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Case Name Martinez v. Maketa JC-CO-0004
Docket / Court 1:10-cv-02242-WYD-KLM ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU National Prison Project
Case Summary
On September 14, 2010, prisoners of the El Paso County Jail filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the El Paso County Sheriff. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project, ... read more >
On September 14, 2010, prisoners of the El Paso County Jail filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the El Paso County Sheriff. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming the Jail's mail policy violated the free speech rights of inmates. Specifically, the plaintiffs challenged the Jail's new policy which limited the vast majority of outgoing prisoner correspondence to postcards. Under the challenged policy, prisoners' outgoing correspondence is restricted to small 4 x 6 inch postcards supplied by the jail. This new policy severely restricts prisoners' ability to communicate with persons outside the jail, in violation of their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments and the Colorado Constitution.

On the same day of the filing of the complaint, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify class and appoint class counsel. On November 10, 2010, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and a hearing on that motion was set for December 22, 2010. However, on December 16, 2010, the defendant rescinded its postcard-only policy. The next day, the parties filed a joint motion to enter a stipulated preliminary injunction and for further relief. On December 20, 2010, Chief Judge Wiley Y. Daniel granted the joint motion for the preliminary injunction that enjoined the defendant from enforcing the postcard-only policy or any other policy that limits prisoners outgoing mail to postcards.

On February 1, 2011, the parties filed a joint motion to hold case in abeyance pending finalization of settlement. That document outlined the terms of the resolution to which the parties had agreed. Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix granted the joint motion. On March 28, 2011, the plaintiffs filed an unopposed motion for attorneys' fees requesting the court award $60,000 in attorneys' fees and costs. On that same day, the parties filed a joint motion to approve resolution of class action and grant the plaintiffs' motion for attorneys' fees and costs. .

On March 31, 2011, Judge Wiley granted the plaintiffs' motion to certify class and set the fairness hearing for May 25, 2011, but deferred the plaintiffs' motion for attorneys' fees and costs.

After the fairness hearing, on June 7, 2011, Judge Wiley approved the resolution and permanently enjoined the defendants from enforcing the postcard-only policy or any other policy that limits prisoners' outgoing mail to postcards. Judge Wiley also awarded the plaintiffs $60,000 in attorneys' fees and costs. Accordingly, Judge Wiley dismissed the case. Martinez v. Maketa, 2011 WL 2222129 (D. Colo. June 7, 2011).

Xin Chen - 05/17/2011
Jessica Kincaid - 07/15/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Mail
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) El Paso County Sheriff
Plaintiff Description Prisoners, on behalf of similarly-situated prisoners at the El Paso County Jail in Colorado Springs, Colorado, challenge the Jail’s policy restricting prisoners’ outgoing correspondence to 4 x 6 inch postcards supplied by the Jail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU National Prison Project
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2011
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 ]

Docket(s)
1:10-cv-02242-WYD -KLM (D. Colo.) 06/08/2011
JC-CO-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 09/14/2010
JC-CO-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion to Certify Class and Appoint Class Counsel 09/14/2010
JC-CO-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 11/10/2010
JC-CO-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Protective Order 11/22/2010
JC-CO-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Revision of Personal Outgoing Inmate Mail Procedures 12/16/2010
JC-CO-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: ACLU National Prison Project
Stipulated Order Granting Preliminary Injunction 12/20/2010 (D. Colo.)
JC-CO-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion to Approve Resolution of Class Action 03/28/2011
JC-CO-0004-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/31/2011 (D. Colo.)
JC-CO-0004-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 06/07/2011 (2011 WL 2222129) (D. Colo.)
JC-CO-0004-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Daniel, Wiley Young (D. Colo.)
JC-CO-0004-0006 | JC-CO-0004-0007 | JC-CO-0004-0008 | JC-CO-0004-9000
Mix, Kristen L. (D. Colo.) [Magistrate]
JC-CO-0004-0004 | JC-CO-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fathi, David Cyrus (District of Columbia)
JC-CO-0004-0001 | JC-CO-0004-0002 | JC-CO-0004-0003 | JC-CO-0004-9000
Silverstein, Mark (Colorado)
JC-CO-0004-0001 | JC-CO-0004-0002 | JC-CO-0004-0003 | JC-CO-0004-9000
Wallace, Rebecca Teitelbaum (Colorado)
JC-CO-0004-0001 | JC-CO-0004-0002 | JC-CO-0004-0003 | JC-CO-0004-0009 | JC-CO-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Folsom, Amy R. (Colorado)
JC-CO-0004-9000
Greenlee, Charles Clark (Colorado)
JC-CO-0004-0009 | JC-CO-0004-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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