Pro bono victory as claims by Pennsylvania prisoner involved in racially charged civil rights incident survive dismissal

Philadelphia, 15 December 2020 – Our Philadelphia-based team has achieved a significant pro bono victory for a former Pennsylvania state prisoner whose rights were violated by three prison guards in a racially charged incident while being transported for a court appearance.

After two dismissals of his pro se claims in the Western District of Pennsylvania, both procedurally and on the merits, Hogan Lovells took on the representation of William R. Jones in February 2020. With our assistance, Mr. Jones was able to amend his complaint to include the names of the previously unknown corrections officers who violated his rights. He alleged that the three officers prevented him from accessing the courts by deliberately diverting his property box, which contained legal materials needed to challenge his conviction and sentence. He also contended that those same officers later retaliated against him for attempting to access the courts by threatening him with racially charged language. The Hogan Lovells team was able to successfully push four of Mr. Jones’s claims past the dismissal stage, including his First Amendment/Access to Courts claim, Equal Protection claim, Retaliation claim, and his state law Conversion claim.

The Hogan Lovells team representing Mr. Jones includes partner Steve Loney and associate Jay Russell (both Philadelphia).

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