Graphic Argument Explainer: Murphy v. Smith (Supreme Court, December 6, 2017)
Does the law require Murphy to contribute 25% of his monetary award to pay his attorney's fees?
Murphy was a prisoner at the Vandalia Correctional Center in Illinois. One day, following a verbal dispute, the guards beat him badly and left him in a cell without medical attention.
He sued. The court awarded Murphy just over $300,000 and separately awarded Murphy's attorney just over $100,000 in fees.
This case is about how much of Murphy's attorney's fees Murphy must pay (from his $300K award) before the prison guards chip in the rest.
- Text of the provision, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(d)(2).
- More details about what happened: See the facts recounted on the second page of the 7th Circuit's opinion.
- SCOTUSblog Argument Preview
- More info about the law involved - the Prison Litigation Reform Act - "which placed several restrictions on the ability of prisoners to file lawsuits based on the conditions of their confinement" (FindLaw).