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Court Discusses Constitutionality of Prison Reforms Law


The case refers to an appeal submitted by the Texas prison officials for the denial of their motions to terminate prospective relief by the district court.

The relevant facts and procedural background of the case has transpired for almost 30 years. A New York Criminal Lawyer said that several criminal inmates filed claims against the director of the Texas correction facilities for malpractice and a violation of former’s civil and constitutional rights in the conduct of detention conditions and practices.

In 1992, judgment was rendered by the court. Several years have passed, the defendants filed a motion to vacate said judgment and a month later a law was enacted by Congress in relation to prison litigation reforms. Under the new law, “federal courts may grant or terminate prospective relief in prison litigation subject to certain standards and they may also refuse to terminate prospective relief only upon specific findings regarding the continued necessity of such relief.” This was the basis used by the corrections board of Texas, who seek to terminate the prospective relief of the judgment against their favor.

However, a Long Island Criminal Lawyer said the district court held that the provisions in the newly enacted law violated the separation of powers principle and due process and that the criminal justice institution suffered constitutional violations pertaining to inmate protection, use of force and administrative segregation. Hence, this present appeal.

Pertinent issues were considered in the decision of the appellate court are, which include jurisdiction, unconstitutionality of the prison litigation reforms law, separation of powers, due process, and estoppel.

The appellate court duly determined the district court’s jurisdiction to decide on the appealed case since the motions raised is in relation to the unconstitutionality of the enacted law that grants termination of the prospective relief and the continuing violation of the constitutional rights of inmates by the defendants.

The Court found the prison litigation reforms act to be constitutional and does not violated the separation of powers and due process. The violation being pointed out is that, as provided by the constitution, the Congress is prohibited from “retroactively commanding the federal courts to reopen final judgments.” The judgment in issue was not altered by the law because the statute only pertains to prospective termination relief but rather only limits its effect, which the Congress is not prohibited to do. The law merely restricted the applicability of the prospective relief want of findings off constitutional violations.

Termination of prospective reliefs must comply with strict and string standards to determine the existence of continuing constitutional rights violations by the defendants against the criminals with the particular and detailed-oriented findings and consider all of the evidence presented to arrive at a conclusion whether or not to terminate such relief motions. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the Court ruled that, although there was a general conclusion cited by the district court as their basis to deny the petition of the defendants, it does not warrant the outright and complete termination of the existing prospective reliefs contained in the 1992 judgment. As such, the court remanded the petition for further proceedings, in an expeditious manner, for the failure of the district court to make the particular findings to terminate the prospective reliefs prayed by criminal defendants. The appellants are then granted by the court to present evidence to establish their claims before the district court to assess and identify the particularized findings as required by procedural rules on prison litigation cases.

In due consideration of all foregoing matters, the appellate court concluded the constitutionality of the newly enacted law on prison litigation reforms and that it does not violate separation of powers and due process and consequently the district court is with jurisdiction to hear the case and the defendants are not stopped to seek the petition.

In one case several court proceedings may arise that would be considered controversial and eccentric in nature, as such, opinions and inputs of attorneys who are considered legal authorities and amicus curiae are considered vital in concluding the issues encountered by the court. Stephen Bilkis and Associates can readily provide you with legal opinions from our team of esteemed lawyers who have long years of experience in the field of law, whether you have been charged with petit larceny, a drug offense or a sex crime.

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