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      Inmate files lawsuit over lack of toothpaste

      A former Michigan prison inmate is seeking a court-appointed lawyer to help him with his lawsuit against the state over a lack of toothpaste.

      Jerry Flanory has told a judge in the Upper Peninsula that he can't afford a lawyer and the issues are complex.

      In May, a federal appeals court reinstated Flanory's lawsuit against prison officials in Newberry. He says he developed gum disease and had a tooth removed in 2006 after he was denied toothpaste for nearly a year as a form of discipline.

      The Flint man was released from prison in December after serving five years for assault. The Michigan attorney general's office has not formally responded to the lawsuit, which is in federal court in Marquette.

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