Case: Prison Legal News v. Johnson

3:09-cv-00068 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia

Filed Date: Oct. 8, 2009

Closed Date: 2010

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 8, 2009 the Prison Legal News, which prints a monthly journal reporting on criminal justice news and issues, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Virginia Department of Corrections, and others in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Charlottesville Division. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief and nominal, compensatory and punitive damages, claiming that the defendants ha…

On October 8, 2009 the Prison Legal News, which prints a monthly journal reporting on criminal justice news and issues, filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Virginia Department of Corrections, and others in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Charlottesville Division. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief and nominal, compensatory and punitive damages, claiming that the defendants had engaged in censorship of the plaintiff's publication, "Prison Legal News."

Specifically the plaintiff claimed that the defendants had violated the organization's First Amendment rights by censoring its publications in Virginia state prisons. Furthermore, the Virginia Department of Corrections (VDOC) failed to notify the plaintiff when material from their publications had been rejected preventing them from challenging censorship decisions. In addition, the VDOC prevented prisoners' familes and friends from purchasing PLN products on behalf of prisoners. The plaintiff argued that these practices violated their First Amendment right to communicate with prisoners and to challenge censorship decisions.

On November 23, 2010, the Court (Judge Norman K. Moon) signed an order dismissing the case with prejudice. The court took this action after receiving notice the previous day that the parties had reached a settlement. While a signed settlement document does not appear to have been filed with the court, there are copies of the unsigned settlement agreements available. The monetary and non-monetary settlements are detailed in two separate unsigned documents. Furthermore, the terms of the agreement were detailed by the Prison Legal News on their website, contained within a press release. The defendants agreed to pay damages totaling $125,250.00, which included attorney fees and litigation costs. In addition, the defendants agreed; to remove the Prison Legal News, a publication of the plaintiff, from its disapproved publications list, to notify the VDOC wardens that the Prison Legal News did not appear to violate any institutional polices, to ensure that any censorship decisions were promptly communicated to PLN, to allow for prisoners' family and friends to purchase PLN books and subscriptions, and to allow PLN to communicate with prisoners by sending them books and other materials.

Summary Authors

Justin Benson (3/19/2011)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4408054/parties/prison-legal-news-inc-v-johnson/


Judge(s)

Moon, Norman K. (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cook, Adam K (Vermont)

Fogel, Jeffrey E. (Virginia)

Manville, Daniel E. (Michigan)

Rosenfield, Steven David (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Davis, Mark Ralph (Virginia)

Parsons, John Michael (Virginia)

Judge(s)

Moon, Norman K. (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cook, Adam K (Vermont)

Fogel, Jeffrey E. (Virginia)

Manville, Daniel E. (Michigan)

Rosenfield, Steven David (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Davis, Mark Ralph (Virginia)

Parsons, John Michael (Virginia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:09-cv-00068

Docket

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

Docket
1

3:09-cv-00068

Complaint and Jury Demand

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

Complaint
29

3:09-cv-00068

Amended Complaint and Jury Demand

May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

Complaint

3:09-cv-00068

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT- Monetary (Unsigned)

Nov. 22, 2010

Nov. 22, 2010

Settlement Agreement

3:09-cv-00068

Settlement Agreement - Non-Monetary (Unsigned)

Nov. 22, 2010

Nov. 22, 2010

Settlement Agreement
38

3:09-cv-00068

Consent Order (proposed)

Prison Legal News, Inc. v. Johnson

Nov. 22, 2010

Nov. 22, 2010

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4408054/prison-legal-news-inc-v-johnson/

Last updated Aug. 8, 2022, 3:10 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against Susan Wheeler, Toni Cox, Samuel Pruett, R. W. Jamison, Gene M. Johnson, John M. Jabe, W. D. Jennings, Benjamin Wright, John Doe 1-5 (Filing fee $ 350.), filed by Prison Legal News, Inc.. 100 Day Notice due by 1/19/2010 120 Day Service due by 2/8/2010 (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(hnw)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER

Filing Fee Received: $ 350.00, receipt number 1441 (hnw)

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER
2

Summons Issued as to Gene M. Johnson.(hnw)

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER
3

Summons Issued as to John M. Jabe.(hnw)

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER
4

Summons Issued as to W. D. Jennings.(hnw)

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER
5

Summons Issued as to Benjamin Wright.(hnw)

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER
6

Summons Issued as to Susan Wheeler.(hnw)

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER
7

Summons Issued as to Toni Cox.(hnw)

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER
8

Summons Issued as to Samuel Pruett.(hnw)

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER
9

Summons Issued as to R. W. Jamison.(hnw)

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER
10

Notice of Filing Deficiency - Lack of Corporate Disclosure Statement as to Prison Legal News, Inc. - Pursuant to Standing Order dated May 15, 2000, and the adoption of Rule 7.1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures, effective December 1, 2002, nongovernmental corporate parties are now directed to file the above statement with their first appearance, pleading, motion or response. We ask that you comply with this rule change in the future. The corporate disclosure statement form is available on our public website at www.vawd.uscourts.gov. The form is located under forms on this web page. This form should be electronically filed in this matter within three (3) business days. (hnw)

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER
11

MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice by Prison Legal News, Inc.. (Rosenfield, Steven)

Oct. 8, 2009

Oct. 8, 2009

PACER
12

ORDER granting 11 MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice; Daniel Manville. Signed by Judge Norman K. Moon on 10/09/2009. (mab)

Oct. 9, 2009

Oct. 9, 2009

PACER
13

Positive Corporate Disclosure Statement by Prison Legal News, Inc.. (Rosenfield, Steven)

Oct. 12, 2009

Oct. 12, 2009

PACER
14

NOTICE of Appearance by Mark Ralph Davis on behalf of Barbara Wheeler, Toni Cox, Samuel Pruett, R. W. Jamison, Gene M. Johnson, John M. Jabe, W. D. Jennings, Benjamin Wright (Davis, Mark)

Jan. 8, 2010

Jan. 8, 2010

PACER
15

NOTICE of Appearance by John Michael Parsons on behalf of Toni Cox, Samuel Pruett, R. W. Jamison, Barbara Wheeler, Gene M. Johnson, John M. Jabe, W. D. Jennings, Benjamin Wright (Parsons, John)

Jan. 8, 2010

Jan. 8, 2010

PACER
16

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Toni Cox, Samuel Pruett, R. W. Jamison, Barbara Wheeler, Gene M. Johnson, John M. Jabe, W. D. Jennings, Benjamin Wright. Toni Cox waiver sent on 1/8/2010, answer due 3/9/2010; Samuel Pruett waiver sent on 1/8/2010, answer due 3/9/2010; R. W. Jamison waiver sent on 1/8/2010, answer due 3/9/2010; Barbara Wheeler waiver sent on 1/8/2010, answer due 3/9/2010; Gene M. Johnson waiver sent on 1/8/2010, answer due 3/9/2010; John M. Jabe waiver sent on 1/8/2010, answer due 3/9/2010; W. D. Jennings waiver sent on 1/8/2010, answer due 3/9/2010; Benjamin Wright waiver sent on 1/8/2010, answer due 3/9/2010.(Davis, Mark)

Jan. 8, 2010

Jan. 8, 2010

PACER
17

ANSWER to 1 Complaint, by Toni Cox, Samuel Pruett, R. W. Jamison, Barbara Wheeler, Gene M. Johnson, John M. Jabe, W. D. Jennings, Benjamin Wright.(Davis, Mark)

Feb. 1, 2010

Feb. 1, 2010

PACER
18

MOTION to Amend/Correct Name of Barbara Wheeler by Prison Legal News, Inc.. (Rosenfield, Steven)

Feb. 16, 2010

Feb. 16, 2010

PACER
19

ORDER granting 18 Motion to Amend/Correct. Signed by Judge Norman K. Moon on 2/23/10. (hnw)

Feb. 23, 2010

Feb. 23, 2010

PACER
20

Magistrate's Notice to counsel. (hnw)

Feb. 23, 2010

Feb. 23, 2010

PACER
21

PRETRIAL ORDER. Signed by Judge Norman K. Moon on 2/23/10. (hnw)

Feb. 23, 2010

Feb. 23, 2010

PACER
23

Rule 26(f) Agreed Written Plan by Plaintiff Prison Legal News, Inc.. (Rosenfield, Steven)

March 5, 2010

March 5, 2010

PACER
24

NOTICE of Hearing: Jury Trial set for 12/1/2010 09:30 AM in Charlottesville before Judge Norman K. Moon for two days, and further such deadlines as set forth in said notice.(hnw)

March 5, 2010

March 5, 2010

PACER
25

MOTION to Amend/Correct 21 Pretrial Order by Prison Legal News, Inc..Motions referred to B. Waugh Crigler. (Rosenfield, Steven)

March 8, 2010

March 8, 2010

PACER
26

ORDER granting 25 Motion to Amend/Correct. Signed by Judge B. Waugh Crigler on 3/9/10. (hnw) Modified on 3/9/2010 to correct Judge Association (hnw).

March 9, 2010

March 9, 2010

PACER
27

MOTION to Amend/Correct 1 Complaint, by Prison Legal News, Inc..Motions referred to B. Waugh Crigler. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Proposed Amended Complaint)(Fogel, Jeffrey)

1 Exhibit Proposed Amended Complaint

View on PACER

April 27, 2010

April 27, 2010

PACER
28

ORDER granting 27 Motion to Amend/Correctand setting answer due deadline to 5/14/10. Signed by Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler on 5/7/10. (hnw)

May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

PACER
29

AMENDED COMPLAINT against Larry Collins, Barbara Gentry, Linda Leatherwood, Tammy Brown, Rita Bibbins, Lois Fegan, Barbara Wheeler, Toni Cox, Samuel Pruett, R. W. Jamison, Gene M. Johnson, John M. Jabe, W. D. Jennings, Benjamin Wright, filed by Prison Legal News, Inc..(hnw)

May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

PACER
30

ANSWER to 29 Amended Complaint, by Larry Collins, Barbara Gentry, Linda Leatherwood, Tammy Brown, Rita Bibbins, Lois Fegan, Barbara Wheeler, Toni Cox, Samuel Pruett, R. W. Jamison, Gene M. Johnson, John M. Jabe, W. D. Jennings, Benjamin Wright.(Davis, Mark)

May 13, 2010

May 13, 2010

PACER
31

First MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney by Prison Legal News, Inc..Motions referred to B. Waugh Crigler. (Rosenfield, Steven)

June 23, 2010

June 23, 2010

PACER
32

ORDER granting 31 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Attorney Daniel Edward Manville terminated and attorney Adam K. Cook substituted as counsel, pro hac vice. Signed by Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler on 6/24/10. (hnw)

June 24, 2010

June 24, 2010

PACER
33

ORDER REFERRING CASE to Mediation.. Signed by Judge Norman K. Moon on 7/23/10. (hnw)

July 23, 2010

July 23, 2010

PACER
34

ORDER ( Confidential mediation statements due by 8/19/2010., Mediation Hearing set for 8/24/2010 10:00 AM in Charlottesville before Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler.). Signed by Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler on 7/26/10. (hnw)

July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010

PACER
35

NOTICE of Hearing: Mediation Hearing set for 8/24/2010 10:00 AM in Charlottesville before Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler. (hnw)

July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010

PACER
36

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler: Settlement Conference / Mediation held on 8/24/2010. (hnw)

Aug. 24, 2010

Aug. 24, 2010

PACER
37

ORDER /REPORT regarding the mediation proceedings held on 8/24/10. Signed by Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler on 8/24/10. (hnw)

Aug. 24, 2010

Aug. 24, 2010

PACER
38

NOTICE of Settlement by Rita Bibbins, Tammy Brown, Larry Collins, Toni Cox, Lois Fegan, Barbara Gentry, John M. Jabe, R. W. Jamison, W. D. Jennings, Gene M. Johnson, Linda Leatherwood, Prison Legal News, Inc., Samuel Pruett, Barbara Wheeler, Benjamin Wright (hnw)

Nov. 22, 2010

Nov. 22, 2010

PACER
39

ORDER DISMISSING CASE with prejudice. Signed by Judge Norman K. Moon on 11/23/10. (hnw)

Nov. 23, 2010

Nov. 23, 2010

RECAP
40

Letter dated 11/22/10 from Barry Albert Requesting copies of disposition of case. (hnw)

Nov. 23, 2010

Nov. 23, 2010

PACER
41

Letter from Clerk's Office in response to copy request. (hnw)

Nov. 23, 2010

Nov. 23, 2010

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Virginia

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 8, 2009

Closing Date: 2010

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Prisoner publication

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Virginia Department of Corrections, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $125,000

Issues

General:

Mail

Type of Facility:

Government-run