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Case Name Prison Legal News v. Crawford PC-NV-0007
Docket / Court 3:00-cv-00373 ( D. Nev. )
State/Territory Nevada
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National Prison Project
Case Summary
In July 2000, Prison Legal News filed this suit in the District of Nevada. PLN sued the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) under 42 U.S.C. §1983. PLN, represented by the ACLU National Prison Project, asked the court for declaratory and permanent injunctive relief, prohibiting NDOC from ... read more >
In July 2000, Prison Legal News filed this suit in the District of Nevada. PLN sued the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDOC) under 42 U.S.C. §1983. PLN, represented by the ACLU National Prison Project, asked the court for declaratory and permanent injunctive relief, prohibiting NDOC from engaging in further unlawful censorship of books, magazines and other correspondence from PRISON LEGAL NEWS, as well as damages. PLN claimed that NDOC’s censorship of PLN’s speech violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. PLN asked the Court for injunctive and declaratory relief. Specifically, PLN claimed that NDOC censored Plaintiff’s written speech, including the journal "Prison Legal News," as well as books and other correspondence mailed by Plaintiff to NDOC prisoners in the State of Nevada.

In July 2000, PLN applied for a preliminary injunction in the District of Nevada to forbid officials of NDOC, formerly Nevada Department of Prisons from maintaining a blanket exclusion of Prison Legal News from Nevada Department of Prisons institutions. Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction was granted in August 2000.

On September 26, 2000, the parties stipulated to a judgment by the Court that all prisoners in the custody of NDOP shall be permitted to subscribe to the publications of their choice and shall receive all issues of those publications without interference with limited exceptions.

On June 28, 2013, PLN filed two motions: A motion alleging that NDOC was in violation of the Court’s 2000 Order, on the basis that PLN received substantiated reports of statewide censorship and rejection of PLN publications, without notice to the inmate-subscriber or PLN, the publisher; and a motion to substitute/update defendants.

On July 8, 2013, the Court [Judge Howard D. McKibben] granted PLN's motion for substitution of defendants: James Gregory Cox in his official capacity as Director of the NDOC, and E.K. McDaniel in his official capacity as Deputy Director of Operations for NDOC, were substituted for Defendants Jackie Crawford, Robert Bayer and John Slansky.

On July 16, 2013 this case was reassigned from Magistrate Judge Robert A McQuaid, Jr. to Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb.

On July 17, 2013, PLN filed a second amended complaint, adding the claim that NDOC was in violation of the Court's 2000 settlement agreement. Further, PLN sought to declare NDOC's policies banning return address labels and publications not from approved vendors or publishers, as well as its requirement that all books be sent using First Class, as unconstitutional on their face and as applied.

On January 14, 2016, the parties entered into a settlement agreement. As a result of this agreement, PLN agreed to the dismissal of this action with prejudice, holding the dismissal of claims in abeyance for ten years, for court-monitoring. The underlying 2000 Consent decree discussed in the Settlement Agreement would remain in force.

The January 2016 settlement required NDOC to take proactive steps to ensure compliance with the 2000 Consent decree, including: Reviewing of all incoming publications on a case-by-case basis, regardless of the identity of the publisher; Refraining from censoring/banning books, simply because the books' publishers are not on a list of approved vendors/publishers--such lists should be for the purposes of reference only and made available to a publisher or vendor on request. The settlement agreement also addresses issues of due process and requires NDOC to provide notice of censorship decisions and opportunity for appeal to both senders and receivers NDOC was given 60 days to implement these changes. The court continued to retain jurisdiction to enforce the consent decree.

On March 3, 2016, the Court [Judge Howard D. McKibben] dismissed this case without prejudice. The court approved and adopted the stipulation and addendum to the stipulation for dismissal of this action without prejudice. The court retained jurisdiction over this action to consider any motion to reopen the case to compel compliance with the terms of the stipulated settlement.

Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005
Lakshmi Gopal - 05/15/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Preliminary relief granted
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) Nevada Department of Corrections
Nevada Department of Prisons (NDOP)
Plaintiff Description Prison Legal News, an independent monthly magazine that provides a review and analysis of prisoner rights, court rulings and news about prison issues
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National Prison Project
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2000 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2016
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 ]

Links Prison Legal News Homepage
Prison Legal News
By: Prison Legal News
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
00-373 (D. Nev.) 05/06/2016
PC-NV-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Damages 08/01/2000
PC-NV-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Preliminary Injunction 08/14/2000 (D. Nev.)
PC-NV-0007-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Judgment / Order 09/22/2000 (D. Nev.)
PC-NV-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Order 08/12/2002 (D. Nev.)
PC-NV-0007-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Damages Demand for Jury Trial 09/30/2014
PC-NV-0007-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement and Full and Final Release 11/18/2015
PC-NV-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Stipulation and Order of Dismissal with Prejudice, with Stipulation to Hold Dismissal in Abeyance 01/14/2016 (D. Nev.)
PC-NV-0007-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 02/26/2016
PC-NV-0007-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [dismissing case without prejudice] 03/03/2016 (D. Nev.)
PC-NV-0007-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges McKibben, Howard D. (D. Nev.)
PC-NV-0007-0001 | PC-NV-0007-0005 | PC-NV-0007-0006 | PC-NV-0007-0008 | PC-NV-0007-0010 | PC-NV-0007-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ells, Lisa Adrienne (California)
PC-NV-0007-9000
Evans, Donald Y. (Nevada)
PC-NV-0007-0001 | PC-NV-0007-0004 | PC-NV-0007-9000
Fathi, David Cyrus (District of Columbia)
PC-NV-0007-0001 | PC-NV-0007-0004 | PC-NV-0007-9000
Galvan, Ernest (California)
PC-NV-0007-0007 | PC-NV-0007-9000
Jack, Robert Erle (Florida)
PC-NV-0007-9000
Lichtenstein, Allen (Nevada)
PC-NV-0007-0007 | PC-NV-0007-9000
Neelakanta, Sabarish (Florida)
PC-NV-0007-9000
Pratt, Staci J. (Nevada)
PC-NV-0007-0007 | PC-NV-0007-9000
Quinn, Stephen D (Nevada)
PC-NV-0007-9000 | PC-NV-0007-9000
Stone-Manista, Krista Michelle (California)
PC-NV-0007-9000
Weber, Lance (Florida)
PC-NV-0007-0003 | PC-NV-0007-0007 | PC-NV-0007-0008 | PC-NV-0007-0009 | PC-NV-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Barraclough, Andrea (Nevada)
PC-NV-0007-0003 | PC-NV-0007-0008 | PC-NV-0007-0009 | PC-NV-0007-9000
Del Papa, Frankie Sue (Nevada)
PC-NV-0007-0001
Fairbank, Micheline N. (Nevada)
PC-NV-0007-9000
Laxalt, Adam Paul (Nevada)
PC-NV-0007-0008
Lehman, Charles W. (Nevada)
PC-NV-0007-9000
Ward, Joe Jr. (Nevada)
PC-NV-0007-0001 | PC-NV-0007-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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