Police, The Fourth Amendment, Qualified Immunity

Idiot swallows jailhouse keys, has no 4a civil claim

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Case: GRUENBERG v. GEMPELER, No. 10-3391 (Seventh Circuit, September 26, 2012)

This is exactly the kind of 4a, qi case that I generally stay away from at this blog. Specifically, a civil case where a prison inmate or arrestee files a clearly non-meritorious civil claim over something that happened at the prison.

That is not to say that all civil claims filed by prisoners are non-meritorious. Some are important and interesting. Prison rape, for example, is a shameful problem in the US. On a related note, it is ridiculous that prisons don’t have more video and audio recording devices than they seem to, based on the civil cases by prisoners that I read.

However, as one might or might not expect, a lot of prisoner claims are just garbage, time-wasting garbage. The kind of claims that “poison the well” for other civil claimants. The above-linked case is an example of this kind of garbage claim by a prisoner. I am only blogging it to point out some of my case selection guidelines for this police4aqi blog. In the above case, a prisoner swallowed the jailhouse keys and then sued over the measures taken by prison workers to get the keys out of his body. It is kind of funny, but then again, not.


This has actually happened. See, e.g., Malone v. Oklahoma, 168 P.3d 185, 213 (Okla. Crim. App. 2007) (an inmate who secretly brought a key into jail by swallowing it retrieved it from his feces after passing it and then swallowed it again).

Written by Burgers Allday

September 30, 2012 at 7:30 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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