University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Prison Legal News v. Gusman JC-LA-0027
Docket / Court 2:11-cv-02277-JCZ-SS ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Case Summary
On September 9, 2011, the Prison Legal News filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Kansas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the sheriff of Orleans Parish. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as ... read more >
On September 9, 2011, the Prison Legal News filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Kansas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the sheriff of Orleans Parish. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as damages, claiming that the defendants' unlawfully censored and excluded the plaintiff's books and magazines protected by the 1st and 14th Amendments, which are sent to individual subscribers in custody at the Orleans Parish Prison (OPP).

The plaintiffs specifically alleged that the policy against the delivery of such publications also failed to provide adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard to review decisions censoring and excluding books and magazines distributed by the plaintiffs to OPP prisoners. In addition, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had acted in an arbitrary and unreasonable manner in contravention of over thirty years of well-settled case law.

On December 2, 2011, Judge Jay C. Zainey approved a consent judgment for injunctive relief only. The defendants agreed to the distribution of the plaintiffs' monthly publication and to adopt and implement a new written policy regarding "Incoming Publications" for prisoners at the jail.

On September 17, 2012, Judge Zainey ordered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs for a total of $15,000, not including attorney fees and costs. On March 11, 2014, Judge Zainey approved the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation of attorney fees and costs of $72,754.61.

Jessica Kincaid - 04/12/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
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) Sheriff of Orleans Parish
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 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 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)
11-2277 (E.D. La.) 01/15/2013
JC-LA-0027-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 09/09/2011
JC-LA-0027-0001.pdf | Detail
Consent Judgment for Injunctive Relief Only 12/02/2011 (E.D. La.)
JC-LA-0027-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Request for Entry of Judgment against Defendants 07/10/2012
JC-LA-0027-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Dismissal 07/23/2012 (E.D. La.)
JC-LA-0027-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Vacating Order of Dismissal] 07/25/2012 (E.D. La.)
JC-LA-0027-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 09/17/2012 (E.D. La.)
JC-LA-0027-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Inmate Mail Instructions 09/21/2012
JC-LA-0027-0002.pdf | Detail
Order 03/10/2014 (E.D. La.)
JC-LA-0027-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Shushan, Sally A. (E.D. La.) [Magistrate]
JC-LA-0027-9000
Zainey, Jay C. (E.D. La.)
JC-LA-0027-0003 | JC-LA-0027-0005 | JC-LA-0027-0006 | JC-LA-0027-0007 | JC-LA-0027-0008 | JC-LA-0027-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adcock, James (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0027-0001 | JC-LA-0027-0004 | JC-LA-0027-9000
Cumming, Elizabeth C. (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0027-0001 | JC-LA-0027-0004 | JC-LA-0027-9000
Howell, Mary E. (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0027-0001 | JC-LA-0027-0003 | JC-LA-0027-0004 | JC-LA-0027-9000
Weber, Lance (Vermont)
JC-LA-0027-0004 | JC-LA-0027-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Arcuri, Blake J (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0027-9000
Matthews, Freeman Rudolph (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0027-0003 | JC-LA-0027-9000
Richardson, Timothy R (Louisiana)
JC-LA-0027-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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