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Prisoner Awarded $3,500 For Getting His Feelings Hurt

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July 22nd, 2011

A prisoner in New Zealand has been awarded compensation for “hurt feelings” and “breach of privacy” after a government blunder saw him wrongly listed as having a domestic violence conviction.

The prisoner has a string of convictions including attacking a police officer, theft, burglary, unlawful possession of firearms and trying to escape custody. It is understood that a complaint was lodged with the Privacy Commissioner and the Human Rights Review Tribunal, after the error was noticed in a file belonging to the Ministry of Social Development.

After considering the evidence and surrounding circumstances, the tribunal ruled that the inmate was entitled to NZ $3,500 compensation for “emotional harm” and “breach of privacy”. This decision has infuriated police, lawmakers and other government officials. In spite of their objections, however, the MSD are obligated to comply with the ruling.

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