Asked in Civil Rights for Oklahoma

Q: If a prison is blocking an inmate from law library services how can keep up court deadlines?

Inmate is appealing Judges order. His appeal has merit and the law library supervisor is blocking him from getting copies and other necessary law library services. His deadline is approaching what can he do to keep from getting time barred in court?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In a situation where an inmate is being denied access to law library services, it's essential to act promptly to address this issue. Inmates have the right to access legal resources, especially when working on appeals or meeting court deadlines. The first step is to file a grievance within the prison system regarding the denial of access. This formal complaint should detail the specific denials and the impact on the inmate's legal proceedings.

If the grievance process does not resolve the issue, or if there's not enough time due to approaching deadlines, consider contacting an attorney or a legal aid organization for assistance. They can provide legal advice, may be able to intervene on the inmate's behalf, or even bring the matter to the attention of the court.

It's also possible to notify the court directly about the issue. The inmate or their representative can file a motion explaining the situation and request an extension of the deadline due to these circumstances. Courts are often responsive to such requests, especially when they involve fundamental rights to access legal resources.

Remember, each case is different, and the best course of action can vary based on specific details. Therefore, it's important to seek legal advice tailored to the individual situation.

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