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Case Name Prison Legal News v. County of Sacramento JC-CA-0065
Docket / Court 2:11-CV-00907 JAM-DAD ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Attorney Organization Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld
Case Summary
Prison Legal News, a non-profit monthly publication that reports on criminal justice-related issues and a project of the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), filed this lawsuit in in the United State District Court for the Eastern District of California in April 2011. According to the complaint, ... read more >
Prison Legal News, a non-profit monthly publication that reports on criminal justice-related issues and a project of the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), filed this lawsuit in in the United State District Court for the Eastern District of California in April 2011. According to the complaint, Sacramento County jail officials refused to deliver PLN's monthly publication to prisoners and failed to notify PLN of that censorship in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Jail officials argued that the publication presented a hazard because it has staples and mailing lables or stickers.

On March 8, 2012, Judge John Mendez entered a preliminary injunction against the jail, noting the jail officials' "exaggerated response to any security concerns posed by PLN."

On July 16, 2012, the parties reached a settlement and the judge issued a Consent Decree. The decree stated that the "Florida Department of Corrections is permanently enjoined from censoring Prison Legal News' written communications without due process of law. To comply with due process of law, this permanent injunction modifies the Florida Department of Corrections' current notification procedures as follows: (1) The Florida Department of Corrections must notify Prison Legal News when it first impounds a particular written communication by Prison Legal News. (2) The notification must specify the prison rule, including the subsection, purportedly violated and must indicate the portion of the communication that allegedly violates the cited regulation. (3) The Florida Department of Corrections does not have to notify Prison Legal News when copies of that same written communication are subsequently impounded, unless the subsequent impoundment decision is based on a different or additional reason not already shared with Prison Legal News. (4) The Florida Department of Corrections' Literature Review Committee must notify Prison Legal News of any final determination regarding written communication by Prison Legal News. (5) The Literature Review Committee's notification must provide the basis for its decision, including the specific prison rule violated and the portion of the communication that violates the cited regulation. (6) The Florida Department of Corrections does not have to notify Prison Legal News when copies of that same written communication are subsequently rejected, unless the subsequent rejection decision is based on a different or additional reason not already shared with Prison Legal News."

All claims in this case have been adjudicated.

Denise Heberle - 03/09/2012
Erin Pamukcu - 02/07/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Mail
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) County of Sacramento, California
Plaintiff Description Prison Legal News, a monthly magazine that reports on court rulings and news related to prisoners’ rights and criminal justice issues.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Links Prison Legal News Homepage
Prison Legal News
By: Prison Legal News
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:11-cv-00907-JAM-DAD (E.D. Cal.) 08/08/2012
JC-CA-0065-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §1983 and Damages [Jury Trial Demanded] 04/05/2011
JC-CA-0065-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulated Protective Order 08/23/2011 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0065-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reporter's Transcript: Motion for Preliminary Injunction 03/07/2012
JC-CA-0065-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Papers of Margo Schlanger
Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 03/08/2012 (2012 WL 1075852) (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0065-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Press Release 03/08/2012
JC-CA-0065-0002.pdf | Detail
Consent Decree 07/16/2012
JC-CA-0065-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order Dismissing Case and Retaining Jurisdiction Over Consent Decree 08/07/2012 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0065-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Drozd, Dale Alan (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0065-0004
Mendez, John A. (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0065-0001 | JC-CA-0065-0005 | JC-CA-0065-0006 | JC-CA-0065-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Galvan, Ernest (California)
JC-CA-0065-0002 | JC-CA-0065-0003 | JC-CA-0065-9000
Rosen, Sanford Jay (California)
JC-CA-0065-9000
Thompson, Blake (California)
JC-CA-0065-9000
Walczak, Kenneth M. (California)
JC-CA-0065-9000
Weber, Lance (Vermont)
JC-CA-0065-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Butts, Amanda Lynn (California)
JC-CA-0065-9000
Lavra, John A (California)
JC-CA-0065-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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