News & Publications
August 05, 2010
Maria Kreiter and Maggie Cook of the Milwaukee office litigation team recently obtained summary judgment for an otherwise pro se litigant in the case captioned Donovan v. United States, Eastern District of Wisconsin Case No. 08-C-1113.
Donovan sought reimbursement of income collected by a halfway house where he resided at the end of his 212 month prison sentence. Halfway houses generally collect a portion of their residents' income to offset operation costs. In Donovan's case, however, the federal sentencing court had waived any requirement that Donovan pay costs associated with community confinement.
Donovan promptly raised the judicial waiver to the halfway house's attention but was told to return to federal prison if he
did not want to contribute a portion of his income to the halfway house. Presented with a Hobson's choice, Donovan remained at the halfway house and then quickly set out to obtain the income collected contrary to the sentencing court's waiver upon his release.
After Donovan attempted numerous pro se complaints and motions, the federal civil court requested that Godfrey & Kahn
accept appointment as Donovan's counsel. Godfrey & Kahn amended Donovan's complaint to assert four causes of action, including a Little Tucker Act claim which proved successful. The government declined to appeal the Court's
decision and will now pay Donovan the income it impermissibly collected.
The Court's order granting summary judgment in Donovan's favor thanked Godfrey & Kahn for accepting the pro bono appointment and for the excellent representation afforded Donovan.