Former Nevada prison inmate gets chance to seek damages

Nevada’s intermediate appellate court has ruled Darryl Gholson will get his chance to seek damages from the state over his lost good time credits.

Gholson filed a hand-written demand for a jury trial on the issue after prison officials took away 48 days of good time credits from him without notice and without a hearing.

They did so just 30 days before Gholson was to be released from prison.

Gholson argued his due process rights were violated because he earned and was awarded the credits for work a full year before they were arbitrarily taken away.

The district court agreed with prison officials Gholson failed to state a claim that could be granted because, they said, he had no constitutional right to employment qualifying for credits and no right to parole or classification status.

But two members of the appellate court agreed with Gholson an inmate has a “liberty interest” in credits he has earned. He had argued he’s entitled to damages because prison officials violated his constitutional rights by taking away statutory credit he had already earned without notice and a hearing. Judges Michael Gibbons and Bonnie Bulla said the district court decision to dismiss the claim is unmistakable error by the district court and an abuse of its discretion. The third judge, Jerome Tao, disagreed saying the district court ruling was correct.

That decision sends the case back to district court for a hearing on what damages Gholson may be entitled to.

He has since been released from prison.


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