Monday, March 18, 2013

NM man jailed in solitary agrees to $15.5M settlement

This case was bad and Marina's case is just as bad.  Jailed for Jay Walking for 62 days.

http://news.msn.com/us/nm-man-jailed-in-solitary-agrees-to-dollar155m-settlement

I think is close second -

http://contracostawatch.blogspot.com/2013/03/research-cases.html

Between 2004 and 2011 my business was relentlessly targeted by CNET operatives, my work has been repeatedly impacted and it's clear the badge flashers called my employers.  I've been reading RICO case law



NM man jailed in solitary agrees to $15.5M settlement

Dona Ana County Photo. Former inmate gets $15M: Stephen Slevin at the time of his arrest, left, and after nearly two years in jail.  



 Former inmate gets $15M: Stephen Slevin at the time of his arrest, left, and after nearly two years in jail. IMAGE Stephen Slevin, who spent almost two years in solitary confinement in a New Mexico jail without proper medical care or a trial, has agreed to settle with the county that incarcerated him.
Time is finally money for Stephen Slevin. The 59-year-old man, thrown in solitary confinement at a New Mexico jail for 22 months without receiving a hearing or adequate medical care, agreed Wednesday to settle with Dona Ana County for $15.5 million in damages, according to the Santa Fe Reporter.

Slevin was awarded $22 million in January 2012 for the time he spent in seclusion, but the county appealed the decision and refused to pay, arguing the amount was excessive. A mediator helped the two sides reach an agreement. Slevin will receive the first $6 million this week from the New Mexico Association of Counties. According to the Reporter, the rest of the award will come from cash reserves, which taxpayers will have to pay for.

"It has been a long and hard fight to bring Mr. Slevin justice," Matthew Coyte, Slevin's attorney, told the Reporter. "This settlement, although very large, does not give back to Mr. Slevin what was taken from him, but if it prevents others from enduring the pain and suffering he was subjected to, then the fight has been worthwhile."

Former inmate awarded $15.5 million settlement after two years in solitary


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After being released in 2008, Slevin, scraggly-haired, emaciated and in poor mental health, sued the Dona Ana county commission, the detention center, the jail director and former medical director for denying him due process and access to medical care.

Slevin was arrested in August 2005 on charges of DWI and receiving a stolen vehicle, though he maintained the car was given to him by a friend. At the time of his arrest, Slevin was battling depression and was attempting to leave Las Cruces, N.M.
In jail, officers believed he was suicidal, so they threw him in a padded cell for three days, Coyte told NBC News. Slevin received a medical examination during that period, but for the rest of his 22 months in jail  — much of which he spent in solitary confinement, in a cell without natural light — he was not allowed to see a doctor, even after telling a prison nurse in letters that his depression was worsening and he needed treatment for other health issues.
According to Coyte, Slevin was forced to remove his own tooth because prison officials would not allow him to see a dentist. He also developed skin fungus and bed sores because he was deprived of showers, according to court documents. His toe nails grew so long that they curled around his foot.
Slevin spent two weeks in a mental health facility in 2007 for psychiatric review, court documents said.  His health improved there, but he was sent back to solitary confinement until his release.
Charges were finally dropped against Slevin when he was deemed unfit to participate in his own defense. Coyte says his client was let go only because his sister had started calling county officials and legislators asking about his condition.
At the time of release, Dona Ana County officials refused to comment on allegations that Slevin was mistreated and his civil rights were violated. Today, the jail says it has improved inmate access to mental health care by doubling its medical budget since 2005, devoting multiple wings to mental health services and breaking ground on a crisis triage center. No jail employees were fired regarding the incident.
Slevin is currently battling lung cancer, which is unrelated to his incarceration. He already has exceeded doctors' expectations of how long he will live.
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