- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Inmates can file civil rights lawsuits in federal or state court if they believe their rights have been violated while behind bars. They face tough hurdles, however. They must pay hundreds of dollars in filing fees to get their case in court. Few can afford to hire attorneys, and they have to prove to a judge that their case is likely to have merit before they can get an attorney appointed to represent them. Attorneys may be reluctant to take on inmate cases because federal rules limit how much they can be awarded in fees if they win the lawsuit.

Here’s a look at the number of prisoner civil rights cases filed each year in U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho:

2004 - 70 cases

2005 - 60 cases

2006 - 80 cases

2007 - 124 cases

2008 - 123 cases

2009 - 139 cases

2010 - 112 cases

2011 - 115 cases

2012 - 103 cases

2013 - 120 cases

2014 - 104 cases

2015, as of Oct. 31 - 81 cases

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