The Limited Effect of Minneci v. Pollard on Inmate Litigants

The Birmingham Lawyers Chapter
Start : Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:00 PM
End : Thursday, January 17, 2013 01:00 PM

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The Summit Club
1901 Sixth Avenue North
Birmingham, AL

Featured Speakers:
Alexander Volokh



  • Alexander "Sasha" Volokh, Assistant Professor of Law, Emory Law

Whether on the state or federal level, suing public prisons is difficult. Federal public prison inmates have to deal with the limitations of the FTCA, while their state counterparts are restricted by various state immunity doctrines and statutes. By contrast, private prisons, whether state or federal, are generally amenable to suit on state-law tort grounds, and the available tort theories are often more generous to plaintiffs than constitutional theories. (Federal and state PLRAs restrict prisoner litigation substantially, but don’t seem to alter this calculus, as they generally apply equally to public and private prisons.)

In Minneci v. Pollard, the Supreme Court denied the Bivens remedy for federal private prison inmates when state tort law is a reasonably comparable substitute. Minneci is part of a long line of decisions restricting the availability of Bivens. Professor Volokh argues that, even if Minneci might be wrongly decided as a matter ofBivens doctrine, the results won’t be as dramatic as some fear.

Alexander "Sasha" Volokh is an assistant professor of law at Emory Law. Professor Volokh earned his BS from UCLA and his JD and PhD in economics from Harvard University. He clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit and for Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Samuel Alito. Before coming to Emory, he was a visiting associate professor at Georgetown University Law Center and a visiting assistant professor at University of Houston Law Center.

Registration details:

Cost: $15 for lunch (Please pay at the door and make checks payable to “The Federalist Society”)

RSVP by Monday, January 14, to Carolyn Adkins at or 205-521-8687.

CLE credit has been requested for this event, but has not yet been approved.