University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Clement v. California Department of Corrections PC-CA-0015
Docket / Court 00-1860 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Prison Law Office
Case Summary
On May 23, 2000, an inmate at the Pelican Bay State Prison filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the California Department of Corrections. The plaintiff, who was represented by the ACLU and private counsel, sought ... read more >
On May 23, 2000, an inmate at the Pelican Bay State Prison filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the California Department of Corrections. The plaintiff, who was represented by the ACLU and private counsel, sought injunctive relief and damages, alleging (1) that the delay in his diagnosis of and treatment for colon cancer amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, (2) that the prison's refusal to provide him with medically necessary tennis shoes also amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, and (3) that the prison mail policy, which prohibited the receipt of mail containing Internet-generated materials, violated the his First Amendment rights.

The defendants moved for summary judgment. On September 9, 2002, the District Court (Judge Claudia Wilken) granted in part and denied in part the defendant's motion. Clement v. California Department of Corrections, 220 F. Supp. 2d 1098 (N.D. Cal. 2002). The court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment regarding the plaintiff's cruel and unusual punishment claims. The motion regarding the plaintiff's First Amendment claims, however, was denied. The court reasoned that "a prisoner's right to receive information by incoming mail [was] undisputed" and that the mail policy did not serve a legitimate penological interest. On its own motion, the court granted the plaintiff summary judgment on the issue of the mail policy. By separate order, the court permanently enjoined the defendants from enforcing any policy prohibiting California inmates from receiving mail simply because it contained Internet-generated information.

The defendants appealed. On April 20, 2004, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (per curiam) affirmed the District Court's grant of summary judgment for the plaintiff and the permanent state-wide injunction against the enforcement of the internet mail policy. Clement v. California Department of Corrections, 364 F.3d 1148 (9th Cir. 2004). The court agreed with the District Court's reasoning. The court further reasoned that the injunction entered by the District Court was not too broad, because the injunction was no broader than the constitutional violation.

The case appears to be closed.

Kaitlin Corkran - 08/20/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Mail
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) California Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description State inmate alleging that enforcement of policy prohibiting inmates from receiving mail containing material downloaded from the internet violated his First Amendment rights
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Prison Law Office
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 Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2000 - 2004
Case Closing Year 2004
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)
00-1860 (N.D. Cal.) 06/16/2005
PC-CA-0015-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Judgment 09/09/2002 (N.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0015-0001 PDF | Detail
Permanent Injunction 09/09/2002 (N.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0015-0002 PDF | Detail
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment; Denying Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction; Granting Plaintiff Partial Summary Judgment 09/09/2002 (220 F.Supp.2d 1098) (N.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0015-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 04/20/2004 (364 F.3d 1148)
PC-CA-0015-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Fletcher, Betty Binns (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0015-0003
Reinhardt, Stephen Roy (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0015-0003
Restani, Jane A. ()
PC-CA-0015-0003
Wilken, Claudia Ann (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PC-CA-0015-0001 | PC-CA-0015-0002 | PC-CA-0015-0004 | PC-CA-0015-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brick, Ann (California)
PC-CA-0015-0001 | PC-CA-0015-0002 | PC-CA-0015-0003 | PC-CA-0015-0004 | PC-CA-0015-9000
Kenny, J. Bryce (California)
PC-CA-0015-0001 | PC-CA-0015-0002 | PC-CA-0015-0004 | PC-CA-0015-9000
MacKay, Heather (California)
PC-CA-0015-0001 | PC-CA-0015-0002 | PC-CA-0015-0003
Mittelstaedt, Robert A. (California)
PC-CA-0015-0001 | PC-CA-0015-0002 | PC-CA-0015-0003 | PC-CA-0015-0004 | PC-CA-0015-9000
Specter, Donald H. (California)
PC-CA-0015-0001 | PC-CA-0015-0002 | PC-CA-0015-0003 | PC-CA-0015-0004 | PC-CA-0015-9000
Starks, Jennifer (California)
PC-CA-0015-0001 | PC-CA-0015-0002 | PC-CA-0015-0003 | PC-CA-0015-0004 | PC-CA-0015-9000
Stewart, Craig E. (California)
PC-CA-0015-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Holzmann, Rochelle Corinne (California)
PC-CA-0015-0003
Kim, Elizabeth S. (California)
PC-CA-0015-0004 | PC-CA-0015-9000
Pancho, Linda (California)
PC-CA-0015-0001 | PC-CA-0015-0002 | PC-CA-0015-0004 | PC-CA-0015-9000
Other Lawyers Bankston, Kevin (California)
PC-CA-0015-0003
Tien, Lee (California)
PC-CA-0015-0003

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