Gee v. Pacheco
As part of Public Justice’s Iqbal Project, we filed a post-judgment amicus brief in this Tenth Circuit appeal, urging the court to amend some of the language in its opinion about Iqbal as applied to prisoner claims. In particular we urged the court to delete two paragraphs of the opinion that, in our view, (1) improperly suggested that prisoners’ complaints may be subjected to a heightened pleading standard on motions to dismiss, and (2) incorrectly suggested that “information asymmetry” is not usually a problem for prisoner-plaintiffs who are trying to draft a viable complaint.
Information asymmetry is a situation when one party (usually the plaintiff) has less information about what has happened than is available to the defendant; information asymmetry is a problem because, as many courts have recognized, it is more difficult for a plaintiff to draft a complaint when the plaintiff does not have access to all the relevant information.
Amici brief of the Impact Fund, Public Justice, et al.
granting our request for an amendment in part. The court deleted language suggesting that information asymmetry may have been an issue in Iqbal itself, and it added language emphasizing that if a prisoner is prevented from obtaining relevant information before suit as part of the prison grievance process, then that is something a district court should take into account when determining whether the prisoner’s claim is plausible.