Friday, December 13, 2002

Dog bites man!
Fox News has the latest on a scam that has been going on for some time in Prisoner Lawsuits Take Bite Out of Taxpayer Funds:
With nothing but time on their hands and little to lose, prison inmates with access to taxpayer-funded law libraries and free legal advice are clogging up the court system.

After boning up on legal law (sic), many felons are filing lawsuits on a variety of topics, not all of which would be considered a top priority for the nation's courts.

In Arizona, for example, one third of all pending federal lawsuits have been filed by convicts.

"We've had people who have filed because one of the twinkies in the two twinkie package was crushed," said Jack McIntyre of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in Los Angeles.

In one case, an inmate complained a nurse slobbered on him. Another didn't like his pain medication. And a third filed a suit because a prison guard chewed tobacco in front of him.

"I think a small percentage of ? these lawsuits have some or at least internally felt merit from the individuals," McIntyre said. "I think for the vast majority it's playing the game and it's playing the game with the taxpayer's money.


In Texas in 1996, two state prison inmates who sued the state because they weren't getting farm fresh produce and often didn't get desserts were the first to lose good-time credits under a new law there meant to stop prisoners from filing frivolous lawsuits.

Of course, as more legislation is passed to prevent frivolous suits, it's expected that someone will take the state to court.