Plaintiff Cornelius Alston was imprisoned for nearly five months beyond the date on which he should have been released from prison because the Hawaii state officials responsible for calculating release dates failed to investigate when Mr. Alston protested to the officials that they were improperly extending his time in custody. Mr. Alston brought suit for compensation for the excessive detention. Despite prior decisions holding that prison officials must investigate reasonable claims that an inmate is being detained longer than the law allows, a federal court of appeals granted immunity to the officials. In December 2011, Public Citizen petitioned the appeals court to rehear the case in order to ensure that individuals whose rights are violated are able to have their day in court. In March 2012, the court denied the petition.