University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Miniken v. Walter PC-WA-0011
Docket / Court 2:96-cv-00407-JLQ ( E.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On July 24, 1996, Donald W. Miliken, an inmate at the Airways Heights Corrections Center (AHCC) in Washington, filed a lawsuit pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington against the Attorney General of Washington. Plaintiff eventually ... read more >
On July 24, 1996, Donald W. Miliken, an inmate at the Airways Heights Corrections Center (AHCC) in Washington, filed a lawsuit pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington against the Attorney General of Washington. Plaintiff eventually retained a private attorney. He claimed that the defendant violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by failing to deliver the Prison Legal News, a publication to which he subscribed, without any notice of mail rejection. He had been previously receiving the publication while he was incarcerated at another facility, the Washington State Penitentiary. Miliken claimed that AHCC's bulk mail policy, which prohibited subscription publications from nonprofit organization, was unconstitutionally applied to his subscription to Prison Legal News.

On August 26, 1997, the district court (Judge Justin Lowe Quackenbush) granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and enjoined the defendant from prohibiting delivery of the Prison Legal News. Miniken v. Walter, 978 F.Supp. 1356 (E.D.Wash. 1997). The court also denied defendant's motion for summary judgment regarding qualified immunity and directed the parties to file statements as to an appropriate damage award. On October 15, 1997, Judge Quackenbush awarded plaintiffs nominal damages, attorneys' fees, and costs and stayed the request for punitive damages. Miniken v. Walter, 1997 WL 778753 (E.D.Wash. Oct. 15, 1997). On November 2, 1998, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed the appeal pursuant to stipulation of the parties that each would pay its own costs and fees.

Angela Heverling - 04/17/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Mail
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Airway Heights Correctional Center
Washington DOC
Plaintiff Description Prisoner bringing action against prison officials after officials rejected under prison mail regulation governing bulk mail delivery of legal newsletter to which prisoner had subscribed
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1997 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1988
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-WA-0013 : Humanists of Washington v. Lehman (W.D. Wash.)
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)
2:96-cv-00407-JLQ (E.D. Wash.) 11/02/1998
PC-WA-0011-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion and Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment 08/26/1997 (978 F.Supp. 1356) (E.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0011-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 10/15/1997 (1997 WL 778753) (E.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0011-0002 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Judges Quackenbush, Justin Lowe (E.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0011-0001 | PC-WA-0011-0002 | PC-WA-0011-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gendler, Michael W. (Washington)
PC-WA-0011-0001 | PC-WA-0011-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Evans, Colleen B. (Washington)
PC-WA-0011-0001 | PC-WA-0011-9000
Krier, Nancy Joan (Washington)
PC-WA-0011-9000
Mentzer, Eric (Washington)
PC-WA-0011-9000
Wyckoff, Martin E. (Washington)
PC-WA-0011-0001 | PC-WA-0011-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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