University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Prison Legal News v. Shawnee County JC-KS-0009
Docket / Court 2:11-cv-02497-WEB -KGG ( D. Kan. )
State/Territory Kansas
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Case Summary
On August 31, 2011, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Kansas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Shawnee County and the Shawnee County Department of Corrections. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive ... read more >
On August 31, 2011, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Kansas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Shawnee County and the Shawnee County Department of Corrections. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as damages, claiming that the Defendants censored PLN's monthly publication and correspondence mailed to prisoners who were held in custody by the Shawnee County Jail in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The plaintiffs specifically alleged that the defendants adopted and implemented policies that unconstitutionally restrict correspondence to prisoners, which policies on their face prohibited prisoners from receiving any sort of book, magazine, or other publication, such as those published by the plaintiff.

On February 23, 2012, the parties filed a joint stipulation for entry of stipulated judgment and settlement agreement. The agreement required the defendants to modify the Jail's mail policy, including allowing the PLN's mailings to be delivered. The defendants agreed to pay $75,000 in damages, attorney fees, and costs. On March 5, 2012, Judge Kathryn H. Vratil approved the stipulated judgment and settlement agreement.

Jessica Kincaid - 04/05/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Mail
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Shawnee County Department of Corrections
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 None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
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-02497-KHV-KGG (D. Kan.) 03/05/2012
JC-KS-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/31/2011
JC-KS-0009-0001.pdf | Detail
Order [Administratively Closing Case] 02/17/2012 (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0009-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulation for Entry of Stipulated Judgment and Settlement Agreement 02/23/2012
JC-KS-0009-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Regarding Entry of Stipulated Judgment and Settlement Agreement 03/05/2012 (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0009-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Gale, Kenneth G (D. Kan.) [Magistrate]
JC-KS-0009-9000
Vratil, Kathryn Hoefer (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0009-0002 | JC-KS-0009-0004 | JC-KS-0009-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bonney, Stephen Douglas (Missouri)
JC-KS-0009-0001 | JC-KS-0009-0003 | JC-KS-0009-9000
Jenkins, James D (Missouri)
JC-KS-0009-0001 | JC-KS-0009-0003 | JC-KS-0009-9000
Slough, Fred (Missouri)
JC-KS-0009-0001 | JC-KS-0009-0003 | JC-KS-0009-9000
Weber, Lance (Vermont)
JC-KS-0009-0001 | JC-KS-0009-0003 | JC-KS-0009-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Brzon, Jonathan C (Kansas)
JC-KS-0009-9000
Eckert, Richard V (Kansas)
JC-KS-0009-9000
Martinek, Ron D (Kansas)
JC-KS-0009-0003 | JC-KS-0009-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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