Case: Prison Legal News v. Shawnee County

2:11-cv-02497 | U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas

Filed Date: Aug. 31, 2011

Closed Date: 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 31, 2011, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Kansas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Shawnee County and the Shawnee County Department of Corrections. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as damages, claiming that the Defendants censored PLN's monthly publication and correspondence mailed to prisoners who were held in custody by the Shawnee County Jail in violation of the…

On August 31, 2011, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Kansas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Shawnee County and the Shawnee County Department of Corrections. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as damages, claiming that the Defendants censored PLN's monthly publication and correspondence mailed to prisoners who were held in custody by the Shawnee County Jail in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The plaintiffs specifically alleged that the defendants adopted and implemented policies that unconstitutionally restrict correspondence to prisoners, which policies on their face prohibited prisoners from receiving any sort of book, magazine, or other publication, such as those published by the plaintiff.

On February 23, 2012, the parties filed a joint stipulation for entry of stipulated judgment and settlement agreement. The agreement required the defendants to modify the Jail's mail policy, including allowing the PLN's mailings to be delivered. The defendants agreed to pay $75,000 in damages, attorney fees, and costs. On March 5, 2012, Judge Kathryn H. Vratil approved the stipulated judgment and settlement agreement.

Summary Authors

Jessica Kincaid (4/5/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Gale, Kenneth G (Kansas)

Vratil, Kathryn Hoefer (Kansas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bonney, Stephen Douglas (Missouri)

Jenkins, James D (Missouri)

Slough, Fred (Missouri)

Weber, Lance (Vermont)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brzon, Jonathan C (Kansas)

Eckert, Richard V (Kansas)

Martinek, Ron D (Kansas)

Judge(s)

Gale, Kenneth G (Kansas)

Vratil, Kathryn Hoefer (Kansas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bonney, Stephen Douglas (Missouri)

Jenkins, James D (Missouri)

Slough, Fred (Missouri)

Weber, Lance (Vermont)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brzon, Jonathan C (Kansas)

Eckert, Richard V (Kansas)

Martinek, Ron D (Kansas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

PLN v. Shawnee County

March 5, 2012 Docket
1

Complaint

PLN v. Shawnee County

Aug. 31, 2011 Complaint
15

Order [Administratively Closing Case]

PLN v. Shawnee County

Feb. 17, 2012 Order/Opinion
16

Joint Stipulation for Entry of Stipulated Judgment and Settlement Agreement

PLN v. Shawnee County

Feb. 23, 2012 Settlement Agreement
17

Order Regarding Entry of Stipulated Judgment and Settlement Agreement

PLN v. Shawnee County

March 5, 2012 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Prison Legal News Homepage

Prison Legal News

Prison Legal News (PLN), a project of the non-profit Human Rights Defense Center, is a 72-page monthly magazine that reports on criminal justice issues and prison and jail-related civil litigation, w… https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT (No Summons Issued) with trial location of Kansas City, filed by Prison Legal News.(ta) (Entered: 08/31/2011)

Aug. 31, 2011
2

CIVIL COVER SHEET re 1 Complaint by Plaintiff Prison Legal News. (ta) (Entered: 08/31/2011)

Aug. 31, 2011

FILING FEE PAID: in the amount of $350.00, receipt number K4631029446. (ta) (Entered: 08/31/2011)

Aug. 31, 2011
3

CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT by Prison Legal News identifying None as corporate parent. (Slough, Fred) (Entered: 08/31/2011)

Aug. 31, 2011

SUMMONS ISSUED as to Richard C. Kline, Shawnee County, Kansas, Board of Commissioners. Summons emailed to Attorney for service. (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (ta) (Entered: 08/31/2011)

Aug. 31, 2011
4

SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED −− Personal by Prison Legal News upon Shawnee County, Kansas, Board of Commissioners served on 9/2/2011, answer due 9/23/2011. (Bonney, Stephen) (Entered: 09/06/2011)

Sept. 6, 2011
5

SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED −− Personal by Prison Legal News upon Richard C. Kline served on 9/2/2011, answer due 9/23/2011. (Bonney, Stephen) (Entered: 09/06/2011)

Sept. 6, 2011
6

CLERKS ORDER EXTENDING TIME until 10/07/2011 for Defendants Shawnee County, Kansas, Board of Commissioners, Richard C. Kline to answer or otherwise plead. Signed by deputy clerk on 9/19/2011. (ta) (Entered: 09/19/2011)

Sept. 19, 2011
8

ORDER SETTING SCHEDULING CONFERENCE: Scheduling Conference set for 11/22/2011 at 10:00 AM by telephone before Magistrate Judge Kenneth G. Gale. Report of Parties Planning Meeting deadline 11/17/2011. See attached Order for additional details including conference call instructions. Signed by Magistrate Judge Kenneth G. Gale on 10/12/2011. (aw) (Entered: 10/12/2011)

Oct. 12, 2011

MINUTE ENTRY for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Kenneth G. Gale: SCHEDULING CONFERENCE held on 11/22/2011. (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (aw) (Entered: 11/22/2011)

Nov. 22, 2011
9

SCHEDULING ORDER: Discovery deadline 3/30/2012. Dispositive motion deadline 4/30/2012. Mediation deadline 2/22/2012. Proposed Pretrial Order due by 4/12/2012. Final Pretrial Conference set for 4/19/2012 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 406 (KGG) before Magistrate Judge Kenneth G. Gale. See attached Order for additional deadlines. Signed by Magistrate Judge Kenneth G. Gale on 11/22/2011. (aw) (Entered: 11/22/2011)

Nov. 22, 2011
10

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE of Initial Disclosures by Prison Legal News. (Bonney, Stephen) (Entered: 12/09/2011)

Dec. 9, 2011
11

NOTICE OF SERVICE by Richard C. Kline, Shawnee County, Kansas, Board of Commissioners of Initial Disclosures (Martinek, Ron) (Entered: 12/09/2011)

Dec. 9, 2011
12

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE of First Interrogatories, First Request for Admissions and First Request for Production of Documents by Prison Legal News. (Slough, Fred) (Entered: 12/22/2011)

Dec. 22, 2011
13

MINUTE ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned to Chief Judge Kathryn H. Vratil for all further proceedings. District Judge Wesley E. Brown no longer assigned to case. Signed by deputy clerk on 2/1/2012. (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.)(lak) (Entered: 02/01/2012)

Feb. 1, 2012
14

ADR REPORT by Richard C. Kline, Shawnee County, Kansas, Board of Commissioners. ADR session held on: January 31, 2012 and conducted by Jerry Palmer. Results of ADR: Case settled at ADR. Status of litigation at time of ADR: Pre−Discovery(Martinek, Ron) (Entered: 02/02/2012)

Feb. 2, 2012
15

ORDER ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING CASE: Parties shall file stipulation of dismissal by March 16, 2012. Signed by Chief Judge Kathryn H. Vratil on 2/17/2012. (mem) (Entered: 02/17/2012)

Feb. 17, 2012
16

STIPULATION for Entry of Stipulated Judgment and Settlement Agreement by Richard C. Kline, Shawnee County, Kansas, Board of Commissioners. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Stipulated Judgment and Settlement Agreement)(Martinek, Ron) (Entered: 02/23/2012)

Feb. 23, 2012
17

ORDER REGARDING ENTRY OF STIPULATED JUDGMENT AND SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT re 16 Stipulation. Signed by Chief Judge Kathryn H. Vratil on 3/5/2012. (kao) (Entered: 03/05/2012)

March 5, 2012

State / Territory: Kansas

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Prison Legal News

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 31, 2011

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Prison Legal News, a monthly magazine that reports on court rulings and news related to prisoners’ rights and criminal justice issues.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Shawnee County Department of Corrections, County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

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)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 75,000

Issues

General:

Mail

Type of Facility:

Government-run