Saturday, September 29, 2012

No Lawyer, No Problem: Supreme Court Grants Pro Se Petitions

It may be unusual, even unheard of, for the Supreme Court to grant two pro se petitions in one day, but two of the six petitions granted certiorari by the Supreme Court last Tuesday were submitted by petitioners without lawyers.  Millbrook v. United States came from a Pennsylvania federal prison inmate who wrote in pencil on the form available from the Supreme Court website and has no email or phone privileges. Levin v. United States was filed by a man in Guam who listed no phone number as well as no attorney.  Apparently, the Court was convinced that their claims raised important issues that needed deciding and deserved a place on the docket--issues such as when sovereign immunity does and doesn't apply to tortious acts of federal prison guards and military doctors. An Associated Press report uncovered interesting background on the petitioners and their claims.  JURIST has additional coverage of the issues with links to the statutes involved and the lower court opinions.      

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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