University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name New Times v. Suthers PC-CO-0021
Docket / Court 1:00-cv-00612-RPM-OES ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On March 22, 2000, publishing companies and inmates in the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the DOC. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and the ACLU, asked the court for ... read more >
On March 22, 2000, publishing companies and inmates in the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the DOC. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and the ACLU, asked the court for relief, claiming that the DOC violated the plaintiffs' rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the DOC arbitrarily and unjustifiably censored incoming magazines, newsletters, books, and other reading material directed to the inmate plaintiffs based upon content.

On August 10, 2004, the parties reached a settlement agreement in which the DOC agreed to stop improperly censoring reading materials and to train staff on the proper review policies. On August 18, 2004, Judge Phillip S. Figa approved settlement agreement and retained jurisdiction to enforce it. Judge Figa also awarded the plaintiffs reasonable attorney's fees and costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

On May 13, 2005, the parties entered a stipulation for order amending the settlement agreement extending the monitoring period to November 10, 2006, and reporting through March 31, 2007. On May 17, 2005, Judge Figa accepted the amendments to the settlement agreement.

The DOC continued to make changes to its policies regarding access to reading material and submitted those changes to the court. Specifically, on August 20, 2007, the DOC implemented an administrative regulation adjustment to library services and access to those services. In addition, on February 19, 2008, the DOC implemented an administrative regulation adjustment to the policy on the number of books allowed per inmate.

On April 24, 2008, defendant responded to nonparty Jacob Ind's motion for enforcement of the settlement agreement. The defendants argued that Ind lacked standing to bring his claims in this action, failed to allege any facts on which a finding of contempt could be based, and the express terms of the settlement agreement expired on November 10, 2006.

On October 16, 2009, Judge Richard P. Matsch denied the motion to enforce the decree and granted the defendant's motion for termination of jurisdiction relating to the enforcement of the settlement agreement. The plaintiffs appealed. On June 24, 2010, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's decision.

Jessica Kincaid - 07/07/2014


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Law library access
Mail
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Colorado Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Publishing companies and inmates in the Colorado Department of Corrections
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2004 - 2007
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
1:00-cv-00612-RPM-OES (D. Colo.) 07/29/2010
PC-CO-0021-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Settlement Agreement 08/10/2004
PC-CO-0021-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Settlement Agreement 08/18/2004 (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0021-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation for Order Amending Settlement Agreement 05/13/2005
PC-CO-0021-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Accepting Amendments to the Settlement Agreement 05/17/2005 (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0021-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Administrative Regulation Implementation/Adjustments 08/20/2007
PC-CO-0021-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Administrative Regulation Implementation/Adjustments 02/19/2008
PC-CO-0021-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Response to Nonparty Jacob Ind's "Motion Pursuant to F.R.CIV.P.[SIC] 71" 04/24/2008
PC-CO-0021-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Orders on Motions by Non Party Justin Rueb and on Motion for Termination of Jurisdiction 10/16/2009 (2009 WL 3451128) (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0021-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Figa, Phillip S. (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0021-0001 | PC-CO-0021-0006
Matsch, Richard Paul (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0021-0008 | PC-CO-0021-9000
Schlatter, O. Edward (D. Colo.) [Magistrate]
PC-CO-0021-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gottschalk, Hugh Q. (Colorado)
PC-CO-0021-0002 | PC-CO-0021-0005 | PC-CO-0021-9000
Lamb, David Atchley (Colorado)
PC-CO-0021-9000
Silverstein, Mark (Colorado)
PC-CO-0021-0002 | PC-CO-0021-0005 | PC-CO-0021-9000
Young, Gwen Jarahian (Colorado)
PC-CO-0021-0002 | PC-CO-0021-0005 | PC-CO-0021-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Quinn, James Xavier (Colorado)
PC-CO-0021-0002 | PC-CO-0021-0005 | PC-CO-0021-0007 | PC-CO-0021-9000
Sanzo, Paul S (Colorado)
PC-CO-0021-0002 | PC-CO-0021-0005 | PC-CO-0021-9000
Suthers, John W. (Colorado)
PC-CO-0021-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -