University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Martin v. Kelley PC-OH-0018
Docket / Court 81-1021 ( S.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1981, William E. Martin, an inmate at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility filed a Section 1983 suit, pro se, in the Southern District of Ohio against officials of the facility. Plaintiff's complaint raised First and Fourteenth Amendment challenges concerning censorship of incoming prisoner ... read more >
In 1981, William E. Martin, an inmate at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility filed a Section 1983 suit, pro se, in the Southern District of Ohio against officials of the facility. Plaintiff's complaint raised First and Fourteenth Amendment challenges concerning censorship of incoming prisoner mail. At some point private counsel agreed to represent the plaintiff.

The District Court (Judge Spiegel) held that plaintiff had failed to state a claim under the Eighth Amendment and permitted plaintiff to file an amended complaint. The matter was referred to a magistrate judge who recommended that summary judgment be granted to defendants on each of the claims. Judge Spiegel adopted the magistrate judge's recommendation and granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff appealed arguing that the Ohio Administrative Code, which allowed prison officials to censor mail, was unconstitutional on its face.

The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded. The Sixth Circuit (Judge Contie) held the regulation violated due process because it did not provide inmates the option to appeal to a third party prior to the letter being returned to sender. Martin v. Kelley, 803 F.2d 236 (6th Cir. 1986).

The PACER docket states that the proceedings for this case are not available and that the case was terminated on April 24, 1990.

Eoghan Keenan - 07/15/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Loss or damage to property
Mail
Search policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Ohio Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Inmate bringing civil rights complaint challenging regulation concerning censorship of incoming prisoner mail
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 None on record
Order Duration 1986 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1990
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)
1:83-cv-01981-SAS (S.D. Ohio) 12/30/1981
PC-OH-0018-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 10/02/1984 (746 F.2d 1478)
PC-OH-0018-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Reported Opinion 10/08/1986 (803 F.2d 236)
PC-OH-0018-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 12/11/1986 (811 F.2d 606)
PC-OH-0018-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Celebrezze, Anthony Joseph (Sixth Circuit)
PC-OH-0018-0006
Contie, Leroy John Jr. (N.D. Ohio, Sixth Circuit)
PC-OH-0018-0004
Jones, Nathaniel Raphael (Sixth Circuit)
PC-OH-0018-0006
Peck, John Weld II (S.D. Ohio, Sixth Circuit)
PC-OH-0018-0006
Spiegel, S. Arthur (S.D. Ohio)
PC-OH-0018-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dorsey, Edward Schmertz (Ohio)
PC-OH-0018-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Adler, Allen Paul (Ohio)
PC-OH-0018-0004 | PC-OH-0018-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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