FAIRFIELD — A legal complaint filed by a convicted murderer who contends California owes him $90 for the TV taken by prison officials returns Monday to Solano County Superior Court after a judge commented on the time taken to address the matter.
“It’s ridiculous,” Solano County Superior Court Judge Paul Beeman said. “We’re putting so much time and energy into such a terribly, terribly small dispute.”
Beeman spoke in court Feb. 20 during an earlier hearing about the 13-inch RCA TV that David Scott Curtis claims was confiscated and disposed of because Curtis’ inmate trust account lacked funds to mail the television set to his family.
Curtis, in his complaint first filed in July 2012, wrote he was notified in 2010 about the TV’s status before his transfer to California State Prison, Solano, where he is not allowed a television.
“To allow an inmate to purchase an item, then shortly afterward turn around and inform him he can no longer possess it,” he wrote, is theft by manipulation.
He said the TV cost $162 when new – and along with the $90 for the set, Curtis seeks $200 for the loss of enjoyment after the TV was taken.
A separate case filed by Curtis, convicted of second-degree murder in 1993, sought to compel the state Department of Justice to provide records about a .25-caliber handgun Curtis once possessed.
The weapon was in his pickup when the vehicle was stolen and Curtis had reported the lost firearm to the Riverside Police Department, which recovered the pickup truck but not the gun, according a state Court of Appeals ruling.
The state court in its 2012 ruling upheld dismissal of Curtis’ case about the firearm.
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