Q: I have a valid retaliation claim against a Georgia Department of Corrections counselor.
This counselor wrote me a disciplinary report after I filed a grievance about an issue dealing with my confinement when I was incarcerated in the Georgia Department of Corrections. Because of this disciplinary report I was made to pay a $4.00 dollar fee and when I expressed interest in appealing it, I was sent to administrative segregation and was denied the paperwork to appeal the disciplinary report. I have recently been released from the Georgia Department of Corrections, however, I am still required to pay a fee for that disciplinary report. Will it be worth filing a civil suit under Title 42 U.S.C. 1983 claiming retaliation for filing a prisoner grievance, and denial of the right to appeal against the Georgia Department of Corrections officers responsible? Will there be any monetary award if I do prevail?
A: These are tough claims to support, because the 2nd George Bush administration pushed through a change to the once-powerful law that limits attorneys fees to the dollar amount of recovery. These damages would likely be de minimus, so no knowledgeable civil rights lawyer would spend hundreds of hours of time on such a case.
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