University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Prison Legal News v. Geo Group CJ-FL-0001
Docket / Court 50 2005 CA 011195 ( State Court )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Case Summary
On Dec. 2, 2005, Prison Legal News (PLN) sued the Geo Group, Inc. (formerly Wackenhut Corrections), a private corrections company, under Florida’s public records law (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 119.01) in the Circuit Court for Palm Beach, Florida. Plaintiff had sought access to records held by the ... read more >
On Dec. 2, 2005, Prison Legal News (PLN) sued the Geo Group, Inc. (formerly Wackenhut Corrections), a private corrections company, under Florida’s public records law (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 119.01) in the Circuit Court for Palm Beach, Florida. Plaintiff had sought access to records held by the defendant company; that request was declined, and so plaintiff sought injunctive and declaratory relief.

The suit was filed because Geo failed to produce documents related to contractual violations and litigation against the company that resulted in settlements or verdicts. Under state law, Geo was required to comply with public records requests. Plaintiffs filed their complaint when an April 2005 request by Prison Legal News for records (related to lawsuits that resulted in settlements or verdicts against the defendant company, as well as contract audits, violations and court-ordered injunctions) resulted in what it regarded as an insufficient response.

In its lawsuit, Prison Legal News alleged that the Geo Group, a for-profit company, operated privatized prisons, including two Florida correctional facilities, and that its contract-based fees were paid with public (taxpayer) funds. The complaint labeled Geo's failure to provide the requested public records illegal, malicious and willful. It said that the defendant sought to delay Prison Legal News from obtaining the records because they are critical of Geo's operation of privatized prisons. The requested records, it was alleged, would likely reveal details related to sexual harassment claims, riots and other disturbances, staff-on-prisoner attacks, prisoner-on-prisoner attacks, inadequate medical care, contract sanctions and other penalties, and court orders and injunctions against the company. Prison Legal News was represented by private counsel.

In April 2010, PLN reached a settlement with Geo. PLN reported:"As part of the settlement, the court ordered the company to produce litigation-related documents pursuant to PLN's public records request four times before it finally complied, on the eve of a summary judgment hearing. The court also ordered the company to pay $40,000 in attorneys' fees. GEO also produced copies of the complaints and settlements in ten lawsuits filed against the company that had resulted in the largest monetary payouts."

Mike Fagan - 06/02/2008
Lakshmi Gopal - 02/01/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) The Geo Group. Inc.
Plaintiff Description Prison Legal News (PLN) is a non-profit, charitable Washington corporation with its office in Seattle, Washington. PLN publishes Prison Legal News, a monthly journal of prison news and analysis.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Links Philadelphia Forfeiture
http://ij.org/case/philadelphia-forfeiture/
By: Institute for Justice (Institute for Justice)
[ Detail ]

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

Docket(s)
502005CA011195XXXXMB, (State Trial Court) 02/22/2011
CJ-FL-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
LexisNexis
General Documents
Prison Legal News Sues the Geo Group for Public Records Relating to Lawsuits Filed Against the Company 12/02/2005
CJ-FL-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Amended Settlement for Attorney's Fees and Order Dismissing the Case with Prejudice 04/16/2010
CJ-FL-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Complaint 12/02/2015
CJ-FL-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Prison Legal News
Judges Miller, Karen Court not on record
CJ-FL-0001-0003 | CJ-FL-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Kreidler, Frank A. (Florida)
CJ-FL-0001-0001 | CJ-FL-0001-0002 | CJ-FL-0001-0003 | CJ-FL-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Kummerlen, Gregory A (Florida)
CJ-FL-0001-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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