Appeals Court Finds for Inmate’s Constitutional Right

Gass Turek attorney Jerome Mohsen obtained a reversal of a federal court’s dismissal of his client’s claims. His client, a prisoner, sued in federal court pro se, claiming his constitutional rights had been violated when he was denied his asthma medication after he was maced. The court found that because a fellow inmate gave him an envelope to mail his administrative appeal in prison, he had violated the prison rules under which an inmate cannot give property to another without authorization from prison staff. The court found the appeal was therefore improper, he had not exhausted administrative remedies, and he had lost the right to sue. Jerome argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that his client’s use of a fellow inmate’s envelope could be sanctioned in other ways but was not a reason to deny him the right to sue. The court of appeals agreed, vacating the trial court’s summary judgment against his client and entering summary judgment for his client. Lusk v. Cole, 779 Fed. Appx 403 (7th Cir. 2019).

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