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Plaintiff: Louis Jackson
Defendants: Former Department of Corrections chief Odie Washington, the D.C. Jail warden and various property officers, Mayor Adrian Fenty
Damages Sought: $100,000
Complaint: While incarcerated for a parole violation at the D.C. Jail, Jackson was planning his legal defense: He had accumulated transcripts, legal books, motions, and copies of case law. He also had family photos, tennis shoes, “personal hygiens [sic] supplies and commissary.” But he was transferred to federal prison after five months in jail, and he couldn’t take his stuff with him. The guards said he could send someone to pick up his property, but when his mother arrived to do that, all the papers had vanished. All that was in the box was a Bible that wasn’t even his.
Quality of Legal Work: Fair. Jackson, representing himself, fairly approximates legalese in his handwritten complaint, which alleges civil-rights violations under the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. But a misspelling deflates one of its assertions: “This is diprivation of my rights.”
Our Summary Judgment: Give this man his stuff back! Defendants must provide plaintiff with one pair of New Balance tennis shoes; one set of toiletries, including but not limited to: soap, shampoo, shaving supplies, and toilet paper; copies of all proceedings and appeals in his criminal case; and a subscription to LexisNexis.