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Case Name Prison Legal News v. Chelan County PC-WA-0022
Docket / Court 2:11-cv-00337 ( E.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Case Summary
On November 9, 2011, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Washington under the Declaratory Judgment Act and § 1983 against Chelan County Sheriff's Office. Represented by the Human Rights Defense Center and private counsel, PLN noted ... read more >
On November 9, 2011, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Washington under the Declaratory Judgment Act and § 1983 against Chelan County Sheriff's Office. Represented by the Human Rights Defense Center and private counsel, PLN noted that specific individuals had asked to receive PLN materials and had been denied them by the Sheriff's Office once the books and publications had arrived. There was no opportunity for PLN to appeal these decisions or to receive further information about them. PLN claimed that their right to freedom of expression had been denied as well as their right to due process once the books were returned. The plaintiff requested declaratory relief, a preliminary and permanent injunction, compensatory damages, and attorneys' fees and costs.

On December 1, 2011, the District Court Judge approved a consent decree submitted by the parties, who agreed that defendants' mail policy was a violation of the First Amendment and due process. The order enjoined the defendants from rejecting books simply based on whether they were subscriptions or paperback books and without due process notice of rejection. The defendants were also ordered to pay $180,000 in damages, fees, and costs. The parties agreed to a permanent injunction and nothing has been filed in this case since December 1, 2011.

Deeva Shah - 10/02/2014
Emily Kempa - 02/21/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Library (non-law) access
Mail
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Chelan County
Chelan County Sheriff's Office
Plaintiff Description Publisher of a monthly magazine and distributor of books- focused on informing incarcerated individuals of their rights.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filing Year 2011
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
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
Book
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

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

Docket(s)
2:11−cv−00337 (E.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0022-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/01/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint
PC-WA-0022-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/09/2011
Plaintiff's motion for Preliminary Injunction and Memorandum in support [ECF# 6]
PC-WA-0022-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/17/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree [ECF# 52] (E.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0022-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/01/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Shea, Edward F. (E.D. Wash.) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0022-0002 | PC-WA-0022-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chamberlain, Katherine (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0022-0001 | PC-WA-0022-0002 | PC-WA-0022-0003 | PC-WA-0022-9000
Weber, Lance (Vermont) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0022-9000
Wing, Jesse (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0022-0001 | PC-WA-0022-0002 | PC-WA-0022-0003 | PC-WA-0022-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Rowland, Milton George (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0022-0002 | PC-WA-0022-9000

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