Case: Prison Legal News v. Stephens

2:09-cv-07515 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Filed Date: Dec. 3, 2009

Closed Date: June 17, 2010

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 3, 2009 Prison Legal News ("PLN") and Human Rights Defense Center filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Stephens ("Stephens"), who is responsible for operating the St. Bernard Parish Prison facility ("St. Bernard") , and several employees who work at that facility under 42 U.S.C.§1983 and 1988. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as damages, alleging that the defendants maintained an unlawful policy of refusing to …

On December 3, 2009 Prison Legal News ("PLN") and Human Rights Defense Center filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Stephens ("Stephens"), who is responsible for operating the St. Bernard Parish Prison facility ("St. Bernard") , and several employees who work at that facility under 42 U.S.C.§1983 and 1988. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as damages, alleging that the defendants maintained an unlawful policy of refusing to deliver incoming PLN publications addressed to prisoners in violation of the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and 42 USC 1983. Plaintiffs also alleged violations of due process of the law due to the failure to give notice and an opportunity for the plaintiff publishers and distributors whose publications to respond to the denial of access..

On Jan. 12, 2010 plaintiffs filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction. On January 19, 2010 the District Court (Judge Jay C. Zainey) issued a Minute Entry noting that the parties were working to reach a settlement and scheduling a settlement conference. During this conference, the parties reached a settlement.

On May 18, 2010, the District Court (Judge Zainey) signed a Consent Judgment pursuant to the parties' settlement agreement, granting plaintiffs injunctive relief only. This Consent Judgment required the defendants to distribute to plaintiffs' subscribers at St. Bernard past issues of plaintiffs' monthly publication. In addition, defendants agreed to adopt and implement within 30 days a new written policy regarding St. Bernard's prisoners' receipt of publications. This new policy required the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office to permit an "inmate to subscribe to or to receive publications without prior approval," provided that such publications "are not detrimental to the security, discipline, or good order of the institution." The Consent Judgment stipulated that is was the full and final judgment between the parties with regard to permanent injunctive relief only. The Consent Judgment did not finalize a settlement agreement between the parties with respect to the damages and declaratory relief plaintiffs sought.

On June 17, 2010, the parties advised the District Court (Judge Zainey) via telephone that they had reached a tentative settlement agreement concerning damages and attorneys' fees, subject to approval by the Louisiana Sheriff's Association. Upon receiving notice of the tentative settlement agreement, the District Court (Judge Zainey) dismissed the action, but retained jurisdiction over the matter to enforce the settlement agreements.

Summary Authors

Mark Scoville (4/9/2011)

People


Judge(s)

Zainey, Jay C. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cumming, Elizabeth C. (Louisiana)

Howell, Mary E. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Gutierrez, Salvador (Louisiana)

Judge(s)

Zainey, Jay C. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cumming, Elizabeth C. (Louisiana)

Howell, Mary E. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Gutierrez, Salvador (Louisiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:09-cv-07515

Docket

PLN v. Stephens

June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010

Docket
1

2:09-cv-07515

Complaint

PLN v. Stephens

Dec. 3, 2009

Dec. 3, 2009

Complaint
5

2:08-cv-07515

PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

PLN v. Stephens

Jan. 12, 2010

Jan. 12, 2010

Pleading / Motion / Brief
32

2:09-cv-07515

CONSENT JUDGMENT FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF ONLY

PLN v. Stephens

May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010

Settlement Agreement
32-1

2:09-cv-07515

Modified Incoming Publications Policy

PLN v. Stephens

No Court

May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010

Statute/Ordinance/Regulation
36

2:09-cv-07515

Order of Dismissal (MINUTE ENTRY (JS-10: 15))

PLN v. Stephens

June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 5, 2022, 3:06 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against all defendants (Filing fee $ 350) filed by Prison Legal News, Human Rights Defense Center. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(ecm, ) (Entered: 12/04/2009)

Dec. 3, 2009

Dec. 3, 2009

2

Summons Issued as to Jack A Stephens, David Mowers, Charles Buras. (ecm, ) (Entered: 12/04/2009)

Dec. 3, 2009

Dec. 3, 2009

3

ANSWER to 1 Complaint by Jack A Stephens, David Mowers, Charles Buras.(Hand, Mary) (Entered: 12/09/2009)

Dec. 9, 2009

Dec. 9, 2009

4

NOTICE Scheduling Conference set for 1/12/2010 10:30 AM before courtroom deputy by telephone.(cbn, ) (Entered: 12/16/2009)

Dec. 16, 2009

Dec. 16, 2009

5

EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Prison Legal News, Human Rights Defense Center. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Memorandum in Support, # 3 Exhibit 1, # 4 Exhibit 1a, # 5 Exhibit 1b, # 6 Exhibit 1c, # 7 Exhibit 1d, # 8 Exhibit 1e, # 9 Exhibit 1f, # 10 Exhibit 1g, # 11 Exhibit 1h pt.1, # 12 Exhibit 1h pt.2, # 13 Exhibit 2, # 14 Exhibit 2a, # 15 Exhibit 3, # 16 Exhibit 4)(ecm, ) (Entered: 01/12/2010)

Jan. 12, 2010

Jan. 12, 2010

6

Request/Statement of Oral Argument by Prison Legal News, Human Rights Defense Center regarding 5 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(ecm, ) (Entered: 01/12/2010)

Jan. 12, 2010

Jan. 12, 2010

7

SCHEDULING ORDER: Final Pretrial Conference set for 9/9/2010 11:00 AM before Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon. 2 day Bench Trial set for 9/30/2010 09:00 AM before Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon. Signed by Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon. (Attachments: # 1 Pretrial Notice Form)(cbn, ) (Entered: 01/13/2010)

Jan. 13, 2010

Jan. 13, 2010

9

ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE. Case transferred to Judge Jay C. Zainey and Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan for all further proceedings. Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon, Magistrate Judge Daniel E. Knowles, III no longer assigned to case. Signed by Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon on 1/14/10. (NEF: C. Nelson, Judge Shushan and Judge Knowles)(ecm, ) (Entered: 01/15/2010)

Jan. 15, 2010

Jan. 15, 2010

10

ORDER: Settlement Conference set for 2/2/2010 09:00 AM before Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan. Signed by Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan.(ecm, ) (Entered: 01/19/2010)

Jan. 19, 2010

Jan. 19, 2010

11

EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Filing fee $ 5 receipt number 053L0000000002267815) by Prison Legal News, Human Rights Defense Center. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Affidavit Declaration, # 3 Exhibit)(Howell, Mary) Modified on 1/20/2010 (gbw, ). (Entered: 01/19/2010)

Jan. 19, 2010

Jan. 19, 2010

13

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jay C. Zainey: Status Conference held on 1/19/2010. Follow−up Status Conference set for 2/18/2010 09:30 AM in chambers before Judge Jay C. Zainey. (gbw, ) (Entered: 01/20/2010)

Jan. 19, 2010

Jan. 19, 2010

12

Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk re 11 MOTION to Appear Pro Hac Vice (Filing fee $ 5 receipt number 053L0000000002267815). Document contains incorrect Section and Magistrate Judge. All future pleadings must reflect Section A (Jay C. Zainey) and/or Magistrate Judge 1 (Sally Shushan)(gbw, ) (Entered: 01/20/2010)

Jan. 20, 2010

Jan. 20, 2010

14

ORDER granting 11 Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice as to Daniel E. Manville.. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey on 1/25/2010. (gbw, ) (Entered: 01/25/2010)

Jan. 25, 2010

Jan. 25, 2010

15

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan: Settlement Conference held on 2/2/2010. Settlement discussions are ongoing. (ecm, ) (Entered: 02/02/2010)

Feb. 2, 2010

Feb. 2, 2010

16

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jay C. Zainey: Status Conference held on 2/18/2010. Status Conference set for 3/17/2010 11:00 AM in chambers before Judge Jay C. Zainey. (gbw, ) (Entered: 02/22/2010)

Feb. 18, 2010

Feb. 18, 2010

19

ORDER that the Status Conference be reset for 3/25/2010 11:00 AM IN CHAMBERS. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey on 3/16/2010.(caa, ) (Entered: 03/17/2010)

March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010

21

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jay C. Zainey: Status Conference held on 3/25/2010. ORDERED that the parties shall schedule a settlement conference before Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan. Status Conference is set for 4/15/2010 10:30 AM in chambers before Judge Jay C. Zainey. (NEF: MJ Shushan) (gbw, ) (Entered: 03/26/2010)

March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010

22

ORDER: A Follow−Up Settlement Conference set for 4/12/2010 10:30 AM − 11:30 AM before Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan. Signed by Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan.(ecm, ) (Entered: 03/29/2010)

March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010

23

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan: A Follow−up Settlement Conference held on 4/12/2010. Settlement discussions are ongoing. (ecm, ) (Entered: 04/12/2010)

April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010

24

ORDER Status Conference set for 4/15/2010 10:30 AM is RESET to 4/29/2010 03:30 PM in chambers. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey on 4/12/2010.(gbw, ) (Entered: 04/12/2010)

April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010

25

ORDER Status Conference RESET for 5/6/2010 3:45 PM before Judge Zainey. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey on 4/27/10.(jrc, ) (Entered: 04/28/2010)

April 28, 2010

April 28, 2010

26

ORDER Status Conference RESET for 5/13/2010 3:30 PM before Judge Zainey. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey on 5/5/10.(jrc, ) (Entered: 05/06/2010)

May 6, 2010

May 6, 2010

27

EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Continue by Jack A Stephens, Charles Buras, David Mowers. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Proposed Order)(Hand, Mary) Modified to add filers on 5/10/2010 (gbw, ). (Entered: 05/07/2010)

May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

28

Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk re 27 MOTION to Continue. Filing attorney did not select David Mowers, Charles Buras as a filer(s). Clerk added filer. (gbw, ) (Entered: 05/10/2010)

May 10, 2010

May 10, 2010

29

ORDER granting 27 MOTION to Continue Status Conference. Status Conference reset for 5/27/2010 2:30 PM before Judge Zainey. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey on 5/10/10.(jrc, ) (Entered: 05/11/2010)

May 11, 2010

May 11, 2010

30

EXPARTE/CONSENT First MOTION to Approve Consent Judgment by Prison Legal News. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Exhibit Policy, # 3 Exhibit Attachment A)(Howell, Mary) Modified attachment description on 5/17/2010 (gbw, ). (Entered: 05/14/2010)

May 14, 2010

May 14, 2010

31

Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk re 30 First MOTION to Approve Consent Judgment. Filing attorney did not select category 'Proposed Order' when attaching proposed order (consent judgment). Clerk took corrective action. (gbw, ) (Entered: 05/17/2010)

May 17, 2010

May 17, 2010

32

CONSENT JUDGMENT FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF ONLY. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey on 5/17/10. (Attachments: # 1 Incoming Publications Policy)(jrc, ) (Entered: 05/18/2010)

May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010

34

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jay C. Zainey. Status Conference held on 5/27/2010. Follow−up Status Conference by telephone set for 6/17/2010 2:15 PM before Judge Jay C. Zainey. (jrc, ) (Entered: 06/01/2010)

May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010

33

ORDER Telephone Settlement Conference set for 6/10/2010 09:00 AM before Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan. Signed by Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan.(ecm, ) (Entered: 05/28/2010)

May 28, 2010

May 28, 2010

35

ORDER Telephone Status Conference is reset for chambers 6/17/2010 2:45 PM before Judge Jay C. Zainey. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey.(jrc, ) (Entered: 06/16/2010)

June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010

36

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jay C. Zainey: Status Conference held on 6/17/2010. ORDERED that this action is dismissed as stated herein. (gbw, ) (Entered: 06/18/2010)

June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010

Case Details

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 3, 2009

Closing Date: June 17, 2010

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiff Prison Legal News, a monthly prison law magazine which is distributed across the nation to prisoners, and Human Rights Defense Counsel, owner and publisher of PLN.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Sheriff and other employees of St. Bernard Parish Prison (New Orleans, Orleans), 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)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Private Settlement Agreement

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief request withdrawn/mooted

Issues

General:

Mail

Type of Facility:

Government-run