University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Prison Legal News v. Chelan County PC-WA-0022
Docket / Court 2:11-cv-00337 ( E.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Case Summary
On November 9, 2011, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Washington under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343, 2201, and 2202 against Chelan County Sheriff's Office. PLN noted specific individuals that had asked to receive PLN materials and ... read more >
On November 9, 2011, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Washington under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343, 2201, and 2202 against Chelan County Sheriff's Office. PLN noted specific individuals that had asked to receive PLN materials and had been denied by the Sheriff's Office once the books/publications had arrived. There was no opportunity for PLN to appeal these decisions or receive further information about them. PLN claimed that their right to freedom of expression had been denied as well as their right to due process once the books were returned.

On December 1, 2011, the District Court Judge ordered in a consent decree that defendants' mail policy was a violation of the First Amendment and due process. The court ordered the defendants to stop rejecting books simply based on whether they were subscriptions or paperback books and without due process notice of rejection. The defendants were also ordered to pay $180,000 in damages.

Deeva Shah - 10/02/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Library (non-law) access
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Chelan County
Chelan County Sheriff's Office
Plaintiff Description Publisher of a monthly magazine and distributor of books- focused on informing incarcerated individuals of their rights.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2011 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

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

Docket(s)
2:11−cv−00337 (E.D. Wash.) 12/01/2011
PC-WA-0022-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 09/09/2011
PC-WA-0022-0001.pdf | Detail
Plaintiff's motion for Preliminary Injunction and Memorandum in support 10/17/2011
PC-WA-0022-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree 12/01/2011 (E.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0022-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Shea, Edward F. (E.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0022-0002 | PC-WA-0022-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chamberlain, Katherine (Washington)
PC-WA-0022-0001 | PC-WA-0022-0002 | PC-WA-0022-0003 | PC-WA-0022-9000
Weber, Lance (Vermont)
PC-WA-0022-9000
Wing, Jesse (Washington)
PC-WA-0022-0001 | PC-WA-0022-0002 | PC-WA-0022-0003 | PC-WA-0022-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Rowland, Milton George (Washington)
PC-WA-0022-0002 | PC-WA-0022-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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