University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Tyler v. Satz JC-MO-0014
Docket / Court 77-918C ( E.D. Mo. )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In approximately 1977, inmates at the St. Louis City Jail filed a lawsuit against a local judge and others in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. We do not have a copy of the docket or the complaint, but based on a court order in our possession, the suit involved issues of ... read more >
In approximately 1977, inmates at the St. Louis City Jail filed a lawsuit against a local judge and others in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. We do not have a copy of the docket or the complaint, but based on a court order in our possession, the suit involved issues of inmates' access to law books and publications, phone privileges and mail censorship.

Following a hearing before a magistrate, and the parties' agreement to proposed order by the magistrate, on January 31, 1978, the court (Judge James H. Meredith) issued an order addressing the law library, inmate access to publications, and phone and mail privileges. Specifically, it required the St. Louis City Jail to maintain a law library, complete with specific legal volumes, as well as stationery and typewriters for inmate use. It also required the jail to establish a policy allowing inmates to have or check out up to ten books at a time in their cells and that prisoners not be denied phone access due to inability to pay. It required that prisoners be allowed two phone calls a week to people of their choice in addition to a reasonable amount of legally-related calls. The order further established that mail could be censored only if it constituted a clear threat to prison security or good order, and that legal mail needed to be opened in the presence of the inmate.

The court's order is the only information we have about this case.

Denise Lieberman - 12/16/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Law library access
Library (non-law) access
Mail
Phone
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action
Defendant(s) St. Louis City Jail
Plaintiff Description inmates at the St. Louis City Jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1978 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Order 01/31/1978 (E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0014-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Meredith, James Hargrove (FISC, E.D. Mo.)
JC-MO-0014-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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