University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Travis v. Lockhart PC-AR-0009
Docket / Court 84-309 ( E.D. Ark. )
State/Territory Arkansas
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
Prisoners at the Arkansas Department of Correction filed a pro se lawsuit under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 against the Arkansas Department of Correction in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The prisoners asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, complaining that ... read more >
Prisoners at the Arkansas Department of Correction filed a pro se lawsuit under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 against the Arkansas Department of Correction in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. The prisoners asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, complaining that the defendants were violating their constitutional right to free speech by opening letters criticizing the prison's policies that the inmates were sending to newspapers.

On April 18, 1985 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas (Judge Elsijane T. Roy) granted declaratory relief to the plaintiffs, ordering the Department of Corrections to adopt policies that treat inmate media mail with the same level of privilege as legal correspondence. Travis v. Lockhar,t 607 F.Supp. 1083 (E.D.Ark. 1985).

The defendants appealed this decision, and on March 18, 1991 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit vacated the district court's decision and remanded the case with direction to dismiss the petition on the ground that it raised only a matter of state concern. On March 20, 1991, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas (Judge Garnett T. Eisele) dismissed the case with prejudice.

Kristen Sagar - 03/14/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Mail
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) Arkansas Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Prisoners alleging their First Amendment rights were violated by Department of Corrections policy of scanning incoming and outgoing mail directed to and received from media representatives
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 1985 - 1991
Case Closing Year 1991
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Cruel Confinement: Abuse, Discrimination and Death Within Alabama's Prisons
Date: Jun. 4, 2014
(Southern Poverty Law Center )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  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)
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)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
87-516 (E.D. Ark.)
PC-AR-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/20/1991
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum and Order (607 F.Supp. 1083) (E.D. Ark.)
PC-AR-0009-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/18/1985
Source: Google Scholar
Judges Eisele, Garnett Thomas (E.D. Ark.)
PC-AR-0009-9000
Forster, John F. Jr. (E.D. Ark.) [Magistrate]
PC-AR-0009-9000
Roy, Elsijane Trimble (W.D. Ark., E.D. Ark.)
PC-AR-0009-0001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Lassiter, Jack T. (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0009-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gillean, Jack Ward (Arkansas)
PC-AR-0009-9000

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