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Petitioner Brian Jeremiah Shepard has filed a petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for writ of habeas corpus seeking to vacate his state court conviction for burglary of a dwelling, petit theft, and resisting an officer without violence. Petitioner contends that he is being held in violation of the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States because (1) the state trial court erred in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal on his burglary of a dwelling charge and (2) the state trial court erred in overruling defense objections to improper burden shifting and improper comments made during the State’s closing argument. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov

The Plaintiff, a prisoner, sues the Defendants, Deputies Castro and Golden, for the use of excessive force and failure to prevent harm in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The Plaintiff alleges that on August 7, 2018, the Defendants entered his cell and attacked him with pepper spray, pulled him off his bunk, and punched, stomped, kicked, and slapped his head to the ground. The Plaintiff claims that the Defendants, at some point, covered the window of the room. The Defendants then allegedly put the Plaintiff in handcuffs and pulled him out of the room “bloody and bruised.” He claims that the Defendants’ pretext for the assault was that he flooded the room with water; but the Plaintiff maintains that this is a lie. Because of the attack, the Plaintiff suffered a number of injuries: cracked teeth, swollen and bloody eyes, a swollen face, a swollen lip, and back pain. The Court permitted the following claims to proceed against both Defendants: unlawful use of force, failure to prevent harm, punitive damages, and injunctive relief. The Court later denied the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment based on administrative exhaustion, and the case will proceed to trial. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging that Defendants Centurion of Florida, LLC and Dr. Franck Papillon, medical providers, violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment when they failed to provide adequate medical treatment for Plaintiff’s Open Angle Glaucoma and pancreatitis while Plaintiff was incarcerated at Dade Correctional Institute. Plaintiff, Alfonso Jenkins, is visually impaired and alleges that Defendant Dr. Franck Papillon was aware of the treatment required for Plaintiff’s Open Angle Glaucoma but failed to provide him treatment resulting in the loss of his vision. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Centurion of Florida, LLC has a widespread custom and policy of denying medical treatment as a cost-saving mechanism. Service has been ordered on Defendants. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov

The Plaintiffs allege an unconstitutional taking of their property by Palm Beach County. According to the Plaintiffs, they bought property and a house in Palm Beach County which had additions which had not been properly permitted. The property was erroneously given permits and approval in the 1980s, and, when Palm Beach discovered the error, it began citing the Plaintiffs for code violations. The errors were such that the only solution was total demolition. At present, the parcel is worthless with negative value. The Plaintiffs seek damages for a taking of their property.
If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov

Plaintiffs commenced this action on March 26, 2020 [D.E. 1]. On November 3, 2020, Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint naming pro se Defendant Ismay Martinez (“Martinez”) as a party to this action [D.E. 24]. Therein, Plaintiffs allege that they were battered by Martinez while they were passengers aboard Defendant Classica Cruise Operator, Ltd., Inc.’s vessel, the Grand Classica. Id. Based on those allegations, Plaintiffs are asserting a claim of battery against Martinez. Id. Martinez filed his Answer to the Amended Complaint on December 28, 2020 [D.E. 36]. Martinez is seeking a volunteer attorney to represent him in this matter [D.E. 37]. All discovery is due by 4/5/2021 and the case is set for Jury Trial on 8/16/2021. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov

Plaintiff Mark Williams has filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that while incarcerated, he has suffered seizures due to Defendants’ actions. Mr. Williams seeks compensatory and punitive damages. The Court has ordered Mr. Williams’ Eighth Amendment failure to keep safe from harm claim and punitive damages claim to proceed against Defendants 1) Dade Correctional Institution, Colonel, 2) Dade Correctional Institution, Lieutenant, 3) Dade Correctional Institution, Sergeant, 4) Dade Correctional Institution, Sergeant, and 5) Dade Correctional Institution, Correctional Officer, all in official capacity. Summons has been issued as to all Defendants, and service by the U.S. Marshal is pending.

Mr. Williams would benefit from having legal representation during discovery and mediation, and at trial. Please email U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen M. Williams’ Chambers by email (williams@flsd.uscourts.gov), if you are interested in representing Mr. Williams.

Gloria Vargas has filed suit against her former employer, Steven Ratinez, for his alleged discriminatory and disparate treatment of her. Ms. Vargas says that the Defendant treated her (and other black employees) worse due to their race, including verbal harassment and assigning them less pleasant duties, and duties outside of their job descriptions. Ms. Vargas claims that the Defendant treated similarly situated white employees better than her. Ms. Vargas seeks an attorney to help her prosecute her case against her employer, who, she says, has been sued for this (and similar) conduct by other employees. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov

Roy and Blanche Dixon bring this action against four Florida state court judges under 1983 for violating their due process rights in a 2013 foreclosure action – specifically by denying them the ability to present an expert witness and in designating him as a vexatious litigant. They also sue Palm Beach County, a state court judge, two mortgage companies, and two defense attorneys for fraud committed in the state court case. Finally, they sue a mortgage company and two attorneys for civil theft, and the two attorneys for tortious interference with a business relationship. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov.

Petitioner Arlister S. Rush filed this habeas petition on August 3, 2020, a Report and Recommendation was issued on August 25, 2020. Rush has indicated he plans to file objections and would appreciate any assistance from an attorney. Objections are currently due on October 17, 2020. The Magistrate Judge recommended that the petition be dismissed unless the Petitioner can establish that equitable tolling of the one-year limitations period is warranted. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov

Plaintiff Annette Cave brings this suit pro se against several Defendants, including Florida State Court Judges Barry Stone, Jack Tuter, Jill Levy, and Michael Lynch, under 42 U.S.C. 1983.
The deadline for service is December 25, 2020. If interested, please email FLSD_ProBono@flsd.uscourts.gov

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