University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Lane v. Lombardi PC-MO-0013
Docket / Court Case No. 2:12-cv-4219-NKL ( W.D. Mo. )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
This lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri in August 2012 by the owner of a publishing business named Caged Potential, against the Missouri Department of Corrections. The plaintiff was represented by the ACLU. The plaintiff's cousin was a prisoner at ... read more >
This lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri in August 2012 by the owner of a publishing business named Caged Potential, against the Missouri Department of Corrections. The plaintiff was represented by the ACLU. The plaintiff's cousin was a prisoner at Crossroads Correctional Facility in Cameron, Missouri who wrote a novel, "So Far From Paradise." The book's publisher received nine orders for this book from prisoners at Crossroads and mailed copies in November 2010 and January 2011. Crossroads mailroom staff seized the novels and refused to deliver the books to the inmates. The plaintiff never received notice that the books were seized and not delivered.

The plaintiff argued that without notice, a publisher had no way of knowing that the publication had not reached its intended recipient and therefore could not appeal the decision to withhold the publication; this, the plaintiff argued, violated due process and led to violations of the First Amendment, when prisoners and publishers were erroneously denied the ability to communicate with each other.

On November 8, 2012, the Court (Nanette K. Laughrey) granted class certification; the plaintiff class was "All current and future publishers, distributors, and authors of written materials, who mail books, publications, or other written materials to inmates incarcerated in prisons operated by MODOC." On November 15, 2012, Judge Laughrey granted a preliminary injunction, requiring all Missouri prisons to notify senders whenever written materials they send are censored, seized, and withheld from prisoners. The judge also ordered that after getting such notice, senders must have an opportunity to appeal the censorship. 2012 WL 5462932.

On March 28, 2014, the Court approved, over the objections of some of the plaintiffs, a settlement agreement awarding $33,479 in attorney fees. The defendants agreed to notify senders of books, publications, personal correspondence, pictures, and recorded materials of censorship decisions and to notify them of their opportunity to appeal those decisions as set forth in the procedure attached as Exhibit B to the agreement.

Katherine Reineck - 02/21/2016


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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
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Mail
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Missouri Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description All current and future publishers, distributors, and authors of written materials, who mail books, publications, or other written materials to inmates incarcerated in prisons operated by MODOC.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2012 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
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 ]

Docket(s)
2:12−cv−04219 (W.D. Mo.) 11/05/2014
PC-MO-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
CLASS-ACTION COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 08/09/2012
PC-MO-0013-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source:
Order 11/08/2012 (2012 WL 5462932) (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0013-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 11/15/2012 (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0013-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Proposed Settlement Agreement 03/27/2014
PC-MO-0013-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Settlement Agreement 10/22/2014 (W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0013-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Laughrey, Nanette Kay (E.D. Mo., W.D. Mo.)
PC-MO-0013-0002 | PC-MO-0013-0003 | PC-MO-0013-0005 | PC-MO-0013-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bonney, Stephen Douglas (Missouri)
PC-MO-0013-0001 | PC-MO-0013-0004 | PC-MO-0013-0004 | PC-MO-0013-0004 | PC-MO-0013-9000 | PC-MO-0013-9000
Doty, Grant R. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0013-0001 | PC-MO-0013-0004 | PC-MO-0013-9000
Rothert, Anthony E. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0013-0001 | PC-MO-0013-0004 | PC-MO-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Callahan, Elizabeth (Missouri)
PC-MO-0013-0004 | PC-MO-0013-9000
Dodge, Emily A. (Missouri)
PC-MO-0013-0004 | PC-MO-0013-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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