A second-year law student is accusing the U.S. Marshals Service and other court officials of helping court security illegally seize her cell phone after she got in trouble for improperly contacting a judge.Benula Bensam was thrown out of the Rajat Gupta trial in June for repeatedly sending letters to Judge Jed Rakoff about the case even after he asked her not to.
Bensam, who is representing herself in her lawsuit, claims that when the marshals found out about the letters, they told security to hold her phone overnight, Reuters reported Monday.
The lawsuit, posted by Above The Law, claims that when the marshals asked Bensam to follow them outside to discuss the issue she refused, and even warned people coming into the courtroom not to leave their mobile phones with security because “the U.S. Marshals may not return it,” according to the lawsuit.
Still, the federal court in Manhattan forbids the public from bringing mobile phones with them in the first place, Reuters pointed out.
Bensam isn’t seeking damages in her case, according to Reuters. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment and Reuters could not immediately reach a spokesman for the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
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