Lieff Cabraser and Equal Justice Society File Class Action Challenging Trump Administration’s Alleged Theft of Congressionally-Allocated Pandemic Relief Funds from Incarcerated Persons and the Familie

Ad blocking detected

Thank you for visiting CanadianInsider.com. We have detected you cannot see ads being served on our site due to blocking. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of data, we cannot serve the requested page without the accompanied ads.

If you have installed ad-blocking software, please disable it (sometimes a complete uninstall is necessary). Private browsing Firefox users should be able to disable tracking protection while visiting our website. Visit Mozilla support for more information. If you do not believe you have any ad-blocking software on your browser, you may want to try another browser, computer or internet service provider. Alternatively, you may consider the following if you want an ad-free experience.

Canadian Insider Club
$299/ year*
Daily Morning INK newsletter
+3 months archive
Canadian Market INK weekly newsletter
+3 months archive
30 publication downloads per month from the PDF store
Top 20 Gold, Top 30 Energy, Top 40 Stock downloads from the PDF store
All benefits of basic registration
No 3rd party display ads
JOIN THE CLUB

* Price is subject to applicable taxes.

Paid subscriptions and memberships are auto-renewing unless cancelled (easily done via the Account Settings Membership Status page after logging in). Once cancelled, a subscription or membership will terminate at the end of the current term.

Aug 01, 2020 09:07 pm
SAN FRANCISCO -- 

Today, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and Equal Justice Society (collectively, “Plaintiffs’ co-counsel”) filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco, California, challenging the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Treasury (collectively “Treasury”)’s decision to withhold CARES Act economic assistance payments from incarcerated people nationwide. The lead plaintiffs are Colin Scholl, currently incarcerated in Salinas Valley State Prison in Monterey, California, and Lisa Strawn, a woman paroled from San Quentin on July 14, 2020. Plaintiffs and the proposed class seek a determination that Defendants’ conduct is illegal and an Order that they make the required payments immediately.

Background: Congress passed the CARES Act to provide sorely needed economic assistance during the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the Act, Congress allocated aid of up to $1,200 (plus $500 per qualifying child) to all American citizens and legal permanent residents below a certain income level who were not claimed as dependents. Incarcerated persons, and their families on the outside, are among the most economically disadvantaged people in the country. Indeed, according to one study, people who are incarcerated had a median income of only $19,185 before their incarceration, compared to $41,250 for non-incarcerated people. Low-income families are disproportionately more likely to have a relative behind bars.

The Treasury, however, has refused to issue stimulus payments authorized by Congress to eligible incarcerated persons, thereby further exacerbating the economic disadvantages they and their families suffer.

“The Treasury Department’s unlawful withholding of these allocated funds undermines the health and safety of incarcerated people and the families they support,” said Kelly M. Dermody of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in the case. “At a time when COVID-19 is tearing through prisons, it is unforgivably heartless to steal COVID economic aid from those most in need.”

The populations that COVID-19 has decimated—low-income children of color, Black people, Latinx people and other people of color—are also disproportionately impacted by over-incarceration,” said Mona Tawatao of the Equal Justice Society, an attorney for the plaintiffs. “The Treasury Department’s theft of CARES Act supplements is both illegal and cruel as it subverts Congress’ plan to provide fast and direct economic assistance to families who need help the most.”

The lawsuit alleges that over 1.4 million incarcerated people have been affected by Defendants’ actions. Many rely on financial assistance from their friends or families on the outside, people who are already suffering in the current economic crisis. Hundreds of thousands of others will be re-entering society soon, and need help to get back on their feet at a time when the job market has collapsed. Incarcerated people also need to spend their own money—or that of friends and family who are already hard-pressed to make ends meet—to stay in touch with loved ones through expensive telephone and mail services, critical lifelines to support their rehabilitation. Further, many incarcerated people have outstanding child support and restitution obligations, and stimulus payments can be used to support children in need as well as crime victims.

The plaintiffs are Colin Scholl and Lisa Strawn. The Lieff Cabraser legal team representing them and the proposed class are Kelly M. Dermody, Yaman Salahi, and Jalle H. Dafa, joined by Eva Jefferson Paterson, Mona Tawatao, Lisa Holder, and Christina Alvernaz of the Equal Justice Society.

The defendants are the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the United States Commissioner of Internal Revenue Charles Rettig, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and the United States of America.

Read the complaint here. If you or your loved one is an incarcerated person, please click here for a free legal consultation about your rights.

More about Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP:

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, is a 100-plus attorney AV-rated law firm founded in 1972 with offices in San Francisco, New York, Nashville, and Munich. Described by The American Lawyer as “one of the nation’s premier plaintiffs’ firms,” Lieff Cabraser has litigated some of the most important civil cases in the United States and assisted clients in recovering over $124 billion in verdicts and settlements. In March of 2020, Benchmark Litigation named Lieff Cabraser its “California Plaintiff Firm of the Year.” Lieff Cabraser is committed to access to justice for all.

The Equal Justice Society is transforming the nation’s consciousness on race through law, social science, and the arts. Led by President Eva Paterson, its legal strategy aims to broaden conceptions of present-day discrimination to include unconscious and structural bias by using social science, structural analysis, and real-life experience. Currently, EJS targets its advocacy efforts on school discipline, special education, and the school-to-prison pipeline, race-conscious remedies, and inequities in the criminal justice system.

Kelly Dermody: kdermody@lchb.com or 415-956-1000 ext. 3333
John Gersten: jgersten@lchb.com or 415 987-5542

Comment On!

140
Upload limit is up to 1mb only
To post messages to your Socail Media account, you must first give authorization from the websites. Select the platform you wish to connect your account to CanadianInsider.com (via Easy Blurb).