University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Big House Books v. Hall PC-MS-0008
Docket / Court 3:18-cv-00259-DPJ-FKB ( S.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On April 26, 2018, the non-profit, Big House Books, along with two prisoners at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Judge Daniel P. Jordan, III was assigned to the case. The plaintiffs sued ... read more >
On April 26, 2018, the non-profit, Big House Books, along with two prisoners at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution (SMCI) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Judge Daniel P. Jordan, III was assigned to the case. The plaintiffs sued SMCI and the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), alleging that the MDOC’s new policy of barring prisoners from receiving free books, unless they are religious books, was unconstitutional. More specifically, they brought this case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that this new policy was discriminatory on the basis of religious content and violated the First and the Fourteenth Amendments. Represented by the Mississippi Center for Justice and private counsel, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

This case is ongoing. The defendants were served summonses in early May 2018, but as of June 2018, neither defendant has responded to the complaint yet.

Rebecca Strauss - 06/06/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Establishment Clause
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Conditions of confinement
Grievance Procedures
Library (non-law) access
Mail
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
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) Mississippi
South Mississippi Correctional Institution
Plaintiff Description Two prisoners at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution; Big House Books, a non-profit organization that sends donated books to prisoners
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  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 ]

Docket(s)
3:18-cv-259 (S.D. Miss.)
PC-MS-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/01/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
PC-MS-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Ball, F. Keith (S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate]
PC-MS-0008-9000
Jordan, Daniel Porter III (S.D. Miss.)
PC-MS-0008-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers McDuff, Robert B. (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0008-0001 | PC-MS-0008-9000
Orlansky, Beth L. (Mississippi)
PC-MS-0008-0001 | PC-MS-0008-9000

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