University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Prison Legal News v. County of Ventura JC-CA-0108
Docket / Court 2:14-cv-00773 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Attorney Organization Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld
Case Summary
This case was brought forth by the Prison Legal News (PLN) on behalf of prisoners and pre-trial detainees held in custody at Ventura County jails. PLN provides a monthly journal, informational brochures, and paperback books that all discuss issues involving the criminal justice system.

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This case was brought forth by the Prison Legal News (PLN) on behalf of prisoners and pre-trial detainees held in custody at Ventura County jails. PLN provides a monthly journal, informational brochures, and paperback books that all discuss issues involving the criminal justice system.

PLN alleged that the Ventura County jails' mail policies and practices unconstitutionally restrict PLN's correspondence with inmates. More specifically, PLN argued that the Ventura County jails' mail policies lacked clarity, failed to provide adequate notice to PLN, and did not give PLN the opportunity to challenge their policy as censorship.

This case arose after PLN made numerous attempts to contact inmates at Ventura County jails. PLN mailed materials to inmates held at Ventura County jails starting in February 2012, only for the materials to be returned to sender due to "suggestive" or "unacceptable ads inside." After further research, PLN discovered that Ventura County revised their written mail policies to specifically exclude PLN's materials from being delivered to inmates.

In February 2013, PLN filed a state tort claim against the Defendant, but the Defendant continued to exclude PLN's materials from being delivered to inmates irregardless of PLN's legal actions.

On January 31, 2014, PLN filed a complaint in the Central District Court of California arguing that the Defendant's actions are a violation of the inmates' First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The case is ongoing as of June 9, 2014.

Megan Richardson - 06/09/2014


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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) County of Ventura
Plaintiff Description A non-profit legal journal aimed at public and prisoner education.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
2:14−cv−00773 (C.D. Cal.) 04/11/2014
JC-CA-0108-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief Under the Civil Rights Act, 41 USC §1983 and Damages 01/13/2014
JC-CA-0108-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reporter's Transcript of Motion for Preliminary Injunction 05/19/2014
JC-CA-0108-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Papers of Margo Schlanger
Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 06/16/2014 (2014 WL 2736103) (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0108-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Papers of Margo Schlanger
Judges Eick, Charles F. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0108-9000
King, George H. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0108-0003 | JC-CA-0108-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Galvan, Ernest (California)
JC-CA-0108-0001 | JC-CA-0108-9000
Thompson, Blake (California)
JC-CA-0108-9000
Vogel, Brian A. (California)
JC-CA-0108-0001 | JC-CA-0108-9000
Weber, Lance (Vermont)
JC-CA-0108-0001 | JC-CA-0108-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Held, Jeffrey (California)
JC-CA-0108-9000
Proctor, James N. (California)
JC-CA-0108-9000
Wisotsky, Alan E. (California)
JC-CA-0108-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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