On October 22, 2007, the Prison Legal News (PLN), the publisher of a monthly magazine on prison issues, filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, challenging the Fulton County Jail mail policy barring prisoners' receipt of any and ...
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On October 22, 2007, the Prison Legal News (PLN), the publisher of a monthly magazine on prison issues, filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, challenging the Fulton County Jail mail policy barring prisoners' receipt of any and all books, magazines, and newspapers (other than religious publications). PLN claimed that the Jail policy violated the First Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Georgia constitution. PLN further claimed that the mail policy had previously been declared unconstitutional in the case Daker v. Barrett, No. 1:00-CV-1065-RWS (N.D. Ga. July 22, 2002). PLN sought declaratory and injunctive relief, barring enforcement of the mail policy.
Fulton County denied that the mail policy was unconstitutional. On December 18, 2007, PLN moved for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the continued enforcement of the mail policy. Two days later, Fulton County Sheriff instituted a modified mail policy. Fulton County then argued that the case was moot in light of the new policy.
On January 31, 2008, the District Court (Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr.) held a preliminary injunction hearing. Fulton County conceded that the old mail policy was unconstitutional, but argued that since it voluntarily adopted a new policy, injunctive relief was unnecessary. Judge Pannell disagreed. He entered an injunction, enjoining enforcement of the old mail policy and requiring that the new mail policy remain in effect. Fulton County was also ordered to notify PLN of any changes made to the new mail policy. Under the new mail policy, the Jail permitted PLN subscriptions to be delivered to imprisoned subscribers.
We have no further information on this case.Dan Dalton - 02/11/2008