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Case Name Prison Legal News v. Jones JC-TN-0006
Docket / Court 3:15-cv-00452 ( E.D. Tenn )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On October 6, 2015, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed this lawsuit in the Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville). PLN sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against the Knox County Sheriff's Office. Represented by private counsel, PLN asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as ... read more >
On October 6, 2015, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed this lawsuit in the Eastern District of Tennessee (Knoxville). PLN sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against the Knox County Sheriff's Office. Represented by private counsel, PLN asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as compensatory and punitive damages. PLN claimed that from November 2014 to October 6, 2015, the Sheriff's Office refused to deliver all publications and enveloped mail sent by PLN to prisoners at Knox County Jail. PLN also claimed that the Sheriff's Office failed to provide appropriate process informing them of the alleged violation of the jail's mail policy, and allowing them a chance to contest the decision.

Specifically, PLN claimed that the jail's practices were used to censor PLN's correspondence with prisoners at the jail on matters of public concern. PLN alleged that the jail's unconstitutional mail policy and customs violated plaintiff's rights and caused the plaintiff to suffer: suppression of speech, impediments to the dissemination of political message, frustration of organizational mission, diversion of resources, loss of potential subscribers and customers; and the inability to recruit new subscribers and supporters.

On October 6, 2015, plaintiffs filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction.

On January 8, 2016, plaintiffs filed a Motion to dismiss defendant's counter-claims for failure to state a claim.

On February 3, 2016, the Court [Thomas A Varlan] granted the plaintiff’s motion to stay the action until March 31, 2016, so that the parties could engage in mediation. All other pending motions--including the Oct. 6 Motion for a Preliminary Injunction--were denied with leave to refile upon the lifting of the stay.

On April 5, 2016 the Court [Thomas A Varlan] granted Attorney Mary Eugenia Lewis permission to withdraw from as an attorney for the plaintiff.

On April 14, 2016, the Court [Thomas A. Varlan] denied defendant's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction as moot, because the motion was denied as a result of the February 3 stay order and the plaintiff did not refile once the stay was lifted.

As of May 14, 2016 the case is ongoing.

Lakshmi Gopal - 10/26/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Mail
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Knox County Sheriff's Office
Plaintiff Description Prison Legal News, a nonprofit corporation focused on public education, prisoner education, advocacy, and outreach in support of the rights of prisoners and in furtherance of basic human rights.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
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 ]

Docket(s)
3:15−cv−00452−TAV−CCS (E.D. Tenn) 04/21/2016
JC-TN-0006-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 10/06/2015
JC-TN-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Defendants' Counter-Claims for Declaratory Judgment 01/08/2016
JC-TN-0006-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order 02/03/2016 (E.D. Tenn)
JC-TN-0006-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order 04/13/2016 (E.D. Tenn)
JC-TN-0006-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Shirley, C. Clifford Jr. (E.D. Tenn) [Magistrate]
JC-TN-0006-9001
Varlan, Thomas A. (E.D. Tenn)
JC-TN-0006-0001 | JC-TN-0006-0003 | JC-TN-0006-0004 | JC-TN-0006-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Herzfeld, Tricia (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0006-0001 | JC-TN-0006-0002 | JC-TN-0006-9001
Lewis, Mary Eugenia (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0006-0001 | JC-TN-0006-0002 | JC-TN-0006-9001
Neelakanta, Sabarish (Florida)
JC-TN-0006-0002 | JC-TN-0006-9001
Ozment, Harry Elliot (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0006-0002 | JC-TN-0006-9001
Weber, Lance (Florida)
JC-TN-0006-0001 | JC-TN-0006-0002 | JC-TN-0006-9001
York, William Patrick II (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0006-0002 | JC-TN-0006-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Wigler, David S. (Tennessee)
JC-TN-0006-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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