Case: Prison Legal News v. Livingston

2:09-cv-00296 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Filed Date: Nov. 4, 2009

Closed Date: 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 4, 2009, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Texas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1988 against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. PLN, represented by private and public interest counsel, asked for punitive and compensatory damages and injunctive relief, claiming that PLN's right to free speech and due process had been violated.Specifically the plaintiff claimed that a prisoner at the Texas Department of Criminal …

On November 4, 2009, Prison Legal News (PLN) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Texas under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 1988 against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. PLN, represented by private and public interest counsel, asked for punitive and compensatory damages and injunctive relief, claiming that PLN's right to free speech and due process had been violated.

Specifically the plaintiff claimed that a prisoner at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Hilltop Unit ordered a copy of Women Behind Bars from PLN and once it arrived to Hilltop, informed the prisoner she could not receive the book due to a content violation. PLN did not receive notification of this denial. PLN sent multiple copies of Women Behind Bars and other books critical of the prison system and the books were all denied entry. PLN claimed that their First Amendment rights to free speech and expression had been violated, their liberty interest in communicating with incarcerated individuals had been denied, and that there was no legitimate penological interest for doing so. Furthermore, PLN claimed that they had been denied due process of law because PLN had not been given notice when their publications were not allowed into the prison.

On January 4, 2011, the District Court (Judge Janis Graham Jack) granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. The court held that First Amendment rights do not apply to readers and publishers alone, but also to book distributors, as long as the recipient of the book is willing. However, the court found that stopping these books from coming into prisons was a legitimate government interest for the TDCJ. The court noted that since this was not a facial challenge of book banning practices in Texas prisons, but was an as applied challenge, it was much harder to rule in favor of the plaintiffs in this case as the judgment of prison officials is given broad deference.

The plaintiffs then appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the summary judgment ruling was affirmed on June 1, 2012 after a de novo review.

Summary Authors

Deeva Shah (10/1/2014)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4397622/parties/prison-legal-news-v-livingston/


Judge(s)

Clement, Edith Brown (Louisiana)

DeMoss, Harold R. Jr. (Texas)

Elrod, Jennifer Walker (Texas)

Jack, Janis Graham (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Harrington, James C (Texas)

Izzo, Lauren (Texas)

Manville, Daniel E. (Michigan)

Medlock, Scott Charles (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Burton, Cynthia (Texas)

Cook, Allan Kennedy (Texas)

Judge(s)

Clement, Edith Brown (Louisiana)

DeMoss, Harold R. Jr. (Texas)

Elrod, Jennifer Walker (Texas)

Jack, Janis Graham (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Harrington, James C (Texas)

Izzo, Lauren (Texas)

Manville, Daniel E. (Michigan)

Medlock, Scott Charles (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Burton, Cynthia (Texas)

Cook, Allan Kennedy (Texas)

Cunniff, Celamine (Texas)

Hoffman, Jesse (Texas)

Johnson, Calysta L (Texas)

Matlock, Karen (Texas)

Wells, Jennifer J (Texas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:09-cv-00296

Docket [PACER]

July 2, 2012

July 2, 2012

Docket
1

2:09-cv-00296

Complaint

Nov. 4, 2009

Nov. 4, 2009

Complaint
32

2:09-cv-00296

Order

2009 WL 5170229

Dec. 17, 2009

Dec. 17, 2009

Order/Opinion
48

2:09-cv-00296

Amended Complaint

Feb. 16, 2010

Feb. 16, 2010

Complaint
53

2:09-cv-00296

Order

2010 WL 1610109

April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010

Order/Opinion
63-1

2:09-cv-00296

Second Amended Complaint

July 28, 2010

July 28, 2010

Complaint
96

2:09-cv-00296

Order

2011 WL 22639

Jan. 4, 2011

Jan. 4, 2011

Order/Opinion
97

2:09-cv-00296

Final Judgment

Jan. 5, 2011

Jan. 5, 2011

Order/Opinion

11-40128

Opinion (Affirming Summary Judgment for Defendants)

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

683 F.3d 201

June 1, 2012

June 1, 2012

Order/Opinion
105

11-40128

Judgment

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

June 29, 2012

June 29, 2012

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4397622/prison-legal-news-v-livingston/

Last updated Aug. 10, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

Complaint

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

Nov. 4, 2009

Nov. 4, 2009

PACER
2

Order for Initial Conference and Disclosure

1 Standing Order

View on PACER

Nov. 5, 2009

Nov. 5, 2009

PACER
3

Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

Nov. 6, 2009

Nov. 6, 2009

PACER
4

Order on Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

Nov. 6, 2009

Nov. 6, 2009

PACER
5

Certificate of Interested Parties

Nov. 23, 2009

Nov. 23, 2009

PACER
6

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 4, 2009

Dec. 4, 2009

PACER
7

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 4, 2009

Dec. 4, 2009

PACER
8

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 4, 2009

Dec. 4, 2009

PACER
9

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 4, 2009

Dec. 4, 2009

PACER
10

JointDiscovery/Case Management Plan

1 Exhibit 1

View on PACER

Dec. 4, 2009

Dec. 4, 2009

PACER
11

Motion to Transfer Case

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 7, 2009

Dec. 7, 2009

PACER
12

Motion to Dismiss

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

2 Exhibit A

View on PACER

Dec. 7, 2009

Dec. 7, 2009

PACER
13

Certificate of Interested Parties

Dec. 8, 2009

Dec. 8, 2009

PACER
14

Motion for Continuance

1 Attachment A

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 8, 2009

Dec. 8, 2009

PACER
15

Advisory

Dec. 8, 2009

Dec. 8, 2009

PACER
16

Motion to Dismiss

1 Exhibit A

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 9, 2009

Dec. 9, 2009

PACER
17

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 9, 2009

Dec. 9, 2009

PACER
18

Return of Service Executed

Dec. 9, 2009

Dec. 9, 2009

PACER
19

Motion to Dismiss

1 Exhibit A

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 11, 2009

Dec. 11, 2009

PACER
20

Notice of Resetting

Dec. 14, 2009

Dec. 14, 2009

PACER
21

Response to Motion

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 15, 2009

Dec. 15, 2009

PACER
22

Response to Motion

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

2 Exhibit

View on PACER

Dec. 15, 2009

Dec. 15, 2009

PACER
23

Document

Dec. 16, 2009

Dec. 16, 2009

PACER
24

Motion for Leave to Appear

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 16, 2009

Dec. 16, 2009

PACER
25

Notice of Appearance

Dec. 16, 2009

Dec. 16, 2009

PACER
26

Order on Motion for Leave to Appear

Dec. 17, 2009

Dec. 17, 2009

PACER
27

Notice of Setting

Dec. 17, 2009

Dec. 17, 2009

PACER
28

Motion to Seal

1 Exhibit A - Coversheet Only

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 17, 2009

Dec. 17, 2009

PACER
29

Sealed Event

Dec. 17, 2009

Dec. 17, 2009

PACER
30

Motion to Dismiss

1 Exhibit A

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 17, 2009

Dec. 17, 2009

PACER
31

Order on Motion to Seal

Dec. 17, 2009

Dec. 17, 2009

PACER
33

Response to Motion

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Dec. 17, 2009

Dec. 17, 2009

PACER
32

ORDER Denying in Part 30 MOTION to Dismiss Defendant Richard Lopez' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Standing, 12 MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Standing, 19 MOTION to Dismiss Defendant E. Brown's Motion to Dismiss for La ck of Standing, 16 MOTION to Dismiss Defendant Jennifer Smith's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Standing, Denying 11 Opposed MOTION to Transfer Case to Waco Division of the Western District, United States District Court ( Defendants may submit additional briefing on subject of qualified immunity by 1/6/2010, Plaintiff must respond by 1/13/2010).(Signed by Judge Janis Graham Jack) Parties notified.(srussell, )

Dec. 17, 2009

Dec. 17, 2009

RECAP
34

Order

Dec. 18, 2009

Dec. 18, 2009

PACER
35

Order

Dec. 18, 2009

Dec. 18, 2009

PACER
36

Order

Dec. 18, 2009

Dec. 18, 2009

PACER
37

Scheduling Order

Dec. 18, 2009

Dec. 18, 2009

PACER
38

JointDiscovery/Case Management Plan

Dec. 18, 2009

Dec. 18, 2009

PACER
39

Notice of Attorney Substitution

Jan. 11, 2010

Jan. 11, 2010

PACER
40

Answer to Complaint

Jan. 12, 2010

Jan. 12, 2010

PACER
41

Notice (Other)

Jan. 15, 2010

Jan. 15, 2010

PACER
42

Notice (Other)

Jan. 15, 2010

Jan. 15, 2010

PACER
43

Motion to Dismiss

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

2 Exhibit A

View on PACER

Jan. 29, 2010

Jan. 29, 2010

PACER
44

Response to Motion

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Feb. 12, 2010

Feb. 12, 2010

PACER
45

Motion to Amend

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Feb. 12, 2010

Feb. 12, 2010

PACER
46

Notice of Setting

Feb. 16, 2010

Feb. 16, 2010

PACER
47

Order on Motion to Amend

Feb. 16, 2010

Feb. 16, 2010

PACER
48

Amended Complaint/Counterclaim/Crossclaim etc.

Feb. 16, 2010

Feb. 16, 2010

PACER
49

Amended Answer

March 2, 2010

March 2, 2010

PACER
50

Notice (Other)

March 10, 2010

March 10, 2010

PACER
51

Notice of Attorney Substitution

April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010

PACER
52

Notice of Appearance

April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010

PACER
53

ORDER granting 43 Supplemental MOTION to Dismiss Based On Qualified Immunity.(Signed by Judge Janis Graham Jack) Parties notified.(sscotch, )

April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010

RECAP
54

Letter

April 23, 2010

April 23, 2010

PACER
55

Notice (Other)

April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010

PACER
56

Order

May 4, 2010

May 4, 2010

PACER
57

Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

June 9, 2010

June 9, 2010

PACER
58

Order on Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

June 11, 2010

June 11, 2010

PACER
59

Notice of Appearance

June 24, 2010

June 24, 2010

PACER
60

Notice of Appearance

July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010

PACER
61

Designation of Expert Witness List

July 22, 2010

July 22, 2010

PACER
62

Designation of Expert Witness List

July 22, 2010

July 22, 2010

PACER
63

Motion to Amend

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

July 28, 2010

July 28, 2010

PACER
64

Motion to Modify

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

July 29, 2010

July 29, 2010

PACER
65

Notice of Setting

July 30, 2010

July 30, 2010

PACER
66

Order on Motion to Amend

July 30, 2010

July 30, 2010

PACER
67

Amended Complaint/Counterclaim/Crossclaim etc.

July 30, 2010

July 30, 2010

PACER
68

Scheduling Order

July 30, 2010

July 30, 2010

PACER
69

Advisory

Aug. 16, 2010

Aug. 16, 2010

PACER
70

Advisory

Aug. 19, 2010

Aug. 19, 2010

PACER
71

Answer to Amended Complaint

Aug. 20, 2010

Aug. 20, 2010

PACER
72

Motion for Summary Judgment

1 Appendix Tab 1

View on PACER

2 Appendix Tab 2 Exh A

View on PACER

3 Appendix Tab 2 Exh B

View on PACER

4 Appendix Tab 2 Exh C

View on PACER

5 Appendix Tab 2 Exh D

View on PACER

6 Appendix Tab 2 Exh E

View on PACER

7 Appendix Tab 2 Exh F

View on PACER

Oct. 15, 2010

Oct. 15, 2010

PACER
73

Appendix

1 Appendix Tab 2 Exh G-2

View on PACER

2 Appendix Tab 2 Exh G-3

View on PACER

3 Appendix Tab 2 Exh H

View on PACER

4 Appendix Tab 2 Exh I

View on PACER

5 Appendix Tab 2 Exh J

View on PACER

6 Appendix Tab 2 Exh K

View on PACER

7 Appendix Tab 2 Exh L

View on PACER

8 Appendix Tab 2 Exh M

View on PACER

9 Appendix Tab 2 Exh N

View on PACER

10 Appendix Tab 2 Exh O

View on PACER

11 Appendix Tab 2 Exh P

View on PACER

12 Appendix Tab 2 Exh Q

View on PACER

Oct. 15, 2010

Oct. 15, 2010

PACER
74

Appendix

1 Appendix Tab 2 Exh S

View on PACER

2 Appendix Tab 2 Exh T

View on PACER

3 Appendix Tab 2 Exh U

View on PACER

4 Appendix Tab 2 Exh V

View on PACER

5 Appendix Tab 2 Exh W

View on PACER

6 Appendix Tab 2 Exh X

View on PACER

7 Appendix Tab 3

View on PACER

8 Appendix Tab 4

View on PACER

9 Appendix Tab 5

View on PACER

10 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 15, 2010

Oct. 15, 2010

PACER
75

Motion for Summary Judgment

1 Exhibit Exhibits 1-8a

View on PACER

2 Exhibit Exhibits 8b-11

View on PACER

3 Exhibit Exhibits 12-16

View on PACER

4 Exhibit Exhibits 17-28

View on PACER

5 Exhibit Exhibits 29-33

View on PACER

6 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 15, 2010

Oct. 15, 2010

PACER
76

Motion to Exclude

1 Exhibit A

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 15, 2010

Oct. 15, 2010

PACER
77

Order Striking Document

Oct. 18, 2010

Oct. 18, 2010

PACER
78

Motion for Leave to File Document

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 18, 2010

Oct. 18, 2010

PACER
79

Motion for Leave to File Document

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 18, 2010

Oct. 18, 2010

PACER
80

Motion for Summary Judgment

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 18, 2010

Oct. 18, 2010

PACER
81

Appendix

1 Appendix Tab 2 Exh A

View on PACER

2 Appendix Tab 2 Exh B

View on PACER

3 Appendix Tab 2 Exh C

View on PACER

4 Appendix Tab 2 Exh D

View on PACER

5 Appendix Tab 2 Exh E

View on PACER

6 Appendix Tab 2 Exh F

View on PACER

7 Appendix Tab 2 Exh G

View on PACER

8 Appendix Tab 2 Exh H

View on PACER

9 Appendix Tab 2 Exh I

View on PACER

10 Appendix Tab 2 Exh J

View on PACER

11 Appendix Tab 2 Exh K

View on PACER

12 Appendix Tab 2 Exh L

View on PACER

13 Appendix Tab 2 Exh M

View on PACER

14 Appendix Tab 2 Exh N

View on PACER

15 Appendix Tab 2 Exh O

View on PACER

16 Appendix Tab 2 Exh P

View on PACER

17 Appendix Tab 2 Exh Q

View on PACER

18 Appendix Tab 2 Exh R

View on PACER

19 Appendix Tab 2 Exh S

View on PACER

20 Appendix Tab 2 Exh T

View on PACER

21 Appendix Tab 2 Exh U

View on PACER

22 Appendix Tab 2 Exh V

View on PACER

23 Appendix Tab 2 Exh W

View on PACER

24 Appendix Tab 2 Exh X

View on PACER

25 Appendix Tab 3

View on PACER

26 Appendix Tab 4

View on PACER

27 Appendix Tab 5

View on PACER

28 Appendix Tab 6

View on PACER

Oct. 18, 2010

Oct. 18, 2010

PACER
82

Motion for Summary Judgment

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

2 Appendix Tab 1

View on PACER

3 Appendix Tab 2A

View on PACER

4 Appendix Tab2B

View on PACER

5 Appendix Tab 2C

View on PACER

6 Appendix Tab 2D

View on PACER

7 Appendix Tab 2E

View on PACER

8 Appendix Tab 2F

View on PACER

9 Appendix Tab 2G

View on PACER

10 Appendix Tab 2H

View on PACER

11 Appendix Tab 2I

View on PACER

12 Appendix Tab 2J

View on PACER

13 Appendix Tab 2K

View on PACER

14 Appendix Tab 2L

View on PACER

15 Appendix Tab 2M

View on PACER

16 Appendix Tab 2N

View on PACER

17 Appendix Tab 2O

View on PACER

18 Appendix Tab 2P

View on PACER

19 Appendix Tab 2Q

View on PACER

20 Appendix Tab 2R

View on PACER

21 Appendix Tab 2S

View on PACER

22 Appendix Tab 2T

View on PACER

23 Appendix Tab 2U

View on PACER

24 Appendix Tab 2V

View on PACER

25 Appendix Tab 2W

View on PACER

26 Appendix Tab 2X

View on PACER

27 Appendix Tab 3

View on PACER

28 Appendix Tab 4

View on PACER

29 Appendix Tab 5

View on PACER

30 Appendix Tab 6

View on PACER

Oct. 18, 2010

Oct. 18, 2010

PACER
83

Order on Motion for Leave to File

Oct. 21, 2010

Oct. 21, 2010

PACER
84

Notice (Other)

Oct. 28, 2010

Oct. 28, 2010

PACER
85

Notice (Other)

Oct. 29, 2010

Oct. 29, 2010

PACER
86

Response in Opposition to Motion

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Nov. 4, 2010

Nov. 4, 2010

PACER
87

Motion to Strike

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Nov. 8, 2010

Nov. 8, 2010

PACER
88

Reply

Nov. 8, 2010

Nov. 8, 2010

PACER
89

Response

Nov. 8, 2010

Nov. 8, 2010

PACER
90

Response to Motion

2 Proposed Order

View on PACER

4 Exhibit

View on PACER

5 Exhibit Continuation

View on PACER

Nov. 8, 2010

Nov. 8, 2010

PACER
91

Order Striking Document

Nov. 9, 2010

Nov. 9, 2010

PACER
92

Motion for Reconsideration

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

2 Exhibit

View on PACER

Nov. 10, 2010

Nov. 10, 2010

PACER
93

ORDER granting 92 Motion for Reconsideration and VACATES its November 9, 2010 Order (DE #91). Defts' Response to Pltffs' Motion for Summary Judgment (DE#89) and Motion to Strike (DE #87) are hereby deemed timely.(Signed by Judge Janis Graham Jack) Parties notified.(lsmith, )

Nov. 12, 2010

Nov. 12, 2010

RECAP
94

Response to Motion

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Nov. 23, 2010

Nov. 23, 2010

PACER
95

Advisory

Dec. 8, 2010

Dec. 8, 2010

PACER
96

ORDER denying 75 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying as moot 76 Motion to Exclude; granting 82 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 87 Motion to Strike.(Signed by Judge Janis Graham Jack) Parties notified.(mserpa, )

Jan. 4, 2011

Jan. 4, 2011

RECAP
97

Final Judgment

Jan. 5, 2011

Jan. 5, 2011

PACER
98

Notice of Appeal

Feb. 1, 2011

Feb. 1, 2011

PACER
99

Notice of the Filing of an Appeal

Feb. 3, 2011

Feb. 3, 2011

PACER
100

USCA Case Number

Feb. 10, 2011

Feb. 10, 2011

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Prison Legal News

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 4, 2009

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Publisher of a monthly magazine and distributor of books, informing incarcerated individuals of their rights.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Texas Department of Criminal Justice, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Library (non-law) access

Mail

Type of Facility:

Government-run