued because he wanted to obtain Rogain for his baldness.
17. An Ohio inmate sued for being denied possession of soap on a rope.
18. An Oklahoma inmate sued because he was forced to listen to country music.
19. A Colorado con sued for early release because “everyone knows a con only serves about three years of a 10-year sentence.”
20. An Ohio inmate filed charges after eating a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. He sued on religious grounds saying the stuffing had turkey bits in it and eating the meat was against his religion.
Every single one of these lawsuits and many, many more must be defended every year. Your tax payer dollars at work.
Thank You For Your Consideration,
The Graham Ten