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Case Name Prison Legal News v. Cook County PC-IL-0037
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-06862 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Attorney Organization Loevy & Loevy
Case Summary
On June 30, 2016, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District Court of Illinois against Cook County Jail under section §1983, alleging violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection clause of the U.S ... read more >
On June 30, 2016, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District Court of Illinois against Cook County Jail under section §1983, alleging violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants prohibited delivery of written speech from PLN and other related publications, failing to provide due process via notice and opportunity to challenge the censorship and denying Plaintiff equal protection as required under the Constitution. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to stop the censorship practices, as well as compensation for damages and legal fees.

On July 1, 2016, the plaintiff motioned for a preliminary injunction. The plaintiff sought a declaration that the Jail's mailroom policies and practice of allowing some newsprint while barring PLN violate the plaintiff's right under the First Amendment, Due Process, and Equal Protection clauses of the Constitution. On November 21, 2016, the court (Judge Joan Gottschall) denied the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction, stating preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief. The court noted that the regulations were at least rationally related to prison security and that it could not grant such extraordinary relief on the indeterminate factual record plaintiffs had provided at that time.

The parties appear to have been engaged in settlement talks after the denial. On March 30, 2017, the court referred the matter to Magistrate Judge Marie Valdez for a settlement conference. Initially that proved unsuccessful, and on January 24, 2018, the parties informed the court that settlement discussions had been unsuccessful, leading the court to set a schedule for discovery.

However, in the months that followed the parties returned to negotiating a settlement, and appear to have reached one that will resolve the case. On December 12, 2018, the parties informed the court that the settlement they reached called for the court to resolve the dispute over plaintiff's fees. The court set a date for a hearing on the motion for fees, but on March 11, 2019, the court granted a joint motion to stay that hearing in light of the parties' representation that they have agreed in principle to settle their dispute over costs and fees.

The hearing on the motion for fees is currently set for April 12, 2019, but the court has advised the parties that additional time will be granted should they need it to finalize the settlement agreement.

Ginny Lee - 01/26/2017
Chris Pollack - 03/21/2019

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Nneka Jones Tapia
Thomas J. Dart
Plaintiff Description Prison Legal News (PLN) is a monthly magazine that includes reports, reviews and analysis of court rulings and news related to prisoners’ rights and criminal justice issues.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Loevy & Loevy
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (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
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 ]

1:16-cv-6862 (N.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0037-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/25/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief Under the Civil Rights Act U.S.C. §1983 and Damages [ECF# 1]
PC-IL-0037-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/30/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 38] (2016 WL 6833977) (N.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0037-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/21/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Gottschall, Joan B. (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0037-0002 | PC-IL-0037-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Burday, Jonathan I. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Burday, Joshua Hart (Illinois) show/hide docs
Loevy, Arthur R. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0037-0001 | PC-IL-0037-9000
Loevy, Jonathan I. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0037-0001 | PC-IL-0037-9000
Marshall, Daniel (Florida) show/hide docs
Neelakanta, Sabarish (Florida) show/hide docs
Topic, Matthew Vincent (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0037-0001 | PC-IL-0037-9000
Weber, Lance Theodore (Florida) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0037-0001 | PC-IL-0037-9000
Defendant's Lawyers McGrath, Megan Kelly (Illinois) show/hide docs
Power, John M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Zecchin, Anthony E. (Illinois) show/hide docs

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