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I know that it is NOT my constitutional right to a phone call in jail but...

Los Angeles, CA |
Filed under: Civil rights

But while I was held in custody by the Los Angeles county sheriffs department there was an official sign right in front of my cell that said that I was entitled to "3 free phone calls". MY ONLY PROBLEM IS THAT THIS SIGN APPLIES ONLY TO THE PEOPLE THAT THEY WANT IT TO APPLY TO. Just because they are law enforcement officials does not mean that they have the right to be partial towards certain detainees by awarding them with phone calls.This is an obvious case of DISCRIMINATION. ONCE AGAIN, I UNDERSTAND THAT THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT APPLY TO FREE PHONE CALLS IN JAIL SO PLEASE DO NOT REPLY WITH USELESS RHETORIC OF HOW YOU INTERPRET OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.
If you and a friend shop at the local clothing boutique, buy clothes, and read an official sign at the register that says that they "accept returns within 90 days", then you would expect to be allowed to return your merchandise within 90 days right? Let's say that both you and your friend decide to return merchandise on the same day within 90 days of your purchase. Your friend is allowed to make the return, but you are not allowed to make the return, turns out that the sign with the return policy does not apply to everybody. Is this not discrimination??
Hypothetical #2:
You and an associate have both been working at Dairy Queen for the past 8 months. You are both punctual and very productive employees. You both notice an official sign posted next to the blenders. The sign reads "All Employees are Entitled to a Free Shake on Their Lunch Break". Both you and your co-worker go to lunch at the same time. Both of you start making a milkshake and your supervisor stops you only and says "You are not permitted to have a free milkshake at lunch." Your co-worker makes her shake and she is not confronted by the supervisor. Turns out, the sign doesn't apply because the constitution does not state that you are entitled to a free milk shake as an employee at Dairy Queen. Is this not still discrimination?

My point is this: If an official sign is posted in any establishment, institution, restaurant, park, street, office, or wherever, shouldn't it be fairly applied to everyone? Shouldn't the rules of the sign apply as long as the sign is still posted? Isn't there something that I can do to make sure that this partial behavior demonstrated by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department is not perpetuated? The sign should not be up at all if they are not going to enforce the rules of the sign.
By the way, I did not commit a crime, I'm far from a criminal...Me and 6 other guys matched the description of a burglary suspect, it obviously was not me because I'm at home on the computer. So do not reply with comments about how I'm lucky to be free.

Attorney Answers 1


You want the right to be treated as well as those who get the best treatment by the sheriff's department, but selective enforcement isn't a good defense. You don't have that right.

And you want to be able to rely on an "official" sign, as if it's a contract between you (and I guess everyone else who can read it) and the sheriff's department. But if you don't have this right under the constitution, it doesn't matter what any sign says.

Isn't not having someone who'd take your collect call why you sat in jail for a week?

I'm only licensed in CA. Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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No it wasn't "someone who wouldn't take my collect call"... It was someone who COULDN'T accept my collect call until she had the money to set up a collect call account on her cell phone. Most cell phones don't allow collect calls. Her number was the only number that I could remember from my contacts and she does not have a house phone. In case you didn't realize, not everybody that comes into this world is privileged enough to have a stable household with a stable house phone number that they would remember all of their life. Some people come from much more volatile backgrounds where they don't don't grow up in the same house their whole childhood. Where they don't have trust funds to look forward to. And they don't have responsible parents who makes sure that there is enough money put aside for their child to go to law school. You've obviously never been in a situation where your freedom was taken away. If your freedom is ever taken away you obviously have a stable family with house phone numbers that you can remember and call for help.Even I, at 19 years old, can see that based on your last sentence you show the lack of experience that you have with dealing with people from underprivileged backgrounds. Shame on you for that last sentence of your answer because you look to be probably 40 or 50 something years old and you still don't have a clue as to what is really going on in this world. But yet you still resonate the attitude of some arrogant lawyer who thinks that she's had soooo much success and experience that she could judge the character of a person that she speaks to over the internet. I am not the person that you think that I am and once again, you are too old to prejudge people. I'm sure that you are the type that gets scared when the boisterous/homeless guy with a mental disorder asks you for change late at night, you wouldn't even have the gumption to tell him "no I don't have any change for you"... Instead you would just walk a little faster and clutch your purse closer. You are the type that wouldn't piss on a minority if he or she was on fire because he or she doesn't have enough money for your minimum retainer fee. Shame on you Pamela Koslyn.

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