Case: Prison Legal News v. Clarke

1:08-cv-10677 | U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Filed Date: April 23, 2008

Closed Date: May 12, 2009

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 23, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiff sued the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (DOC) under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Represented by private counsel, PLN sought monetary and injunctive relief, including attorneys fees. Specifically, the complaint alleged that DOC violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments by not listing PLN as an approved vendor and by refusing to deliver PLN publications to pr…

On April 23, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiff sued the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (DOC) under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Represented by private counsel, PLN sought monetary and injunctive relief, including attorneys fees. Specifically, the complaint alleged that DOC violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments by not listing PLN as an approved vendor and by refusing to deliver PLN publications to prisoners.

PLN is a news organization that publishes content specifically for the prison population. It publishes a monthly magazine called Prison Legal News and also distributes to inmates books and other materials concerning the legal rights of prisoners. The magazine consists of articles from legal scholars, attorneys, inmates and from the wire services. The plaintiff maintained that from 1998 to 2003, Massachusetts DOC ordered and received PLN publications largely without incident. However, the plaintiff alleged that in 2003, the DOC began refusing to deliver PLN materials -- without any process to challenge the DOC's actions. The plaintiff further claimed that DOC lacked clear guidelines for approving book/magazine vendors at its institutions.

After discovery, on May 12, 2009, the case was dismissed after the parties reached an out-of-court settlement.

Pursuant to the settlement: (1) DOC agreed to pay PLN $5,000 (a figure that includes attorneys fees and costs). (2) DOC agreed to allow PLN to distribute its publications as long as it complied with its "inmate mail" regulations. (3) DOC agreed to provide general notice to all of its inmates that they may order and receive publications from PLN. (4) DOC agreed to notify PLN in writing if any publication sent by PLN is received at the institution but not delivered to the inmate.

Summary Authors

Greg Margolis (2/13/2017)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4273483/parties/prison-legal-news-v-clarke/


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Friedman, Howard (Massachusetts)

Milton, David (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Anahory, Kevin A. (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Friedman, Howard (Massachusetts)

Milton, David (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Anahory, Kevin A. (Massachusetts)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:08-cv-10677

Docket [PACER]

May 29, 2008

May 29, 2008

Docket
1

1:08-cv-10677

Complaint

April 23, 2008

April 23, 2008

Complaint
20

1:08-cv-10677

Settlement Agreement

May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4273483/prison-legal-news-v-clarke/

Last updated Aug. 6, 2022, 3:21 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against all defendants Filing fee: $ 350, receipt number 01010000000001936024, filed by PRISON LEGAL NEWS. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Category Sheet)(Friedman, Howard) (Entered: 04/23/2008)

2 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

3 Category Sheet

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April 23, 2008

April 23, 2008

PACER
2

NOTICE of Appearance by David Milton on behalf of PRISON LEGAL NEWS (Milton, David) (Entered: 04/23/2008)

April 23, 2008

April 23, 2008

PACER
3

CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT by PRISON LEGAL NEWS. (Milton, David) (Entered: 04/23/2008)

April 23, 2008

April 23, 2008

PACER
4

Summons Issued as to Harold W. Clarke, James Bender, John Marshall, Jr, Kathleen Dennehy. Counsel receiving this notice electronically should download this summons, complete one for each defendant and serve it in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 and LR 4.1. Summons will be mailed to plaintiff(s) not receiving notice electronically for completion of service. (Sonnenberg, Elizabeth) (Entered: 04/23/2008)

April 23, 2008

April 23, 2008

PACER
5

Assented to MOTION for Extension of Time to 06/09/2008 to File Response/Reply as to 1 Complaint by Harold W. Clarke, James Bender, John Marshall, Jr.(Anahory, Kevin) (Entered: 05/13/2008)

May 13, 2008

May 13, 2008

PACER
6

MOTION for Summary Judgment by Harold W. Clarke, James Bender, John Marshall, Jr, Kathleen Dennehy.(Anahory, Kevin) (Entered: 06/09/2008)

June 9, 2008

June 9, 2008

PACER
7

MEMORANDUM in Support re 6 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Harold W. Clarke, James Bender, John Marshall, Jr, Kathleen Dennehy. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Affidavit of John Marshall, # 2 Exhibit Affidavit of John Marshall pt.2, # 3 Exhibit Affidavit of Mary Jo Sweeney, # 4 Exhibit Exhibit C, # 5 Exhibit Exhibit D, # 6 Exhibit Exhibit E)(Anahory, Kevin) (Entered: 06/09/2008)

2 Exhibit Affidavit of John Marshall

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3 Exhibit Affidavit of John Marshall pt.2

View on PACER

4 Exhibit Affidavit of Mary Jo Sweeney

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5 Exhibit Exhibit C

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6 Exhibit Exhibit D

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7 Exhibit Exhibit E

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June 9, 2008

June 9, 2008

PACER
8

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Harold W. Clarke, James Bender, John Marshall, Jr, Kathleen Dennehy re 6 MOTION for Summary Judgment, 7 Memorandum in Support of Motion,. (Anahory, Kevin) (Entered: 06/09/2008)

June 9, 2008

June 9, 2008

PACER
9

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages by Harold W. Clarke, James Bender, John Marshall, Jr, Kathleen Dennehy.(Anahory, Kevin) (Entered: 06/11/2008)

June 11, 2008

June 11, 2008

PACER
10

MOTION to Strike Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and to Allow Discovery Under Rule 56(f) by PRISON LEGAL NEWS.(Milton, David) (Entered: 06/16/2008)

June 16, 2008

June 16, 2008

PACER
11

MEMORANDUM in Support re 10 MOTION to Strike Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and to Allow Discovery Under Rule 56(f) filed by PRISON LEGAL NEWS. (Milton, David) (Entered: 06/16/2008)

June 16, 2008

June 16, 2008

PACER
12

AFFIDAVIT of David Milton in Support re 10 MOTION to Strike Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and to Allow Discovery Under Rule 56(f) filed by PRISON LEGAL NEWS. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A to Declaration of David Milton)(Milton, David) (Entered: 06/16/2008)

2 Exhibit A to Declaration of David Milton

View on PACER

June 16, 2008

June 16, 2008

PACER
13

Opposition re 10 MOTION to Strike Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, and to Allow Discovery Under Rule 56(f) filed by Harold W. Clarke, James Bender, John Marshall, Jr, Kathleen Dennehy. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Opposition Exhibits)(Anahory, Kevin) (Entered: 06/24/2008)

2 Exhibit Opposition Exhibits

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June 24, 2008

June 24, 2008

PACER
14

Assented to MOTION for Leave to File a Reply by PRISON LEGAL NEWS. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A -- Proposed Reply)(Milton, David) (Entered: 06/26/2008)

2 Exhibit A -- Proposed Reply

View on PACER

June 26, 2008

June 26, 2008

PACER
15

ANSWER to 1 Complaint with Jury Demand by Harold W. Clarke, James Bender, John Marshall, Jr, Kathleen Dennehy.(Anahory, Kevin) (Entered: 07/17/2008)

July 17, 2008

July 17, 2008

PACER
16

NOTICE of Scheduling Conference entered: Scheduling Conference set for 1/22/2009 at 02:00 PM in Courtroom 21 before Judge Richard G. Stearns. (Johnson, Mary) (Johnson, Mary). (Entered: 12/04/2008)

Dec. 4, 2008

Dec. 4, 2008

PACER
17

CERTIFICATE OF CONSULTATION Pursuant to L.R. 16.1(D)(3). (Anahory, Kevin) (Entered: 01/15/2009)

Jan. 15, 2009

Jan. 15, 2009

PACER
18

JOINT STATEMENT re scheduling conference. (Milton, David) (Entered: 01/15/2009)

Jan. 15, 2009

Jan. 15, 2009

PACER
19

CERTIFICATE OF CONSULTATION Pursuant to L.R. 16.1(D)(3). (Milton, David) (Entered: 01/15/2009)

Jan. 15, 2009

Jan. 15, 2009

PACER
20

STIPULATION of Dismissal by Harold W. Clarke, James Bender, John Marshall, Jr, Kathleen Dennehy. (Anahory, Kevin) (Entered: 05/12/2009)

May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Massachusetts

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Prison Legal News

Post-PLRA Jail and Prison Private Settlement Agreements

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 23, 2008

Closing Date: May 12, 2009

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Prison Legal News

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Massachusetts Department of Corrections, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Amount Defendant Pays: $5,000

Order Duration: 2009 - None

Content of Injunction:

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Required disclosure

Issues

General:

Law library access

Library (non-law) access

Mail

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run