AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Corrections Law for Jails, Prisons and Detention Facilities
Back to list of subjects Back to Legal Publications Menu
Assessment of Costs
After a jury ruled
in favor of defendant correctional employees in a prisoner's civil rights
lawsuit, the trial court granted the defendant's motion for an award of
$1,794.25 in costs against the prisoner. The mere fact that the prisoner
exhausted his available administrative remedies prior to filing his lawsuit
was insufficient to show that he pursued his claims in "good faith."
The court rejected also his argument that the fact that he managed to create
a genuine issue of material fact in order to survive a motion for summary
judgment should be sufficient to avoid an award of costs. There was no
evidence to show that the jury had to "struggle" to reach its
verdict, and the trial essentially involved a dispute between the prisoner's
version of how he suffered his injuries, and the prison employee's version,
which the jury believed. The court further rejected the argument that the
prisoner should not be required to pay costs because he was indigent. A
prisoner's ability to pay the costs assessed was not relevant to the decision
to assess them. Adkins v. Wolever, No. 1:03-cv-797, 2007 U.S. Dist. Lexis
36776 (W.D. Mich.).
Alabama correctional officials did not violate prisoner's rights by withholding part of the monetary benefits paid to him for injuries suffered while participating in a work-release program, and using that money to pay for part of the cost of the prisoner's incarceration. The prisoner was not an "employee" within the meaning of the state's workers' compensation statute, so that the protections of the statute against garnishment or seizure of benefits awards did not apply. Further, even if he had been interpreted to be an "employee," the benefits were in lieu of wages, and therefore the seizure of them to pay for part of the cost of incarceration was authorized under state law. Gober v. Alabama Dept. of Corrections, No. 2020064, 871 So. 2d 838 (Ala. Civ. App. 2003). [N/R]
City jail's practice of assessing state prison inmates held there a $1 per day room and board fee, under the authority of a state statute did not violate their constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment or constitute an "excessive fine" (indeed, it was not a "fine" at all, but merely the recoupment of expenses from prisoners with funds). Failure of jail to similarly impose such a fee on federal prisoners held in the facility did not violate equal protection, and it did not violate due process for the jail to fail to provide inmates with a "post-deprivation hearing" on the imposition of the fee. Waters v. Bass, 304 F. Supp. 2d 802 (E.D. Va. 2004). [N/R]
266:22 Nebraska prisoner had no constitutionally protected property right in the full amount of the salary he earned under work-release program; prison officials did not do anything improper in withdrawing $2,790 from his account to pay for the cost of his confinement. Christiansen v. Clarke, #97-1511, 147 F.3d 655 (8th Cir. 1998).
271:101 Prisoner was properly assessed some costs of medical treatment of other inmate and correctional officer required because of his misconduct; Pennsylvania statute, however, limited assessment of other inmate's medical expenses to two-thirds. Anderson v. Horn, 723 A.2d 254 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998).
[N/R] Prisoners' federal civil rights claim over alleged improper seizure of their bond funds for reimbursement of expenses of their incarceration in county jail was not barred by state statute providing a post- deprivation remedy, as a pre-deprivation hearing could have been provided. Mudge v. Macomb Co., 580 N.W.2d 845 (Mich. 1998).
259:99 Warden's action of applying all of the funds prisoner received from his mother to pay part of prisoner's restitution obligation, even if it violated Iowa state law, was not a due process violation; further, warden was entitled to qualified immunity, since it was not clearly established law at the time of the withholding that the action was wrongful. Parrish v. Mallinger, 133 F.3d 612 (8th Cir. 1998).
256:62 While there is no constitutional right to prison employment, inmate stated a federal civil rights claim by alleging that he was fired from prison job in retaliation for refusal to sign an agreement waiving a property right to interest earned on his inmate fund account. Vignolo v. Miller, 120 F.3d 1075 (9th Cir. 1997).
257:70 Charging Florida pre-trial detainees for medical and dental treatment, as well as for meals, did not violate any rights under state statutes or the Florida state Constitution. Williams v. Ergle, 698 So.2d 1294 (Fla. App. 1997).
[N/R] Requirement that prisoner pay for part of the cost of his incarceration at private halfway house did not violate his right to due process. Gleave v. Graham, 954 F.Supp. 599 (W.D.N.Y. 1997).
244:62 N.Y. prison regulations setting aside some prisoner wages until prisoners are released did not violate any constitutional rights; federal court also upholds regulations imposing a $5 surcharge on such wages after prisoners are found guilty, following a disciplinary hearing, of infractions of prison rules. Rudolph v. Cuomo, 916 F.Supp. 1308 (S.D.N.Y. 1996).
245:67 Policy requiring prisoners to pay for the cost of long distance calls for participation in telephonic court conferences, provided prisoners have the ability to pay, did not constitute an unconstitutional denial of the right of access to the courts. Shannon v. Singletary, 678 So.2d 466 (Fla. App. 1996).
246:84 Prisoner's claim that jail improperly debited their inmate trust accounts for payment for medical services and prescription drugs, despite their indigency, did not state a constitutional due process claim when an adequate post- deprivation remedy existed under Texas state law to seek reimbursement of the funds. Myers v. Klevenhagen, 97 F.3d 91 (5th Cir. 1996).
247:104 Regulation that classified inmates with access to funds from outside family and friends as "non-indigent," and required them to pay fees for legal photocopying and medical co- payments, did not violate their equal protection or due process rights. Robinson v. Fauver, 932 F.Supp. 639 (D.N.J. 1996).
248:127 Update: Federal appeals court affirms trial court ruling upholding N.Y. prison regulations setting aside some prisoner wages until prisoners are released, and imposing $5 surcharge on such wages after prisoners are found guilty of disciplinary offenses. Allen v. Cuomo, 100 F.3d 253 (2nd Cir. 1996).
236:118 Decision to withhold funds from prisoner's account when left by visitor who did not sign her name on envelope containing money could not form basis for prisoner's due process claim when he failed to allege that available state law post- deprivation remedies were inadequate. Copeland v. Machulis, 57 F.3d 476 (6th Cir. 1995).
Inmates with earnings may be required to pay filing fees before being allowed to proceed with lawsuits. Prows v. Kastner, 842 F.2d 138 (5th Cir. 1988). Court holds that state may not seize prisoner's social security benefits to pay cost of imprisonment. Bennett v. Arkansas, No. 86-6124, 42 CrL 3101 (March 30, 1988).
New York's highest court orders county to house all parole violators arrested within the county. Nassau Co. v. Cuomo, 504 N.E.2d 689 (N.Y. 1987).
Co. must pay for hospital treatment exceeding jail sentence, only upon a showing that the extended treatment was necessary. Saint Barnabas Medical Center v. Williams, 523 A.2d 248 (N.J. Super. 1987).
Co.'s suit against state for reimbursement dismissed. Co. of Monroe v. State, 495 N.Y.S.2d 643 (Ct. Cl. 1985).
Citizens lack standing to challenge bonds for prison construction. N.Y. St. Coalition for Crim. Jus. v. Coughlin, 474 N.E.2d 607 (N.Y. 1984).
Single justice has power to order specifications in jail construction. Attorney General v. Sheriff of Suffolk Co., 477 N.E.2d 361 (Mass. 1985).
Discussion of who pays medical costs. Craven Co. Hosp. Corp. v. Lenoir Co., 331 S.E.2d 690 (N.C. App. 1985).
Court interprets statute as imposing duty on sheriff, not hospital to pay medical costs. Health and Hosp. Corp. v. Marion Co., 470 N.E.2d 1348 (Ind. App. 1984).
Cities have legal duty to pay county for housing prisoners who city ordinances. Utah Co. v. Orem City, 699 P.2d 707 (Utah, 1985).
Co. liable for medical costs of prisoners housed by city. University Emergency Serv. v. City of Detroit, 367 N.W.2d 344 (Mich. App. 1984).
Co., not hospital, must pay medical costs of prisoner's suicide. Harrison Memorial Hosp. v. Kitsap Co., 700 P.2d 732 (Wash. 1985).
Co. commissioners, not sheriff have budget authority. Burks v. Lane Co., 695 P.2d 1373 (Or. App. 1985).
Voters approve that inmates pay their costs of confinement. Opinion No. 84-16. Proposition J, June 5, 1984, San Francisco, CA.
Co. need only provide for inmate's medical treatment, not pay for it. Smith v. Linn county, 342 N.W.2d 861 (Iowa 1984).
State does not have to always share costs associated with inmate's appearance for federal claims; U.S. Marhsal ordered to bear responsibility. Ford v. Allen, 728 F.2d 1369 (11th Cir. 1984).
New legislation for privately operated jails. In the Public Interest, 9/84, Office of the Attorney General.
Jail officials contempt of court fines used to post bail for pretrial detainees to eliminate overcrowding. Mobile Co. Jail Inmates v. Purvis, 581 F.Supp. 222 (S.D. Ala. 1984).
Agency in custody of inmate responsible for medical costs, regardless of nature of crime committed. Cuyahoga Co. Hosp. v. City of Cleveland, 472 N.E.2d 757 (Ohio App. 1984).
New prisons can be built outside county seat. The Township of McFarland v. Parkhouse, 482 A.2d 1177 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1984). Corrections officers sued by inmate entitled to private counsel of their choice at state's expense. Spitz v. Ahrams, 472 N.Y.S.2d 931 (Albany Co. 1984).
State must pay costs for woman giving birth at county jail. Wilkenson v. State, 667 P.2d 413 (Mont. 1983).
Co. may require reimbursement from city for housing prisoners charged with or convicted of violating city ordinances. 43 Op Atty Gen 136, Oregon (1983).
City liable for hospital costs during competency proceedings; county becomes liable once inmate is ruled incompetent. City of Phoenix v. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cty., 677 P.2d 1283 (Ariz. 1983).
City not liable for hospitalization costs of detainee after suicide attempt. City of Plantation v. Humana, Inc., 429 So.2d 37 (Fla. App. 1983).
State prison does not have to immediately accept convicted detainees from county jail when the delay is reasonable. Co. of Onondaga v. New York State Department of Correctional Services, 468 N.Y.S.2d 760 (App. 1983).
State, not federal civil rights claims. Wiggins v. Co. of Alameda, 717 F.2d 466 (9th Cir. 1983).
Co., not state, required to pay costs of transporting state prisoner from Minnesota to Wisconsin for legal proceedings. State v. Struzik, 335 N.W.2d 432 (Wis. App. 1983).
State liable for costs of county female inmate having baby; she remained in county jail after sentence to state prison so that baby could be born. Wilkenson v. State, 667 P.2d 413 (Mont. 1983).
Hospitalization costs of individual injured during arrest are not constitutionally required to be paid by municipality. City of Revere v. Massachusetts General Hosp. 103 S.Ct. 2979 (1983).
State law on assessing parents for costs of juvenile detention is invalid. In re Jerald C., 654 P.2d 745, 187 Cal.Rptr. 562 (Cal. 1982).
Sheriff entitled to state mandated increase in inmate's costs (from $3 a day to $10) even though sheriff is prohibited from salary increases during term of office. State v. Madison Co. Bd. of Com'rs., 327 N.W.2d 93 (Neb. 1982).
Florida case holds that state law requires sheriff to pay hospitalization costs of individual shot and wounded during his arrest. Hosp. Bd. of Directors of Lee Co. v. Durkis, 426 S. 2d 50 (Fla. App. 1982).
Costs of hospitalization of mental inmate is assessed against inmate's county of residence. Comm. of Pa. v. Kallinger, 443 A.2d 1219 (Pa. App. 1982).
Michigan court finds that county is not liable for discharged inmate's injuries which were incurred during his incarceration. Borgess Hospital v. Co. Berrien, 319 N.W.2d 354 (Mich. App. 1982).
Lack of county funds cannot be permitted to stand in way of eliminating prison conditions which violate constitutional standards. Heitman v. Gabriel, 524 F.Supp. 622 (W.D. Mo. 1981); Lock v. Jenkins, 641 F.2d 488 (7th Cir. 1981).
Costs of transporting prisoners to be paid by city. City of Newburch v. Co. of Orange, 430 N.Y.S.2d 537 (App. 1980).
Illinois federal court rules against inmate suit alleging insufficient staff (guards). Madyun v. Thompson, 484 F.Supp. 619 (7th Cir. 1980).
Co.'s custom of underfunding jail which results in sexual assaults of inmates can form basis of liability under Civil Rights Act. Mayes v. Elrod, 470 F.Supp. 1188 (N.D. Ill. 1979).
Back to list of subjects Back
to Legal Publications Menu